RICHARD GENE BARBERA


Statement:

Through simplicity and minimalism, I aim to capture the essential beauty of nature and life. My artwork distills patterns, forms, and experiences into their purest essence. I am drawn to conveying the character of my subjects without unnecessary complexity.

Influenced by my background in graphic design, I take an iconographic approach to abstraction. Bold shapes, clean lines, and vivid color symbolically represent my observations. I give viewers just enough visual information to spark imagination and interpretation. Some guesswork makes the work more engaging.

My creative process is one of constant evolution and surprise. Each new piece builds on the last in an intuitive way. By continually practicing observation and reduction, my understanding of my subjects deepens. Yet there is always more to learn.

I am deeply committed to the philosophy that less is more. Simplicity does not have to mean expected or straightforward. Finding the balance point between complex reality and minimalist representation is my constant challenge. I aim to present the everyday in a novel way and add beauty through careful editing. My hope is that through simplicity and thoughtful reduction, my work reveals new perspectives on our common visual language.

For a long time now, my work has found a clearer resolution by just using a simplistic approach. Every day images dont have to be what you expect. Add beauty, add form, add a sense of place. I like to give you some history spans as a Brand Graphic Designer, I've learned to make things simple and leave out the static/ noise which makes your message almost iconic, The creative evolution of my work is sometimes as surprising to me as it is to others. 

Concern and awareness that our beautiful surrounding will not last if we don't respect them.


Born and raised in Maine, the rugged, windswept coastline has long provided inspiration for my landscape paintings. I aim to capture the raw, dynamic beauty of this place through energetic digital brushwork and thick impasto textures. My artwork explores the ephemeral effects of light, weather, and tide on the coastal environment.

Growing up coastal, the ocean and tidepools were my first art studio. I'm drawn to conveying the sense of awe I first felt exploring the diverse marine ecosystems as a child. Beginning with on-location sketches allows me to observe and translate the subtle changes in light, color, and motion I witness along the shore. I then develop these into digital paintings. Up-close studies of weathered rocks, seaweed, and receding tides express the constant rhythms of the sea.

At the same time, my paintings acknowledge the fragility of this environment due to climate change. Eroding coastlines, warming waters, and acidification threaten this ecosystem. Dynamic seascapes aim to immerse the viewer in the vitality of this place before it disappears. I work from my sketches to capture the fleeting effects of weather and light. Bold digital brushwork and thick layers of digital paint echo the unpredictable power of the ocean.

Many viewers have shared that my coastal landscapes remind them of the natural beauty along the Maine shoreline and evoke their own familiar coastal experiences. My aim is to capture this majestic yet precarious environment before it is lost. Stylistically, I break each scene into mosaic-like pieces, with fractured brushwork and composition. The fragmented, puzzle-like style suggests the complexity hiding beneath the surface of these environments.

My vision comes from a deep concern for the environment and desire to inspire conservation efforts. My hope is that my work rekindles the viewer’s sense of wonder in nature. Through my lifelong connection to this place, I strive to share the majestic, yet precarious beauty of the Maine coast.

I practice art under visiting artist at the Portland School of Art (before MECA). Before finishing I gained a degree in graphic design at the University of Hartford, after attending the University of Southern Maine where I was able to practice drawing and painting. I moved to the New York City area after college, and designed large scale branding identities for large international companies such as NHL, Topps, Colgate, and NARS Group. When he is not painting, or practicing art, I always travels to Madrid, Spain with his wife and two young children, where he manages to find more inspiration in his travels.