Barry Kite

Mixed Media

My art concerns concept and composition. I don’t draw. I am not a “painter”. I construct narratives, by borrowing other people’s images. Initially, I worked with found imagery from old books and magazines. A “cut and paste” image was re-photographed, blown up as a black and white photograph, then hand-colored. When the photo labs I used went digital, I was forced to follow. My source material changed from what I could cut with an exacto-knife, to what I could find on the internet. This gave me much more latitude with my story lines. 
Most of the images I use come from art/photographic history and bring with them their own interpretive baggage. People’s experiences with previously seen images color their interpretation of my work. Their awareness of this “manipulation” also enhances the experience. 
I feel that I am a “matchmaker” who invites famous (and not so famous) images to a wild party, introduces them to each other, and sees who hits it off. 
And if they embarrass themselves…so much the better.

“Art” for me must have an intellectual basis. It must press some buttons, stir some water, ignite some fire–provoke discussion. Pretty pictures, technical assemblage skills alone (painterly, or as a collagist), color, without telling a story, is not what I do. My guiding artistic credo which I print on the back of all the note cards I publish of my work: “Not Your Smarmy Feel-Good Crap!”