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The Night of the Purple Moon by Raphaël Barontini

©️ Courtesy of Mariane Ibrahim Gallery

The exhibition is open to the public by appointment only.

Mariane Ibrahim Gallery in Chicago is pleased to present a solo exhibition with Raphaël BarontiniThe Night of the Purple Moon, marking the gallery’s inaugural presentation with the artist and his first solo gallery show in the United States.

The gallery is transformed into a Galerie des Illustres, an otherworldly environment with large scale portraits on canvas and flags. Fictional heroes and historical reinterpretations embellish subjects from classical and canonical histories: from the Caribbean, Voodoo and magical deities, to function as a way for formerly enslaved humans to hold on to their African identity, despite the violence of Western colonialism. Barontini illuminates disparities in the visual and cultural history of the French Caribbean, which is rooted in African ancestry, yet virtually saturated with culture of an insular Caribbean.

Inspired by creatives such as Romare Bearden, and Hannah Höch who collaged a handful of materials and ideas to reflect the glitches of modern civilization during their time, Barontini meticulously builds a vernacular language of symbolism, artifact, and ritual.

The Night of the Purple Moon is accompanied by the soundtrack created by hip hop musician Mike Ladd. Ladd regularly collaborates with Barontini to produce audio pieces for his installations, they are all specific to the artists body of works in order to enhance the atmosphere of the exhibition.

The Night of the Purple Moon, embraces a nocturnal environment, where vibrant purples imbued with magic and new possibilities in which narratives emerge to catalyze a forthcoming revolution. From works on canvas, to large scale textile pieces to wearable garments – the artist presents the possibility of a new visual language, while referencing modern technology. Mixing different eras, spaces and geographies, the composite portraits arise from different types of media.

Raphaël Barontini


Raphaël Barontini (b.1984, France; works and lives in Saint-Denis, France) is influenced by processes of creolization and the philosophies of French Caribbean thinkers. He intentionally depicts real and imaginative heroes from Africa and the Caribbean to present narratives that are under-represented in the dominant history of art. Barontini’s installations become site specific, and his works draw attention to architecture by obscuring its legibility and orthodox arrangement, while reconstructing and sharing a sort of counter-history.

Barontini has exhibited work in galleries and institutions globally including MAC VAL Museum, Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, The Pill, New Art Exchange Museum and the SCAD Museum of Art. He has also participated in international biennales in Bamako, Casablanca, Lima and Thessaloniki.
He was the 2020 artist in residence in Singapore for LVMH Métiers d’Art. He was also comissioned in 2019 for a solo project Frederik Douglas: A Narrative of Liberation by Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) with the support of the Étant donnés Contemporary Art fund, a program of the French American Cultural Exchange (FACE) Foundation, developed in partnership with the Cultural Services of the French Embassy in the United States.

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