We had the good fortune of connecting with Gene Barron and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Gene, you love what you do. It’s clear to anyone who knows you. Why and what about your work do you love so much?
The thing that I love most about what I do is, to put it simply, the freedom to interact with people. As an artist, you get to move a bit more freely and with people from all facets of society, from collectors, galleries, business owners, doctors, others artists in many genres, to those who are just simply art lovers and those who are just interested in what you do. They are like tribes in a way, People tend to accept each other if you more or less resemble their ‘tribe’. There are certain professions, however, that give you a bit more leeway and the opportunity to make connections with people from different groups and backgrounds. I feel that this is because art touches the most human parts of us and is very subjective. It is like feeling the same thing but from different roads or perspectives. Sometimes there are deep connections made with people that I was not expecting to happen. It just happens and it teaches me and the other person something new about ourselves as we learn about each other. It are those things that connect us that I try to get across in my work. We all think of ourselves and each other as being apart and we are. That uniqueness and individuality should be embraced and expressed yet the fact is that everything is connected on some level and we all share in that connection. My work is very much like that. I am an abstract, contemporary artist but my style, process, statement and approach can take big leaps. I can be a critical thinker and rigid when approaching something new to me but, once I get it down, I can mesh it up with everything else and in the end this allows me to incorporate more influences and different processes into my work. This kinda goes hand in hand with my ability to interact, understand, and really listen to and watch people and how I fit it all in to each piece.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
Well, as I stated, I am an abstract, contemporary artist. I am self taught and have been a creator and artist since I was a child. I guess something that set me apart is that I dork out on anything art related, film, comics, music, all kinds of art genres. I think in my youth, when I began, I told myself that I wanted to be like this one artist. I guess alot of people do that, like if you are in art school or if someone is mentoring you, you can become fixated on one artist, style, movement, etc. That was passed down to them from someone else and they are now passing it to you and so forth. The problem with that is that unless you are the original artist, you don’t have the whole story, the bits and pieces that make the difference. I mean, everyone is influenced by something. So there is good and bad in trying to replicate someone’s style. Like if you are working just off of your favorite artist, you might be able to master that style and add new images but you have to be able to bring something new and personal to the table. There and billions of people who have lived but there will only be one of you, ever. You can take every movie that has moved you, every song that has inspired you along with all of you personal life experiences and use them to make your own thing or your story in a way. I may not have an apparent signature style like many others do, and they have really amazing work that I love, but for better or worse, that is something that I do not want do. I may go through periods of doing similar works but I appreciate having the freedom to be diverse in what I produce. If I want to do something and incorporate the styles of Picasso, R Crumb, Banksy, etc. in one piece to do it, I will. As long as it works to me and it is honest. Like I said, after the period of critical, rigid thinking and learning, it is whatever and where ever to me. As long as it works, it’s me and honest. That is kinda how I want to relate to the world and have them relate to me. In all of the things that I’ve just said and ever seeking is where I live and work. I hope that made sense but Oh well! there you have it.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Of course we would visit the museums of Natural Science and Contemporary Art. Plus, since I have always felt at piece around large bodies of water, we would spend some time in Galveston. We would make sure to visit Smither Park and the Orange Show and check out the Art Car Museum as well. We would get some burgers at Stanton’s City Bites and some sushi at Uchi. We would also check out some music venues for good bands.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
A huge part of my success and the success yet to come can be attributed to my wife and family for supporting and believing in me. Also to the amazing studios and galleries and the artists in our badass city’s art community and artists everywhere who are working as a collective force to support each other and get it done, especially right now with all that is going on. People are organizing virtual art shows, free lessons in networking, processes, you name it. Bands putting on free shows almost nightly. Actors doing shows from home. It is very inspiring. Another big shoutout goes to the many, well established artists that I have met online who appreciated my work and took me under their wing when I had questions or found something problematic. I have made some good friends locally and from many different corners of the world that I have known for many years now who have always supported and encouraged my work. Last but definitely not least, a shoutout goes to the art mags and other publications like Indie Cafe and MvVO Art, just to name a couple and of course, Voyage Houston for telling the stories of all of the outstanding people and places that our city has to offer.
Other: I am currently working on my website so I would like to include that the best way to reach me to inquire about available art is to email me at GeneBarron066@gmail.com