About the Art

Although once primarily an abstract painter, Peter Barnett has expanded into ceramics. His artistic vision now encompasses three dimensions. With his own special technique, which is similar to origami, he cuts up sheets of clay, which he then folds into organic shapes. Some of the vibrant color patterns he used in his paintings have found their way onto his pots. Other ceramics are a testament to his playful experimentation with form and glaze.

Peter has not abandoned his paintings—you can still find them here. He creates skins of paint by mixing paint colors, and pouring and splattering paint on glass. The textures and patterns are made with brushes, rollers, sticks and other objects. The skins are then combined with others on canvases to become unique images.

About the Artist

Peter Barnett has made many journeys in his life. Some were physical, others were mental—but the best has been creative.

He started out in Johannesburg, South Africa, and ended up living in Brooklyn, New York. He grew up in a place where your skin color said everything about you and is now in a place where skin color cannot define you. Now he looks at a person’s eyes in the subway and thinks about how this color would look as a glaze on a vessel.

Fatherhood has also changed Peter’s life dramatically. He now has a teenager whose verbal acrobatics leaves him longing for the small boy, whose tears could be stopped simply by his presence. He remembers holding his son’s hands and showing him how to use a pencil or a brush. Others had watched this process and clamored to be part of the action. Peter started out as a neighborhood art teacher, but is now teaching ceramics to underprivileged children in the Bronx. Teaching has no boundaries for Peter however—he has taught the mentally retarded and senior citizens as well.

Ceramics has flowed in and out of Peter’s life, but he has now made a commitment to it. In 2007, he joined the Greenwich Pottery House as a work study assistant, so that he could learn about the intricacies of making ceramics (the materials, the glazes, and the workings of kilms), but also the dynamics of a ceramics studio.

One of the joys of teaching and working in a ceramics studio for Peter has been the collaborative process. He has taught his students and fellow ceramists and they have taught and shared with him as well. Peter welcomes your comments and suggestions about this web site and his art. Please feel free to contact him.

Ceramics gallery
Second Son folio

Peter Barnett
526 10th Street
Brooklyn, NY 11215

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A statement about Peter Barnett's work by the late artist, Al Loving:

Peter Barnett is a painter with a strong sense of invention. He comes from the tradition of the brush but finds that is not enough to express his passions in the dynamics of New York City.

Peter Barnett’s radical decision to "make" paintings from paint is a reflection of the impact of New York City on his imagination. He attains a "new Edge" by folding and bending his wide color range into shaped reliefs.

They are pure paint made into a bigger, fresher statement that puts his work on the contemporary cutting edge.

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