Seattle-based painter, Grant Barnhart, recently shifted the focus of his paintings to directly confront certain iconic American imagery such as cowboys, football players, cheerleaders, and showgirls in an attempt to build a vocabulary that is positioned neatly between satire and homage. In a time where it is increasingly easy to portray American life and culture in a generally pessimistic light, Barnhart takes on the challenge of providing commentary that is much more insightful, investigating the nuances and recent history of our culture to provide the viewer with several avenues to explore the work. However, these avenues are not always glorifying. Barnhart explains that often the characters in his work, “represent romanticized notions of American masculinity, symbolic agents of conquest and glory… subverting these figures of strength, by depicting them in states of defeat, confusion, and humiliation.”
These new painting were recently exhibited along-side select sculptures at OKOK Gallery in Seattle for the show Remember Me When. That exhibition received reviews from the Seattle Times, The Stranger and the Seattle PI.