Barney Does It All presents the latest works by Barne Melgaard (b. 1967) at a pivotal point in his life, following his departure from his expansive Bushwick studio to turn over a new leaf.
The Norwegian artist reflects on three tumultuous decades of his career, pondering past and current desires amidst the shadows of commercializing himself and his art—actions that both haunt and sustain his creativity.
Currently residing in Oslo, Norway, Melgaard showcases his domestic studio possessions, providing a glimpse into his latest obsessions. Notable items include an explicit and sexually charged photo series by his husband Patrice Destin Melgaard, inspired by Guillaume Dustan's novel In My Room, souvenirs from their recent visit to Bangkok, and numerous drawings layered over legal documents from his ongoing lawsuit against two former financial partners.
"I'm involved in Norway's biggest art scandal ever. The paintings essentially deal with this feeling of being portrayed in the media as a money-hungry whore who has fucked up his whole life, market, everything, and it's all his own fault," the artist remarks.
A collection of paintings reveals dilemmas in Melgaard's recent work, while six vividly colored bronze sculptures grace the gallery. These sculptures, adorned with anti-aging, beauty, and medical products, originate from Melgaard's sketches and embody his distinctive avatars-his alter-egos.
The film Barney Does It All, screening every 30 minutes in the adjoining gallery, blends a recent monologue with archival footage and popular imagery, delving into Melgaard's story. It reflects on his self-comparison to a prostitute, selling his art and himself to individuals he rarely knows or even dislikes.
In compliance with all applicable laws, the film is strictly for viewers aged 21 and older.
VIEWER DISCRETION STRONGLY ADVISED due to the film's mature content, which contains potentially disturbing or offensive material, including explicit scenes of sexual acts and drug use. We encourage you to use personal judgment in deciding whether to watch this film and respect your right to exit the screening room at any point should you find the content uncomfortable or distressing.
"THE MOVIE IS ABOUT BELIEVING IN YOURSELF AS AN ARTIST AND TRYING TO CONVINCE YOURSELF THAT YOU HAVE SOMETHING YOU WANT TO SAY. AND FOR ME, IT WAS ALWAYS IMPORTANT THAT WHAT I HAVE TO SAY IS VERY SIMPLE. IF I PAINT A PAINTING OF A COW, IT'S A PAINTING OF A COW. THERE IS NOTHING UNDERNEATH. THERE'S ALSO THIS PARADOX THAT I THINK HAS HUMOUR TO IT: THAT IS LIKE, POOR ME, BUT ALSO LIKE, COME ON, YOU KNOW, YOU ALSO HAVE A LOT OF FUN."
Bjarne Melgaard, 2024
Exorcism of the Last Painting I Ever Made