An image of a face can tell quite a story, especially when painted on a found object. Together they create a unique portrayal because the scarred wood has a personality all its own and the subtleties of the human expressions are endless. In "Faces", Detroit artist Glen Barr focuses on the face, the striking face, the iconic and the ideal face as his narrative.
"I feel the paintings for this show need something other than canvas to rest on, so I've used found lumber, scavenged from the Detroit landscape, much as I used to do when I started out in the art world. I've always liked painting on found objects that have history and personality, like tired, sun-bleached panels from some collapsed building, or discarded cabinet doors lying alongside the road. By discovering them and painting on them, I'm infusing these wood remnants with new life, which gives my work a natural aesthetic of familiarity and creates a permanent visual of the iconic ideal. There is some new ground I am going to cover too which I rarely do. I will have a few "likenesses" in the exhibition and I had a great time painting them"states Barr.
At the beginning of his career and throughout the 1980s and 1990s, Barr contributed to graphic novels, animated cartoons, rock poster art and a variety of other ephemera. Recognition for his paintings came with solo exhibitions in the late 1990s Since then, he has exhibited internationally and published compilations of his work in "Lowlife Paradise" (2003), "Haunted Paradise" (2006) and his new volume, "Faces."
About the book:
Detroit-based artist Glenn Barr presents a 96-page compilation featuring details from 80 paintings and drawings he created over the past five years. Inspired by the complex expressions and raw emotions revealed by faces, Barr invokes the human condition, creating a multitude of personalities ranging from extraordinarily common to extreme and fantastic. Barr uses pencil and brush to render elegant and elongated necklines, exaggerated eyes, and the gentle or jagged slopes shaping the noses or foreheads of the men, women, and monsters he creates, whether they are beautiful, ordinary, or even grotesque. Expressed in the intricate details of each image, Barr presents a delicate mix of texture, color and line typical of the his loose but carefully executed style. Turn the page to reveal subtle or manic emotions of the wise, the wicked and the wistful. "Faces" brings each reader one step closer to experiencing first hand the compelling mind and interesting characters found in the world of Glenn Barr.
"Distortion and contortion of the FACE gives me the freedom to tell a better story and to create a better composition. Elongating the neck and exaggerating the eyes, the forehead either grossly enlarged or minutely petite, the odd slope of the nose, even the oversized and perhaps misplaced mouth, can reveal the subtlest emotions. Even the hair framing the FACE can stream decorously, capable of communicating a life all its own, one grounded perhaps in vague tragedy or masked rapture. I also love the play of light and shadow, assisting and enhancing the narrative, creating mood and energy within the frame, expressing the emotion. In essence, it's all about dynamics."
Hardcover: 96 pages, published by Last Gasp, Release date: September 1, 2011, English, ISBN-13: 978-0867197679, 6 x 6 x 0.5 inches, 8 ounces
La Luz de Jesus is located at the Soap Plant/Wacko building, in Los Feliz at 4633 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90027. Gallery hours are Monday - Wednesday: 11am - 7pm, Thursday - Saturday: 11am - 9pm and Sunday 12-6pm.