Past reveals present in exhibit

By Heather Horton/south news editor

Nostalgie de la Boue, Barnabaccio  Photo by Georgia Phillips/The Collegian
Nostalgie de la Boue, Barnabaccio Photo by Georgia Phillips/The Collegian

A Dallas artist is currently displaying sculptural graffiti works of “non-art” at the South Campus Carillon Gallery.

Barnabaccio: A Retrospective is a collection of experimental mixed-media sculptures originally produced by the late Barnabaccio. Friend and painter Barnaby Fitzgerald has reproduced Barnabaccio’s unintentional statement pieces for the exhibit. This retrospective is open through Dec. 12.

“It’s about a young man that I knew in Italy, and he was not an artist. He was really a kind of a vagabond of sorts,” Fitzgerald said. “He was just interesting. He made things for fun, and they were very thought-provoking.”

He never meant to spend so much time consumed with Barnabaccio’s inadvertent art pieces.  Barnabaccio was just a drinking buddy, Fitzgerald said.

“I had no idea I would think about him this much,” he said. “But over the years, a number of conversations, a number of objects he made, have just sort of stayed with me. He’s worked on me over the years.”

Fitzgerald said he is pleased to share these works of art with the public. He will not make any money from these sculptures and wants no part of exploiting the art.

“Barnabaccio thought art was sort of high-faluting and sort of a social-climbing thing, and he hated that,” Fitzgerald said.

Fitzgerald hopes to send the works of art back to Italy after the exhibition.

“I don’t think I should sell anything because they are not my ideas,” he said. “I don’t want to exploit this. I don’t want to get paid for this.” 

Risus Abundat, Barnabaccio  Photo by Georgia Phillips/The Collegian
Risus Abundat, Barnabaccio Photo by Georgia Phillips/The Collegian

Fitzgerald hopes to inspire art students to make literary objects into meaningful works of art.

South Campus fine arts chair Joshua Goode said he is always looking to expose students to new ideas in the arts, so he chose Fitzgerald’s work.

“Barnabaccio was analyzing a lot of ideas that have returned to be very important for artists,” Goode said. “These ideas are being revisited, yet this had already happened 50 years ago.”

Tisnerreia Smith, an art appreciation student, said extra credit brought her to the gallery opening of Barnabaccio: A Retrospective.

“It was nice. It was different,” she said. “I thought I was going to come up here to see paintings and stuff, not like abstract art. That was different.”

Another student, June Carrill, is studying interior design on South Campus. Her class helped set up the hospitality area for the opening. She found the artist to be one of a kind.

“Unique. I find it, uh, refreshing,” she said. “The man that is the curator, he admired the artist so much to keep his art alive. I think it’s very inspirational.”

Fitzgerald’s reproductions are available to view Monday-Thursday by appointment only. For more information or to make an appointment, contact Goode at 817-515-4641 or