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Calling Attention: The Art Portfolio of Barry Scanlan


A painting on newspaper expressing a warning about extinctionThe Road to Extinction, acrylic on newspaper

Barry Scanlan is a mixed media artist who often uses his practice as a method of calling attention to social, political, and environmental issues. Barry’s works tend to be colourful and stylized, incorporating text that lends each piece a punk or DIY-esque aesthetic.


A colourful image with a figure of a skeletonProfits. Wealth. Money. Nothing Else Matters, acrylic and paint pens on newspaper

 

Barry’s recent series of work, Corporate Environmental Abuse, focuses on just that. The artworks in this series are aggressive, but not entirely humourless. Bright colours and cartoonish figures peer forth from a dystopian world that looks suspiciously similar to the one we live in today. Text that seems like it could exist on protest signs frames these images, making them impossible to overlook.


The front page of Barry Scanlan's art websiteBarry's art portfolio website

 

I also enjoy the way that Barry plays with texture and media in his artworks. In his portraits gallery, for example, the artist showcases recent experiments painting on canvas that’s been textured with pumice. The resulting effect hearkens to ancient frescos, and the heavily textured abstract works of Nella Lush.


A political painting made using textured mixed mediaPolitics and Money, acrylics, pumice, oil sticks


About the author

Dallas Jeffs Art Writer

Dallas Jeffs is the Editor of Artist Run Website's blog. She is a recent graduate of Emily Carr University of Art and Design, where she studied Critical and Cultural Practices. She is passionate about talking and writing about art, and sharing that interest with others. In her studio practice she is a painter, but she considers herself an art writer and educator foremost. If you like art, books and culture with a science fiction twist, check out Dallas' personal blog, HappySpaceNoises

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