“Adrift” Artist Statement:
My childhood summer vacations were spent in Lake Erie, mostly underwater. At night, when I finally gave in to exhaustion, I fell asleep, lulled by the rhythms of endless waves. As an adult I have swum in the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, the Ionian Sea and the Gulf of Mexico, always comfortable in the element of my origin. Today, I float in the strong tidal currents of Peconic Bay on Long Island, still mesmerized by the fact that everything in the universe is adrift – galaxies, planets, continents, and even detritus that washes up on beaches.
For years, drifting shapes have formed in my imagination: patterns of the visible and the invisible, the factual and the speculative. They relate to the vast, incomprehensible galaxy-filled universe and the subatomic realm of theoretical physics. Co-existing in my mind are both scientific facts and these mysterious visual images that underlie the entire ADRIFT project.
These works number more than three hundred digital scanned collages: images of stopped time; glimpses into the metamorphoses of matter drifting in an eternal stream.
Eternity is time stopped.
Ron Barron received a BFA in painting from Carnegie Mellon University. After careers as a professional dancer, high school English teacher, television director, public television executive, inner-city public school administrator, recording artist manager in Los Angeles, and manager/record/concert producer in Manhattan, he became, in 2009, a full-time artist. He has since built a body of 2,000 works: paintings, realistic drawings and scanned digital collages.
Barron began his scanning projects in late 2010 with trash gleaned from the gutters, streets and parks of Manhattan. The garbage was carefully selected and bagged, their specific locations labeled, from Washington Heights to Battery Park, from the Hudson to the East River. It became an archaeological dig without the dig, spanning a full year of rootling and scanning. He named the project TrashScans.
Barron has received three solo exhibitions at the Butler Museum of American Art in Youngstown, Ohio, 2012 through 2013. Lou Zona, the museum’s director, said of the work: “Each of these individual works of assembled materials are beautiful in composition and color, and are creatively arranged to both engage and confound the viewer, much like the works of early Dada artists. Taken as works of collage, the art pieces are wonderfully appealing, but when examined further, each work presents content to inform us in a profound and entertaining way. Barron’s approach is truly unique, and his methods are among the best that an artist can employ as they apply new media to the visual arts.” (butlerart.com)
Barron next turned to scanning hardware. The result is 400 works entitled “Nuts and Bolts and Screws…Oh, My!” He is currently producing a short art video of the work.
“Adrift,” his latest project, consists of six large paintings and nearly 300 scanned digital collages of material – both natural and manmade – he has gleaned on beaches from the North Fork of Long Island, Lake Erie, and Venice Beach, California – images that capture imagined moments in an eternal, universal drift.
“Gleanings,” featuring both Adrift and TrashScans prints, will be presented at Cleveland’s premier gallery, the Bonfoey. The show opens on March 4, 2016, curated by Marcia Hall, Gallery Director and Diane Schaffstein, Assistant Director. (bonfoey.com)
Barron lives in Poland, Ohio and Greenport, New York.
2015 exhibitions: “Skin of Liberty” (group show), Brooklyn, NY. “Skin of Liberty” Nizhny Tagil Museum, The Urals, Russia. “Macroscope – Art About Big Ideas,” (group show) Manifest Gallery, Cincinnati, Ohio. Group show, The South Street Gallery, Greenport, NY.
2016 exhibitions: “Adrift” (2-person show with Megan Barron), Station Independent Projects Gallery, Manhattan. “Gleanings” (Adrift prints and TrashScan prints), Bonfoey Gallery, Cleveland, Ohio. Summer 2016, mural-sized Adrift works to be exhibited at the Trumbull Branch of the Butler Museum.