John Barker has been described by critic Iris McLister as "a fervent creator of images that possess a singularly accessible humanity-- and as such his works are rife with neuroses and noise." A fantastic bit of prose for a fantastic emerging painter.
The Book of John explores the contraries of Poetic Genius as described by William Blake: Attraction and Repulsion; Love and Hate; Energy and Reason. All are found in the playfully explosive paintings by Santa Fe artist, John Barker. Barker delves into the seductive energy of human social and psychological activity. To Barker, his paintings are purely representational. He creates an image as he sees it, in the likeness of the person he is painting. He conjures the energetic, emotional current of the person he depicts. He brings to life the paradoxes inherent in each person; the ugly and the beautiful in their essence. Barker’s social and emotional experiences fuel powerful visual storytelling. His paintings are archetypal, with the expressionistic, scrawled lines surrounding the portraits, representing the inner frenzy of the anima/animus. As art historians like to point out, an artist’s portraits always contain an aspect of the artist’s own image. Perhaps this is true in Barker’s paintings, but rather than judge the tension created by the psyche’s opposing forces, his works honor the Imagination. For Barker as for Blake, “Prayer is the Study of Art. Praise is the Practice of Art.” (From Blake’s Laocoon) For more information please contact Tonya Turner Carroll at 505.986.9800, or firstname.lastname@example.org.