(B.1997) Afifa Bari is a contemporary realist oil painter and textile artist based in Toronto. She earned her BFA from York University in 2020. Through representational art, she examines the contemporary world through the lens of capitalism, uncovering consumerist values in her work. She discusses issues around ideas of capitalism, such as poverty and the cycle of consumerism. Her work focuses on material possessions and the desire for materialism in the newly advancing society. She discusses fast fashion trends and the constant desire to purchase more in modern society.
The impact humans make on the environment is extensive. One aspect that plays a major role is that of capitalism and materialism. What drove me to uncover and dive deeper is the impact of the fashion industry and in turn modern consumer culture. My work essentially uncovers the fashion industry from an environmental and socio-political outlook.
Primarily using oil paints, my compilation of works reflects my internal struggle linked to my shopping habits. My work plunges into capturing the fabrication of clothing, and its impact on our environment. Focusing on consumerism and capitalist values, I discuss consumerism from different perspectives. My recent series of work titled “Je n’ai rein a porter.” roughly translating to “I have nothing to wear” pays homage to our constant desire to constantly purchase more items in a widely capitalistic society. This work is one that plays into our mundane lives while focusing on the consumerist values that surround us. Furthermore, this concept transforms itself into installations and sculptures sourced from my own scraps and recycled materials. This is further translated into digital collages, works on paper and various other mediums.
My work asks the avid consumer, whether they understand where their clothes come from and in turn where they end up. Through my oil paintings, digital art, and installations using textile scraps, I hope to promote ethical practices as a consumer and encourage a sustainable lifestyle.