David Barnes

Region: Northeast

The precarious or uncertain nature of our lives is the subject of my work. This theme is mirrored in the construction of the artworks. Mine are relatively thin paintings with little underpainting and an economy of actual brush marks. The intent and cumulative effect, when viewed from a distance, is one of a solid image with weight, light, and three dimensions. On closer inspection, the few essential brushstrokes, made with restraint and speed, produce an image that appears to hover, either contracting into solidity or exploding apart.

The significance of the imagery is intentionally open-ended. I direct the viewer’s gaze toward the periphery, the ignored, and the after-the-act. Detritus, rubble, a hole in the ground, and glimpses of industrial architecture depict liminal spaces that subtly evoke violent change. The individual objects within the paintings—a puddle, a mailbox, a plane overhead—bring the viewer to the threshold of banality or collective anxiety.

My objective is to point to life’s precariousness, its transient nature, and its beauty.