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Here's the $70,000 Superhero Sculpture You Can Buy at the Armory Show

An aging Thing from Fantastic Four takes root at New York's premiere art fair.
March 3, 2015, 10:00pm
GILLES BARBIER, A very old Thing, 2015, Mixed media, 180 x 180 x 115 cm / 70 7/8 x 70 7/8 x 45 1/4 in., Edition of 3 + 1 A.P., Courtesy Galerie GP & N Vallois, Paris, Photo: J.-C. Lett

The “totemic feature” of Galerie Georges-Philippe & Nathalie Vallois booth at this year’s Armory Show is Thing from Marvel superhero team Fantastic Four, literally gone to seed. In French avant-garde artist Gilles Barbier’s A very old Thing, the aged, orange humanoid reclines on a chintzy armchair, his rocky skin riddled with mosses and plants. And for $70,000, taxes not included, edition 1/3 can be yours.

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Barbier’s sculptural works have long pushed the boundaries of artistic representations with their twisted imagery and confounding themesA very old Thing joins a crippled Superman, an over-stretched Mr. Fantastic, and a comatose Catwoman in The Nursing Home, the artist's series of darkly humorous pieces that touch on the topic of aging.

GILLES BARBIER, A very old Thing, 2015, Mixed media, 180 x 180 x 115 cm / 70 7/8 x 70 7/8 x 45 1/4 in., Edition of 3 + 1 A.P., Courtesy Galerie GP & N Vallois, Paris, Photo: J.-C. Lett

GILLES BARBIER, A very old Thing, 2015, Mixed media, 180 x 180 x 115 cm / 70 7/8 x 70 7/8 x 45 1/4 in., Edition of 3 + 1 A.P., Courtesy Galerie GP & N Vallois, Paris, Photo: J.-C. Lett

GILLES BARBIER, A very old Thing, 2015, Mixed media, 180 x 180 x 115 cm / 70 7/8 x 70 7/8 x 45 1/4 in., Edition of 3 + 1 A.P., Courtesy Galerie GP & N Vallois, Paris, Photo: J.-C. Lett

GILLES BARBIER, A very old Thing, 2015, Mixed media, 180 x 180 x 115 cm / 70 7/8 x 70 7/8 x 45 1/4 in., Edition of 3 + 1 A.P., Courtesy Galerie GP & N Vallois, Paris, Photo: J.-C. Lett

Barbier’s A very old Thing will be on display from March 5-8 at Pier 94. Find out more about the show on the gallery’s website.

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