Grant Barnhart's works are intricate orchestrations of fragments marrying contemporary, historical and mythical elements into cohesive narrative images. Being given the opportunity to interview Grant at this stage of his career has been a privilege as his work moves into uncharted territory.
In this interview he provides both abstract and practical insight into his work as well as his own observations on art in general.
How much planning and preparation goes into your work?
At times I feel like all I do is plan and prep for future projects. My house and studio are littered with random scribbles and notes that should guide me to the next painting or project, but at times look like nothing more than random notations and scribbles. On the quick end of things it can take a few days to comprise the ideas with my reference on hand.
And do you approach your personal works differently from commercial projects?
The commercial work is completely different. I get an assignment emailed to me and usually have 1-4 days to complete from start to finish. Most of the time is spent looking at low res. Images on my computer screen. The quality is so bad that it is pointless to print off because the ink will bleed together on the paper.
Your works seem to have strong narrative qualities. Is this deliberate and would you consider it part of your ‘style’?
Yes the narration in my work is extremely deliberate. I’m trying to form a conversation with an audience that may or may not even be there. I’m giving the viewer the opportunity probe inside my head and ask questions about what they are seeing.