Michael Barbaric is a local Scottsdale artist who spends every weekend up at his cabin in Flagstaff AZ using nature to express vibrant earthly ideas and espression of emotion.
Artist as Alchemist
Alchemy and the Sculpture of Michael Barbaric share at least one thing in common. Each selects materials of little apparent value. It is only with skilled/artful manipulation( plus a pinch of magic)that these same materials become transformed into rare and exotic commodities which are then held in high esteem and revered by one and all. Barbaric is a naïve. He approaches his art with a mind unfettered by theory and formal dogma. The materials for his sculptures are discovered purely by chance while walking through the forest. The unique, the more ubiquitous shapes are the more likely to be chosen. “Ponderosa Pine” and “Gamble Oak” are the most frequently selected. The tree limbs have been lying upon the forest floor for hundreds of years decaying and becoming forest “Merz”.Some of the limbs are protected from within due to a concentration of sap and pitch. Mike will drag his forest treasure for three to four miles over rough terrain. Color and color texture relationships play a significant role in the overall success of the sculpture. Surfaces are enhanced by way of the subtle interaction of texture and color. The current Sculpture of Michael Barbaric is a collage of cut and paste hip hop genera with a touch of early Surrealism. The works are provocative by way of their simplicity. There is no shortage of witt in his artwork. Humor is directed towards satire while cloaked within human associations. Barbaric’s work is often mischievous but never malicious.
Critique by, James C. O’Hara Professor Emeritus Northern Arizona University
The art of Mike Barbaric is one-of-a-kind and this is what makes it so provocative. Mike searches the forests for branches of trees that have a sensual quality. He then hauls them back to his workshop, judiciously carves them, and paints than to bring out the sensate qualities he sees in them. Painted wood is not a common thing in the an world, and this is precisely why Mike Barbaric's work is so creative. He is pushing the boundaries beyond the ordinary. Most of his works are large and people who see them cannot help but approach to look at them, even if they do not know why. But there is something in all good art that evokes curiosity and in this Mike Barbaric succeeds.
Critique by, Gordon Rogowitz, artist and writer http:'/rogowitz.com