Ancient Light

"As a critic, I look upon Barry Mack’s works with an appreciation of their fearless oppositions of darkness and light, their undulating curves juxtaposed with unforgiving spikes, and their foreboding but affecting pictorial vocabulary.  Doffing my critical hat and experiencing the works simply as an art lover, I’m more taken in by the otherworldly imagery they depict, whose ambiguity of time and place—and even of dimension—speaks more forcefully to me than would any pat explanations of their subject matter.  Are these vistas landscapes or dreamscapes, utopias or dystopias, visions of a world prehistoric or post-apocalyptic?

At first, many of Mack’s recent works come across as pure abstraction.  Then, slowly, the eye grows accustomed to the odd forms and deep chasms that emerge, cloaked in shadow but punctuated by shafts of sunshine slicing down as through ancient Alps.  Yet who is to say the initial impression of the works as abstract is wrong?  Perhaps they portray no earthly chasm, but fissures in the very fabric of space-time, wherein the fantastical cities suggested in certain works may co-exist in tesseractal realms both primordial and futuristic.  Considered from yet another perspective, the dramatically plunging “V” shapes that recur in this body of work appear with leitmotif-like regularity, subtly suggestive of human anatomy, such that we cannot know for sure whether their topography is micro- or macrocosmic.

Mack's work opens our doors of perception to realms we may have glimpsed only briefly, in dreams or nightmares, trances or trips, and in doing so, they imply something radical about the relationship of outer space to inner:  that the two may, in fact, be one and the same."

— Richard Speer is a contributing critic at ARTnews and is Visual Arts Critic at Willamette Week, the Pulitzer Prize-winning alternative newsweekly in Portland, Oregon. The author of the biography “Matt Lamb: The Art of Success” (John Wiley & Sons, 2005), he is also a contributor to Newsweek, The Los Angeles Times, The Sacramento News & Review, Salon, and Opera News.

 

"Universal artist of light, Barry Mack travels through time and space, creating groundbreaking works. This artist is light years ahead of his contemporaries. The work is brilliant, and should be seen and studied by all designers and artists as a symbol of ancient magic and future genius!"

—Jack Armstrong, Andy Warhol protege

 

"Barry's painting hangs in the study where I meditate and work. The transcendental quality of this piece takes me to that place that lies within all of us."  

—Suzanne Giesemann, Author, Speaker, Former Aide to Joint Chiefs of Staff

 

"The art of Barry Mack goes beyond the traditional sensory perception of form and penetrates deep enough to touch the soul." 

—JD Messinger, Author, Speaker, former Naval Commander & CEO for Ernst & Young

 

"Barry Mack's work is beautiful, spiritual and very accomplished artistically - all at the same time. It's a real challenge, I've found, to convey concepts and emotions of a higher nature and have the work remain artistically strong and unsentimental. He has succeeded!"

—Astrid Fitzgerald

 

"Barry Mack's art conveys a power of abstraction that welcomes one into space. His breadth of subtle colors combined with strong geometric shapes invoke space within the mind as well as vast space of the universe. His images beckon and capture our attention...."

—Emily L. YoungProfessor Emerita, Visual Arts Portland State University

 

" 'Awakening' is so breathtaking, so ‘familiar’ so GALACTIC!!I am deeply moved and excited at the same time. I am completely awed by the depth of vision, the incredible energy that pours from the canvas. I celebrate Barry's gift and it is clearly a memory – either of the future or the past – there is no difference, in the end."

—Patricia Cori, best selling Author and internationally acclaimed Thought Leader  


"I have Barry's paintings not only for their beauty, but for the way they make me feel. Looking into his works puts me at peace, in a world that seems to always want to do the opposite to people! Every day, I enjoy a slice of what it must be to see as he does."

—Leah Kando