Marcus Barrett

Adjunct Professor Fine Art


For the past year I have been working on a series of paintings that depict views of downtown office buildings. 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 along with shadows and reflections from adjacent towers are the focus of my paintings. I believe architecture is a visual language understood throughout the world. These steel, concrete, and glass giants are rooted in capitalism. The urban skyscraper has become a symbol of western and eastern civilization.

As a painter, I am also interested in how the transparency of the glass windows, along with reflections and shadows create optical tension. The repetition of railings, windows, and balconies painted with a kaleidoscope of colors shows various dwellings that set up a constant visual rhythm. With their steel, concrete and mirrored glass, modern architecture functions as a prism, reflecting our world.

In my paintings the illusion of volumetric space is counter-point to the flat physical surface of the canvas. The 3-dimensional quality of the silhouetted architectural structures played against sky and clouds gives one a sense of vertigo or spinning. This architecture has allowed me, as a painter, to locate beauty in the modern world. By focusing on a structure I am able to discover new patterns of expression.

I was born in Franklin, Indiana in 1954. After getting my MFA in painting from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1980, I returned to Central Florida to pursue a career in aerospace illustration. After doing that for twenty years, I have returned to my roots as a fine artist.


MFA, Painting University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1980
BFA, Painting, John Herron Art Institute, Indianapolis Indiana, 1978
Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, Skowhegan, Maine, 1977


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