'How Aren't You?' from the series 'The Illusion of Mattering' Oil on Panel Painting by Marc Barker
In this monochromatic painting by Marc Barker, a central male figure emerges from the bottom of the panel, arms crossed in a contemplative pose. His facial features are not distinguished or detailed. Above his head are numerous nondescript heads and shoulders of shadowed figures in a crowd upside down as though emerging from the head, or thoughts, of the male figure. The central ghosted figure first emerging is shrouded by a veil falling into the background. Clearer, dark heads are not veiled as heavily and seem to emerge from the fogged background.
The painting appears as a drawing or etching as the artist uses traditional methods to obtain a Renaissance feel to the work.
This painting was used as a book cover for the Chinese translation of the Portugese author António Lobo Antunes novel about the Angolan war for independence, ‘The Land at the End of the World.’
Artist's Statement: "My education was in mathematics, limnology and art. I revere nature and question my place within it, the Mystery, prismatic sunsets and sensuous memories exploring, surveying and photographing caves with their invented light, solitude, and deafening silence. I transform these experiences into psychologically contemplative subjects including shadow figures, asterisms, cloudscapes, political mixed media and abstractions."
Marc Barker has over 35 years experience in the arts and over 25 years experience teaching and producing in the field of interactive media. He managed Paseo Intaglio Printers in the late 1980s and continued into the 90s with editioning and contract printing for local and national artists. He was selected as 2004 Festival of the Arts juror for the Arts Council of Oklahoma City and helped create the Artful Experience committee for the Arts Council of Oklahoma City. He chaired that committee for its first two years which taught principles of printmaking to festival goers through exhibits and demonstrations. He was the guest juror for the 2009 Paseo Festival of the Arts and the 2019 Goddard Center 47th Annual Competition. Marc was the Allied Artist representing Oklahoma Visual Arts Coalition, had an exhibit in the State Capitol of Oklahoma’s East Gallery in 2008, and was selected for representation in the Oklahoma State Art Collection at the State Capitol.