Working in the traditions of pastel drawing and weaving, Virgil Baruchel portrays abstracted human forms in electric colours, imbued with a sense of irony and humour.
Exploring the relationship between the outward-facing self and the private, inner self, his technique of layering pastel and oil stick plays with transparency and exposure.
As a self-taught weaver, Baruchel creates highly tactile weavings that place one of the world’s oldest artisanal practices in direct dialogue with the contemporary world. His interest in the medium stems from his Egyptian and Moroccan roots. Inspired by carpet-makers in the Atlas region of Morocco, his compositions reference Mughrabi and Mediterranean symbols and folklore, such as the evil eye and cinq sur toi — a colloquial saying and gesture that suggests a good omen.
Baruchel is interested in how the tradition of weaving finds analogies in contemporary technology. Individual knots mirror digital pixels, each playing a critical building block role in the construction of images and figures.
Baruchel has spent the last decade observing the subtle nuances of human forms. After taking life drawing classes in New York City, he became increasingly interested in how   subconscious tendencies manifest in body language and other non-verbal forms of communication. Baruchel turns to public space as an arena for observation. He has developed a lexicon of figures: reclining nudes, bodybuilders, and the selfie-obsessed. He deploys these recognizable figures in service of fantasy to highlight the tensions between reality and virtuality.
Baruchel is a Canadian, Parisian-born artist living and working in London. He has exhibited in Canada, the United States, England, and France. Corkin Gallery presented a solo project of weavings by the artist at Art Toronto 2021.




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