Interview
Interview

ArtistsinAuction

The work of Richard Eugene  Barbera (he prefers Gene) has a youthful spirit and energy that is easy to get excited about, so we were extremely excited to talk to him. We played a little bit of phone tag because he was in Madrid, Spain with his wife and their three-month-old son on a visit to see his grandparents.

All of Gene’s work is chock full of attitude and expression. His influence started at a very young age. During his childhood in Portland, Maine  he embraced the beauty of his surroundings, but unlike most Maine painters who got caught up with the intense scenery, Gene flocked to the various people that filled the working  industries. He started taking classes at the Portland Art School just before his senior year in high school, where he made books of chalk and pastel drawings. A lot of his earlier work was done on beautiful antique music paper.

From those fisherman in his early life in Maine to the natives encountered during extensive travel around the world – all the various expressions and characters are what make up his paintings today. With unforgiving and meaningful one-stroke executions, he creates a distinct personality, often adding uncomplimentary colors and exaggerated cartoon-like features that result in a mysterious finish.

Plex

Plex

Picnic

Picnic

“People can understand and relate to figures,” Gene says of his work. He has always loved figures. He especially loves the feeling one receives when they see expression in the eyes. Gene recalls being moved by Richard Diebenkorn’s figures at a show in San Francisco in the late 70’s.  He especially loved how the figures felt like huge slabs of paint.

We find the most thrilling aspect of Gene’s work not to be the energetic compositions that we are allowed to see on his canvases, but rather the mystique and intrigue of what we don’t see. Who are the figures that comprise his subject matter and what are they thinking and feeling?

Melody

Melody

Gene has sold some of his pieces, but it’s tough he says. For over fifteen years now he has been a slave to his craft – he is one of those artists who is always working on a painting or a drawing.  He  feels that art should be priced affordably so that more people can enjoy it. That makes Gene Barbera and his art a perfect addition to the ArtistsinAuction gallery.

Gene currently lives in Stanford, Connecticut.

To view the ArtistsinAuction website click here.

To view more of R. Gene Barbera’s work, click here.

With Tea

With Tea

Breeze
Breeze