Barnaby Furnas: Lee (rip),2002
Photo: courtesy Goetz Collection
Wilfried Petzi, Munich
Works in the Exhibition
Suicide #7, 2002, urethane, pencil on linen
Rock Concert (The Walkmen), 2003, Watercolor on hand made-paper
Lee (rip), 2002, Watercolor, Ink on paper
Lee, 2002, Watercolor on paper
A.L. #6, 2002, Watercolor on paper
Kissers, 2002, Watercolor, gouache on paper
Untitled Execution, 2003, Watercolor, Ink on paper
Spook, 2004, Mixed media on linen
Rainald Schumacher: I would like to concentrate on all the references to American history contained in your work and also on some of the visual elements of your images. Many people in Europe are probably not familiar with them.
Barnaby Furnas: Few people in the States are very familiar with them either; it’s a very anti-history sort of country in many ways. Maybe because there was so much pain and so much to be ashamed of in the early days. I was not familiar with the history myself until just a few years ago. In a way, this history painting thing has been a way of educating myself.
Rainald Schumacher: You mentioned in an earlier interview (1) that you started out as a graffiti artist - was that in Philadelphia or in New York? Did you do things someone like me imagines when they hear grafitti, for example spray-painting subway cars at night in some depot, or walls beside subway tracks or below bridges? Did you have a graffiti-signature and do tagging? Are there places, where I could still find some of your graffiti work?
Barnaby Furnas: No, all the graffiti I did is long gone. In Philadelphia, where I grew up, the best places were rooftops along the elevated train lines. I also tagged along bus lines – the idea was to completely saturate the route so that a rider would see the tag over and over again. Graffiti used as a gorilla advertising tactic with myself, red haired wannabe homeboy, as the brand so to speak. I loved the materials: the spray cans, spray nozzles from household cleaners, huge markers made of blackboard erasers, stones from certain sidewalks which scratch glass really well.
(1) "After All, Just a Painting. Shamim M. Momin Interviews Barnaby Furnas." in Barnaby Furnas, exhib. cat., Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead 2005.
Text excerpt »The painting as a place where two narratives coexist« - A Conversation via E-mail
with Barnaby Furnas, April 2006 (Author: Rainald Schumacher), Exhibition Catalogue Imagination Becomes Reality Part IV_Borrowed Images