William Barnes is one of the new breed of contemporary realists. His mystical paintings flirt with surrealism in their subject matter. As Barnes explains, things appear as they should, seemingly normal, but somehow oddly out of kilter in some undefinable way. For more than twenty years this artist has been working in casein, a notoriously difficult medium but one that gives a beautiful surface quality, much like that of egg tempera. Barnes small translucent paintings gives us reason to ponder about the meaning, yet the artist is reluctant to explain the message. He feels that most artists have a difficult time explaining the content of their work and likes to paraphrase Edward Hopper- If you could say it in words, there would be no reason to paint it.
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