Friday, September 28, 2007

Shawn Barber (Mike's Pick)



Shawn Barber is a painter who I discovered in a book called I am 8-bit. The book was a collection of art inspired by the video games of the late 80s and early 90s, and featured a painting of his depicting a terrified up-close face with space-invaders aliens reflected in the eyes. His painting and those of others in the book were a large part of the reason I started painting 8-bit art which became a 2 year project and led me to the ideas I am working with now, about perception and art.

Though I unfortunately wasn’t able to find the original image that inspired me, I have been browsing his more recent work, which i find to also resonate with me. He has been doing a series of portraits based on tattoos, which have long been a fascination of mine, and another series of dolls.

Tattoo series

Doll series

I enjoy the painterly realism that Barber creates. He is able to give us all the information we need in his portraits to form a detailed image of the subject, yet his style remains loose and fluid. I value this balance of realism and loosenes in painting and strive to achieve it in my own work.

Barber’s work reminds me Antony Micallef’s paintings also (Peter’s pick). The doubletracking between loose brushwork and realism at a distance is admirable in both cases, and what drew me to painting enlargements of video game characters. How can something be at once as realistic as our experiences and yet completely abstract?

FINALLY, I really liked Michael’s post about Robert Parkeharrison. I totally love surrealism in photography.

3 comments:

Michael P. Moore said...

I find it really interesting that you are interested in some of the same themes and are trying to resolve the same concerns in your own work, which is visually so radically different. Were you referring to paintings like the ones you have shown recently, or just as a whole, when you write that "I value this balance of realism and loosenes in painting and strive to achieve it in my own work."

I could have said that in 10 words, maybe. And maybe the question reads backwards.

Seah said...

I like this stuff a lot. His work with the doll series makes me think about incorporating more context into my own work.

Mike Seidman said...

i was speaking generally, but it is definitely something i am working to resolve in my current project. the seeing/not seeing of content and process. how the two can flip back and forth.