Michael Barnes


DeKalb, IL

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Michael Barnes was born in 1969 in Michigan.  He grew up outside the small town of Ithaca, where his family lived on a wooded plot in the midst of farmland.  This wooded plot contained a 19th century family cemetery where he spent much of his youth playing and fostering his imagination for later ventures in his artistic life.  The recent body of graphic works by Michael Barnes depicts figures that wander or are stranded within the vacuum that has been created for them by the specific world in which they exist.  They are oblivious to their immediate surroundings and the menial tasks to which they are assigned or have voluntarily adopted to cope with their existence.  The work addresses, in part, the destructive nature and absurdities that so readily prevail for human kind, along with themes of mortality and the philosophical questions of existence in general.  The images are concerned with environment, social decay leaning towards an inward and isolated path, and cynicism about the historical evolution of so called civilization and its effects upon the world and its inhabitants.