Barcena, Paul

“The meaning of conflict changes from person to person, place to place, language to language.
Events throughout the world last year, this year – this month, even – have highlighted our divisions, be they political, racial, religious, sexual, or generational. The big and the small. The system and the fringes. The known and the unknown. Continuity and change. The similarities and the differences.
Outsiders who want in on any system have to play the game, it seems. There is a language in each world; a way to do things, a way to see things, a way to buy things, a way to discuss things. There are names to know, places to visit, coffee table books to get. There is an air of exclusivity. So where do outsiders fit in? There is a dialogue. There is also a tension.
Reductively described, this project is a series of pairs: two images layered over one another. At its root, this simple juxtaposition digs into the uneasy conflict of merging two worlds together.
The large photos that serve as backgrounds were made at the major art institutions in New York City, one of the world’s art capitals. They are black and white, structured, formal, big. The small color photos capture parts of the un-curated world outside. In some ways they clash, in some ways they align”



Paul Barcena is a fine art photographer.

He was born in 1986 in Querétaro, Mexico, not far from the capital. First trained in Accounting and Finance, he worked in that field for five years.

Photography came into play gradually. It started with personal experiments and part-time classes at La Escuela Activa de Fotografía nearby. Eventually he took it a step further, moving to New York City to train at the International Center of Photography, graduating in 2016.

He is currently living and working in New York.



Institutionalized (solo exhibition)

– SoAM Studio, New York City, 2017

Another Kind of Paradise

– International Center of Photography, New York City, 2016


Rita K. Hillman Award for Excellence

– International Center of Photography, New York City, 2016



– International Center of Photography, 2016