Alvaro Barrington’s Next Move

Andrew Durbin, Frieze, July 1, 2021

In London, Alvaro Barrington wakes to the sight of commuter trains passing by his bedroom window. When I visit his flat in Shoreditch one spring morning, we sit on his balcony and talk as the carriages screech by at a regular clip. Gliding along the curve of the overground track that connects the East End to south London, they pass the numerous new skyscrapers that line Bishopsgate. ‘When I came here,’ Barrington says, nodding absently at the ever-rising towers, some girdled in construction netting and cranes, ‘I was a student. I kept thinking about this place from a working-class perspective. Building structures, building cities, building spaces.’ Sunlight – rare this March – refracts from the city towards us. With the COVID-19 vaccine rollout underway in the UK and lockdown restrictions easing, the artist is now thinking about his next move.