A Moment in Time: Paintings by Marc Barrett

Arts on Douglas

May. 23, 2024 - Jul. 18, 2020

123 Douglas Street
New Smyrna Beach, 32168
PHONE 386.428.1133


Orlando based painter Marc Barrett has been represented by Arts on Douglas since 2002 and is known for his work depicting representational scenes of Florida. For this exhibition, Barrett is presenting a survey of work from his career, with new paintings showcased alongside previously created artwork that he has recently reworked, adding greater dimensional qualities and vibrancy.

Barrett’s interest in painting began with nonobjective color-field painting, but he soon realized that while he enjoyed the energy and impact of these large-scale pieces, the work lacked a deeper meaning that he wished to convey. Barrett has been living in Florida since 1969, and his paintings reflect the bright colors, patterns, and quality of light that is definitive of this state, but he shies away from typical Florida scenes. In lieu of palm trees and expansive natural vistas, Barrett captures the charm and energy of the buildings, bridges, and man-made structures that dot the landscape, from the sharp angles of towering skyscrapers to the subtle textures and old-Florida charm of weathered fish camps and other timeless relics.

While his work is representational, Barrett does take creative liberties in his expression of these scenes. This is most apparent in his paintings of downtown Tampa office buildings from a 2012 body of work titled Tilted Tectonics. These vivid paintings create an unreal sense of depth and perception. Barrett elaborates, “The low angled linear perspective creates structures that want to spin or cause vertigo. The geometric structure of the glass windows, steel mullions, and concrete supports are combined with the shadows and reflections from adjacent towers to create optical tensions and illusions. The repetition of railings, windows, and balconies painted with a kaleidoscope of colors create a constant, visual rhythm in this work.”

Barrett also has a strong affinity towards other manmade structures such as steel drawbridges, boatyards, weathered buildings, and business marquees. His depictions of these structures are highly detailed and embody his strong attention to light and textural qualities. When asked about this subject matter, Barrett elaborates, “One of my favorite places is the Midway Fish Camp, located at the St. John’s River and Highway 50. I have created 10 paintings of this place over the last 15 years. I have also enjoyed painting iconic Central Florida business establishments such as Beefy King, Merita Bread, Ronnie’s, and Olde Dixie Fried Chicken. I have many memories of family outings to these businesses and have a personal connection to many of the subjects I choose to depict. I am glad to be able to immortalize these places in my work, as many of these structures are barely standing or altogether gone.”

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