Dusty Rooms

with Glenn Barr

My ambition is handicapped by my laziness

Charles Bukowski

Do you think our world is still able to appreciate the benefits of laziness?

Absolutely. That makes perfect sense to me. I know a few artists who are at a constant pace of kicking out painting after painting or mural after mural. It all starts to blend together and begins to just be rendering with with no substance. Anybody can render. It’s the ideas that are hard. So, in laziness one can reflect on what has been done and where one wants to be.

What’s the story of your characters and their dusty rooms?

In the concept of my “rooms” I’m setting up, much like a director, a narrative but with no beginning and no ending. It’s where something or anything can happen, or not. There is an underlying tension usually. So without explaining too much here, it’s merely voyeurism into a beautiful surreal landscape or “room”.

Sunday Drek

How much do you think it’s difficult to be guided by some wires for a lifetime?

I paint what I know and what I’ve seen. There is no difficulty there. I have a certain kind of romanticism when conceptualizing a painting. I want people to get an immediate emotional response from a piece. So, the viewer recognizes what he’s looking at with little effort but with color and lighting you can really tell a compelling story.

A good artist, or a genius, are inevitably surrounded by many people and fans?

I suppose there are but, not me. Or I should say, I avoid it. The compliments and adoration are a distraction and can be embarrassing. I have friends introduce me to people as being a “famous artist”. That really makes me squirm. I’ll just laugh and make a joke. I don’t like being in the spot light.


What is the word “trash” for you?

“Trash” is all about subculture and outsider morals. It’s a surreal frame of mind in that it really doesn’t exist but in our heads. It’s kitsch. It’s bad and it’s great all at once. It’s surreal and very pop. It can’t be explained. It’s Russ Meyer, it’s John Waters, it’s what I like to call B Culturalism.

Your personal definition of labels like Underground, Pop Surrealism or Lowbrow:

I couldn’t go into definitions here. I could right an article on all of them. However, it’s the “Lowbrow” name I don’t like much. It has very little to do with my work. Initially in the early ’90s we just wanted to rock the gallery world and show them that art is many things and not just conceptualism. So I started painting car crashes and strip clubs just to shock people. I’ve always had a love for anatomy, so I just put it to work. I really don’t paint like that anymore. I paint what I want and to Hell with the blue chip galleries.


Do you think your B Culturalism may result in a certain nostalgia for ’70s atmospheres?

It could be. I like the ’60s & ’70s. It’s more a state of design than mind. The mid-century is the ideal for design, clothing, hairstyles, furniture and now vinyl has had a huge resurgence in America. So records are coming back in a big way which fits right in with my aesthetic.

The right soundtrack for your art:

This week, sexy ’50s/’60s cocktail music and Jack White.



The Art of Glenn Barr!


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