brett barmby

winner of the mary plumb blade award 
for excellence in painting or printmaking

Buff Marks is a series of paintings intended to oscillate between illusionistic recreations of real-world scenes and provisional abstract paintings. Receiving my education from an institution heralded for its intense focus on theory and strong push away from figurative work, I see these paintings as a playful jab at these values. Coming from a background with a focus on historical oil painting techniques, this series implies that institution has in a sense "beat" me at the end of my education. It has moulded me into an artist who creates museum scale abstract paintings of amorphous coloured shapes. The subtle hints of depth, perspective, and figure/ground reveal that I've stubbornly remained in the realm of figuration, turning the joke back onto the institution. The series is not process based, but documentary, finding examples of "wild" abstract compositions in the streets made from incidental gestures that are meant to conceal very deliberate, subversive gestures. I document these layered collaborations, cropping them to appear as process based high-art abstract paintings. Essentially, Buff Marks is a series of paintings of painted over paintings.  - Brett Barmby

Buff Marks (10 Incidental Compositions), 2014
12x15'' panels on 96'' pine shelves., Oil on Panel