Madrid – Portuguese-born Brazilian artist Artur Barrio has been chosen as the recipient of the 2011 Velazquez Prize, Spanish Culture Minister Angeles Gonzalez-Sinde announced Tuesday.
The prize, which is accompanied by 125,000 euros ($180,000), acknowledges the universality of Barrio's visual language expressed in such unconventional materials as trash and perishable waste.
Barrio builds into his works "a radical poetic art that echoes and creates a relationship with political situations," Gonzalez-Sinde said.
Among Barrio's most iconic works, Colombian artist Doris Salcedo - winner of the 2010 Velazquez Prize - pointed to the "Trouxas Ensanguentadas" (Bloody Packages) that he began to create in the 1970s using materials like blood, plastic, pieces of fresh meat and bones.
These works were reflections on the operations of vicious death squads in Brazil following the coup d'etat in 1964.
The Velazquez Prize has been awarded by the Culture Ministry since 2002 to candidates nominated by fine arts academies, modern and contemporary art museums, associations of art critics and other institutions linked to the visual arts.