Describing himself as a “self-taught artist” and “college dropout,” it’s fair to say Sage Barnes is carving out a path to success all by himself. Combining elements of realistic portraiture, abstract art and street art techniques, he has created a truly unique style which is admired by many, including celebrity art collectors.
Like many of the talented artists we represent, including Retna, Lincoln Townley and Bradley Theodore, Sage Barnes is a self-taught and self-styled artist.
Barnes briefly studied at the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising in Los Angeles, but quickly decided to turn his back on formal art education.
“Actually, when I finally decided I was going to pursue art as a career I dropped out of college and my art course,” he explained in a Forbes article.
“Art is a very individualistic process, and I believe if I wanted to create the best art I possibly could, I wouldn’t learn to do that getting the same lectures and tests that everyone else gets.”
Contrasts play a significant role in Barnes’ art, and he works with various mediums including conventional acrylic paint, artificial flowers, stucco and foam.
“There’s a lot of contrast,” Barnes recently explained to Forbes. “Whether its black and white against colour, realism against abstraction, concepts of peace against war, placing these things together in one painting seems to help me convey my message better.”
“You learn a lot about yourself while you’re insecure, and learning to utilise these new mediums taught me a lot about myself as an artist.”
Layering is also a common motif in his artistic style.
“All of my pieces have around anywhere from 10-25 layers,” Barnes explains in a blog post. “Usually just my thoughts and emotions that play along with the concept or even subtle things like brands or things of that nature. If you’ve seen a piece in person, you can see all of the tiny details.”
Sage takes great pride in being an artist, and has a strong view of what this means to him.
“Even though I haven’t been painting for years and years, I’ve already grown in all aspects of being an artist,” he explained in a recent artist spotlight. ‘My appreciation for art, the way I use art to communicate and really just the way I look at things.”
“Being an artist means a lot to me. It’s not only a job to paint, but to make art that helps inspire a generation and influences people to engage in art… being a successful artist to me means that your art makes an impact on the viewer.”
In the past few years, Sage Barnes’ art has been showcased across the US, in Miami, Florida and New York. Now, Maddox Gallery is delighted to introduce him to a UK audience and bring his stunning artworks to our London galleries.
His unique works have already earned him a considerable following, led by celebrities such as NFL sports stars Eric Berry and Cam Newton, and rapper and record producer G-Eazy.
Barnes has also been involved in creative collaborations with the likes of fashion brand Boda Skins and coffee chain Joe & The Juice, which teamed up with the artist to host a pop-up gallery and live painting sessions during Art Basel 2017.
It’s safe to say the artist’s star is rising, and we expect this trend to continue into the near future. If you are looking to invest in new and exciting contemporary art, look no further. Please pay a visit to our galleries in Mayfair, Notting Hill or Gstaad, and take a closer look at his truly stunning works.
Written by James Nicholls, Managing Director and Curator, Maddox Gallery.