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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. They hold a degree in Critical and Cultural Practices from Emily Carr University of Art and Design, as well as a certificate in Technical Writing from BCIT. Dallas has a passion for speaking and writing about art, and sharing that interest with others. In their studio practice they are an illustrator and budding tattoo artist, but they consider themselves a writer foremost. If you like art, books and culture with a science fiction twist, check out Dallas' personal blog, HappySpaceNoises or their art on Instagram.

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