Being a descendant of a family of filmmakers, Barnaby Sax grew up on and around films sets all of his life. All that exposure has without a doubt motivated his compositional and observational style. He starts by meticulously arranging and photographing scenes, which are then uploaded and extensively edited. Finally being perfected in several maquette stages of painting and coloration in preparation for the full size oil painted version, in all of its glory. His tendency to use valiant slabs of colour could also be traced back in much the same manner, to a life in Africa as a British kid. Although now, Barnaby is very much rooted in London, citing the city’s calculated and clinical personality as finding expression in quite a bit of his work.
As a collective Barnaby’s work could be considered inconsiderate, but upon further inspection there is an uncomfortable sensation derived from the inability to label or categorise what we see. This is particularly relevant in a current society where we seek to classify everything in order to deduce and comprehend it. A lot of his work has its foundations in the photo-realism of the late 20th century, yet here he deliberately skews the sense of realism to jar the viewer’s perception. Barnaby compares his own work in essence to an artistic elaboration on Sigmund Freud’s “The Uncanny”. Which for those of you who don’t know, details an instance of where something can be familiar yet foreign at the same time, resulting in a feeling of being uncomfortably strange.
His work is almost a wunderkammer (a cabernet of curiosities); you never quite know what’s going to pop up next. The motif of masking something tangible, plays with the idea of creating an additional exterior to something identifiable versus decoration as a craft, all of which Barnaby tests in his explorations of art.
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