Red Barn - $220
26cm x 36cm
Colours of the Tropics - $525
51cm x 61cm
Under the Bridge - $525 / Sold
51cm x 61cm
Artist admits defeat - $1500
91cm x 91cm
Grey Giant- $495
46cm x 61cm
Q&A with Barry Kidd
Born in Melbourne in 1940, Barry spent his early years in advertising, engaged in production, layout and copywriting. He moved to Queensland in 1968 and had several varied business experiences before embarking on a career as an artist. He gained an associate Diploma of Art from Kelvin Grove CAE, majoring in printmaking.
Barry, you have a breadth of formal training in Art, how did you establish your painting style?
I sought out established painters, latching on to artists such as David Taylor, Herman Pekel, Max Wilks and Michael John Taylor. What I learnt most from these people was an attitude – a work ethic. They were all ‘paintaholics’. They set up their easels at daybreak, studied nature, and got wrist-deep into paint. Another big influence on me was educator Warren Palmer who was then at the Brisbane Institute of Art. Eventually, through much brush mileage, a distinctive my style started to emerge.
And your frustrations?
Ask any artist – famous or otherwise, and they’ll all have one thing in common, dissatisfaction!
Yesterday’s work is simply never good enough. Jeffery Smart said ‘every painting is a defeat’, and other luminaries such as Hans Heysen and Lloyd Rees talk of ‘struggling’ to capture the right light, proportion or perspective.
So, in theory at least, my next painting is always going to be better than my last.
Interesting. How would you describe your work?
My paintings are works of fiction – based on fact. Fiction can continue to tell a forceful story long after the facts have faded from memory – think of Paul Gauguin – think of ‘Catch 22’– of ‘1984’. The ‘facts’ in my sketches or photos are ruthlessly pared down to reveal just the essence of the subject. Through exaggerated colour, tweaked perspective I invite the viewer into the world as I see it. I therefore tend to paint the world, not as it is, but as it damn well ought to be!
Some artists believe they can change the world through their work. I am not one of those. But I can occasionally bring a little humour, a little pleasure into a person’s life. People who cannot purchase a painting for one reason or another have sometimes confided in me that they gain warmth and amusement from looking at my work. Such words are as good as a sale – well almost!
The great Australian landscape painter Lloyd Rees once said, ‘An artist may experience innumerable influences in a lifetime and yet be captive to none of them.’ That just about sums up my approach: I’ve been tremendously influenced (and indeed been awestruck) by many great artists, but in the end, an artist can only paint like one person – himself!