Portrait of Berry Gross
Photographed by Mark Diamond
Day by day, as we approach the beginning of a new era, we are constantly reminded of the immutable facts of change and the power of time. At this particular point in history, we are called upon to evaluate the progress of human kind, assess our common goals, affirm our personal beliefs, and anticipate the inevitable.
The paintings of Barry Gross are timely indications of our current period of spiritual wonderings and temporal questioning. Barry paints visions, dreams, distant memories, and people with beautifully articulated figures.
His work, which is spatially and iconographically complex, invites the viewer to solve the riddles of time and place, to attempt to determine the state of consciousness, and to establish the contextual and stylistic heritage. His emphasis on the placement of precisely rendered human forms within mystic landscapes provides the viewer a space of personal contemplation and reverie.
In art historical terms, the early works of Barry Gross combine the hyperfocus of Surrealism with Renaissance spirituality and humanism. It is then all set to motion with the dynamism and drama of Baroque. Dali and Fra Angelico join forces with Bernini. His paintings reveal to the viewer something deeply felt, yet only vaguely remembered. This dichotomy of reality and fantasy is matched in other works in which his protagonists are captured in a never-never land between sleep and awakening or caught between the depths of the ocean and the limits of outer space.
His current works explore the theme of isolation and loneliness. The pathos of detachment from those around us strikes a chord all too familiar in our growing encapsulation of the individual. We are so often connected electronically, yet separated by technology from personal, tactile interaction. Barry’s works are studies in contrast between reality and fiction, between traditions present and past, and between this world and the next. They are caught, as are we, in the reality of the present while we await the unknowns of tomorrow.