Barry Johnson Out Of Sight Reviews


I was recently given the opportunity of my life where I was invited to show work at the satellite exhibition Out Of Sight during Seattle Art Fair. This was such an awesome opportunity and lead to a first time event in my life where I had someone write about my work. The pieces that included in the show where part of the combination series that I recently began. 

I'm beyond grateful for the kinds words given by The Stranger and City Arts regarding my pieces. 




Out of Sight, Into Mind: Art On the Margins of the Seattle Art Fair. 

"Barry Johnson is a visual artist who works in painting, sculpture, video art, installation, and illustration. Most recently, he's been working on a series of paintings of men who have their faces obscured by various compositional devices—an artful crop here, a strategically draped hoodie there, or even a framed picture-within-a-picture affixed to the painting, almost humorously calling attention to its own role in the obfuscation.

Instead of seeing faces, we are given sumptuous pastel color fields and decorative arrays of found objects that hint at narratives. Untitled 26 incorporates roofing materials, skewer sticks, and a painted segment of a branch, all positioned behind the back of a figure rendered in house paint with loose, confident strokes. The resulting image is simultaneously mysterious and familiar; anonymous and specific. There is a strength in this tension that makes me curious to see more of Johnson's work." -Emily Pothast

Out of Sight Is Big, Beautiful and Bright

Barry Johnson’s portraits of men in profile, set against bubblegum pink or baby-blue backgrounds, leave us yearning for what's left unseen. Johnson [disclosure: Johnson also works for City Arts] omits the most intriguing parts, leaving faces out of frame, or at times literally veiled by objects like a folding fan that's been affixed directly to the canvas. -Margo Vansynghel


Combination Paintings: Shaded, Untilted 21, Untitled 26 and Stamped Out

Support art for less than a cup of coffee. 

Paint alone doesn't seem to be doing it for me these days. I want to add more and more and just keeping putting everything on canvas. There's really nothing that I can't turn into art these days.

I've recently been frustrated with the amount of attention put into faces in art. Personally, I think we get to caught up in the face and disregard all of the beauty that lies around it so I started making a series of painting of men that have their faces removed. I've combined every day objects with the portraits revealing new stories about the pieces. 

This portrait contains roofing material, wood skewer sticks and a branch. 

This image has a fan that I collected during a writing trip to Hawaii where I created a number of works from every day material. It also has wood skewer sticks.

This piece was created with red tape and plaster.

This piece combines wood panel, plaster and clay.

Untitled 21

Untitled 21

Expect more over soon.

You, That Called My Daughter Sassy

Recently, while at the Children’s Museum, you spotted my 3-year-old daughter doing tricks on the handrail in front of me while telling me not to take my eyes off her while she climbed over and under it. As she pulled herself up time and time again, she would attempt to climb onto the kids’ cave made of wood and would stop each time I asked her to. You heard her ask “why?” multiple times, as I explained to her the dangers of climbing up there. After a few attempts, she decided to settle for not climbing up there, and while she continued to play, you leaned over so that you were in my peripheral sight and said, “she’s sassy, isn’t she?” Without taking my eyes off my daughter, I opened my mouth to respond, but Eva was off to the next toy so I walked away.

This isn’t the first time that this has happened. My wife and I have both had encounters where someone has told us our daughter was sassy. The intent seems not to align with the meaning though, as whenever I look up ‘sassy’ and ‘kids’, I’m met with hundreds of articles on how to deal with outspoken children that talk back and are out of line.

Let’s dive into this and what I seem to think about my kid’s behavior.

While at the Children’s Museum, my daughter tried to climb higher with each attempt because we taught her to be fearless, and even though you might get some bumps and bruises, you never give up and go as far as you can.

My daughter insisted that I watch her every move whenever she was showing me a new trick because we taught her that she needs to ensure that her voice is heard, and that when speaking with someone, to request 100% of their attention and make sure you do the same.


We taught her to question everything and to ask as many questions as needed, so if you see her asking me “why” five times about the same situation, it means the first answer hasn’t quite made sense and that she’s in need of more information.

If you see her playing with one thing then going on to another, it’s because we told her the greatest lessons and experiences come exploring, and that she should constantly be in search of new things.

If the intent of your comment was that our child was being defiant and outspoken, you’re wrong. She’s demonstrating the traits that need to be seen in a society of silence. Why not teach someone how to use their voice and exercise judgement later in life? That makes no sense.

The behavior that you noticed is driven by the same characteristics that guides our entire household. Everyone is held to the same standard, so the next time you see our child out, and her behavior leads you to make a comment, I’ll remind you of the golden rule and that if you choose to make a comment, be prepared to answer “why” multiple times.

Barry Johnson

Why I Gave Away Art

"As soon as you become good at drawing with your left hand, immediately switch to your right."

I've been working feverishly on project after project across multiple mediums. I've fallen in love with the concept of concept art. Each project is approached in a different way with no real high expectation of the outcome. Just wanting to simply make something awesome.

To keep my work fresh and new, I recently decided that with each person that signs up for my newsletter, I'll mail them a piece of art for free with the style that you prefer. This exercise is great as it keeps me in so many different forms of art. I'll get emails requesting pop, surreal, hyper-reastic and everything else. I take one morning out of the week to fulfill all of the request and send them out with a hand-written note thanking the person for signing up and challenging me to make something on the fly for them.

The art comes in the way of postcards, is signed and has a handwritten message on the back of them.

I'll keep this practice up and don't have any plans on stopping it.

If you want a piece you can sign-up below and you'll get a note from me with a request for your preferred style and mailing address. Try it out.



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