I love the depth, richness, and texture of old paper. Thus, my collages draw almost exclusively from discarded 19th century books and magazines of natural history, science, medicine, religion, and children’s literature, and other paper ephemera. My collages are populated by chimera, misfit saints, wayward travelers, and other apocryphal figures. These darkly whimsical beings wander up from the worlds of myths, fables, dreams, nightmares, and the afterlife. I hope my collages spark for the viewer a sense of wonder and reverie, creating a space to consider their underlying concerns, such as death, power, violence, mysticism, and the relationship between the human and animal worlds.
-- Brian Barker is a poet and collage artist from Denver, Colorado. His collages have been selected for the National Collage Society’s 35th annual juried show and have appeared on the cover of Denver Quarterly. He is the author of three books of poetry--Vanishing Acts (SIU Press, 2019), The Black Ocean (SIU Press, 2011), and The Animal Gospels (Tupelo Press, 2006)—and teaches at the University of Colorado Denver, where he is a poetry editor of Copper Nickel.