Fran Baena, an artist of the Yusto/Giner gallery, was granted an acquisition and residency award at UVNT 2023. This award has resulted in his next solo exhibition, Hyperpop, which will be open to the public from January 26 to March 31 at the Palacio de los Condes de Gabia in Granada.
During the last edition of the UVNT Art Fair, Fran Baena, a young artist from Priego, Spain, was awarded the acquisition and residency prize by Piramidón, Centre d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona. As a result, Fran Baena was granted one of the 18 artist studios provided by Piramidón, which is a hybrid space that serves as an art gallery and creation factory. Established in 1990, Piramidón is a convergence point that promotes creativity, cooperation, and the exploration of new perspectives in a stimulating atmosphere. Numerous artists, including Javier Ruiz, Yann Leto, Avelino Sala, and Stella Rahola Matutes, have previously occupied its studios. Martí Sawe, Vicente Prieto Gaggero, Alsino Skowronnek, and Esther Miquel are among the current residents.
Thanks to this first collaboration between UVNT and Piramidón, the artist was able to enjoy a three-month stay in Barcelona, where he produced the work shown for the first time to the public on January 26th. The studio in which Baena has resided, of 120 square meters, allowed the production of large format works.
Baena’s latest exhibition is titled after the pop music subgenre hyperpop, which emerged in Great Britain in the 2010s. Hyperpop, also known as glitch, incorporates small glitches of electronic music, song sampling and cultural references to create a unique mix throughout the piece. In his work, Baena reflects on pop aesthetics and the uncertainty of modern times, subverting cultural codes. He employs memes and contemporary expressions, giving them new meanings. In a pure glitch style, he blends digital painting with traditional materials like tempera. The resulting work goes beyond superficial appearances and recognizes a deep sense of dignity in memes, which reflect real and current problems.
This year, UVNT and Piramidón will continue collaborating, awarding their residency and acquisition prize during the fair’s next edition. This is to foster artistic creation and creative synergies in the contemporary art scene.