Coral Gables Amazing Sculpture: “Pause”

Copyright 2022 Helen Lemus

Rafael Barrios

Mr. Barrios studied art in Canada, Venezuela and the United States. This sculpture was placed in Coral Gables in 2019. Originally, this work was displayed at the Coral Gables Museum with over 20 other pieces when this work arrived in the Gables. The exhibition was called Ontological Curiosity. There words were said about it in Coral Gables’ website.

Pause is a large-scale luminescent steel sculpture appearing as a stacked series of three-dimensional rectangles that mysteriously defy gravity and disappear as one passes by. Barrios plays with shapes and altering the laws of geometry, as seen in similar sculptures in the exhibition Ontological Curiosity. Artworks in the exhibition include small and large-scale sculptures, hanging kinetic works, mobiles, carpets, and works that play with light and shadow.

City’s Arts and Culture Specialist, Catherine Cathers.

Pause received recognition from Art Basel prior to being placed in its current location in front of Gables City Hall.

It made me think of rectangular blocks falling and just stopping in mid-air suddenly. As you walk around the sculpture, the blocks seem to recede and then pop back out as you make progress around the sculpture. At different times of the day, the sculpture shifts, too, relative to the position of the sun in the sky.

Looking at this work always inspires me to think about sculpture in a different way because it really does seem to move and shift, but simultaneously gives the illusion of stasis. Most interesting. Pause is located on the corner of LeJeune Road and Miracle Mile.

Description of Photograph of “Pause”

In these two shots, I decided to refrain from using anything but natural light. I tried to shoot in the afternoon with no special settings on my camera.

The shot on the left has a sunburst because the sunlight just bounced off of the side of the sculpture. I thought that it looked kind of neat.

Artist Bio

Picture of a white man with glasses wearing a brown jacket and print tie.  This is the artist, Rafael Barrios.
The Sculptor, Rafael Barrios

Rafael Barrios was born in Baton Rouge, Louisiana of Venezuelan ancestry. He studied in Caracas, Venezuela. As a very young person, he received a “youth prize” for art. Then, he traveled to Ontario, Canada because he received a scholarship. Finally, he was awarded a scholarship to study art at New York University’s Graduate Program for Fine Arts.

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