Barry L Mason

BARRY L. MASON
Artist
“Barry Mason’s paintings (with their brilliant colors, dynamic irregular formats and forms that hint at African folk motifs) can be compared to the music of the great American composers like Ellington and Mingus, who achieved an exquisite balance of jazz improvisational and classical composition”
 (–J. Sanders Eaton, Gallery & Studio Magazine
Barry L. Mason’s large shaped, sculpted paintings reflect a merging of several influences from his boyhood years growing up in the scenic small town of Snow Hill, Md. to the broad spectrum of experiences over 40 years that have led to his present roles as a world-class painter, popular photo journalist and respected arts instructor.
He has been called a modern-day Basquiat, and like the famous artist, he sees the art of everything and the artist in everybody.
“As a young boy growing up in Snow Hill, I felt an attraction to the awesomeness of the farmlands, the natural lines of farm buildings; the rich stories of my ancestors who lived in this historic area,” he says.  “I was immersed in the vast scenic landscapes, the beaches and islands along the Eastern Shore.  The later looked back and reflected on how the vast sky in that region must have seemed like an artwork itself, although I did not call it that at the time. I just remember always having a desire to create, to construct and to draw.  Now, 40 plus years later, art and those impressions still fuels my creative process and the work ethic acquired through the traditions of my ancestors continue to be a significant part of my life.
 “The journey has been great.
“At Indiana State University, I created my first abstract and large-scale works on canvas.  As one of ISU’s student staff photographers, I documented campus life and sports activities (photographing fellow students Larry Bird, the basketball great, and Kurt Thomas, the gymnast.  It was the beginning of my foray into photo documentation which has manifested itself in work on the African Burial Ground from the reinternment ceremonies to the site’s designation as a National Historic Landmark; and more than 20 years of photo placements in hundreds of newspapers across the United States.  
“My art has been shown at galleries across the United States, yet it can be seen in small community galleries, where, for instance in Brooklyn, where I’ve led residents of all ages, in painting.
“One of my highest achievements of all of the awards and mentions, was in the late 1970’s when as a student at The Corcoran School of Art in Washington, DC., I exhibited at The White House.  A few years later, I created my first shaped painting, “Carry Not Any Burdens”.  
“During the early 1980’s, shaping, stretching and sculpting my canvasses and wood frames -- with the purpose of the final piece appearing to float in the air as opposed to positioned on the wall --has been as an integral to my creative process as the canvass painting content itself.
“I received by BFA in 1982 and upon graduation, moved to New York City where I have continued to create and exhibit my works from my studio in Mount Vernon.
 
For more info, Barry L. Mason can be reached at 914-649-2399 or blmason@mac.com or follow me on Instagram: barrymasonart.