Brighton-based Barry Wilson is known for his Abstract Expressionist paintings which he fashions using a unique combination of acrylic and gold leaf on canvas, producing the charming effect of vintage photography. His landscape paintings depict bygone worlds hidden under flaking paint and new age constructions, but not quite forgotten.
Barry’s Education and Early Career
Barry Wilson studied at the Camberwell School of Art, guided by influential artists such as Bruce Mclean, Cornelia Parker, Jock Mcfadden and Ian Mckeever. Barry also spent some time working as an interior designer. He was involved in various TV and Film production projects painting scenery, a period which led to Barry’s fascination with his signature gold leaf medium and the techniques that can be applied to it.
Style and Practice
The aim of Barry’s mixed-media paintings is to emulate the reflection of an antique mirror or the look of a creased yet much-loved photograph. Barry dexterously evokes themes of evanescence and the fragility of memory by distressing the surfaces of his paintings using industrial spray guns, scouring pads and water jets, thereby echoing the peeling facades of the past and the decay of grandeur. All is not quite lost, however, as is suggested and enhanced by the beautiful gold leaf base that shines through. The result, as quoted by Barry, “is a vibrant and edgy captured moment; contemporary and beautiful”, as seen in the magical seascape Golden Light (2020). Barry also experiments with chinoiserie wallpaper and photo montages.
Collections and Exhibitions
Barry has enjoyed international acclaim for his work which has been showcased in major museums and galleries worldwide. His paintings have been homed in private collections across the UK, USA and the Far East. Barry was the 2012 Winner of the prestigious Saatchi Award.