Barney Levitt

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Barney Levitt

United States

The outdoors played a huge role in my development and I was a keen observer of my natural surroundings. My grandmother often took us on ‘scavenger hunts’ through the woods of Upstate New York and I was fascinated by insect and bird life. I have my family to thank for my irreverent and quirky sense of humor. My parents allowed me the freedom to express myself and encouraged my artistic pursuits. I was given my first easel and set of oil paints from my Aunt when I was 10 years old. I graduated with a Fine Arts Degree in painting and drawing from S.U.N.Y at Oswego, but it wasn’t until I was accepted into the Copley Society of Art in Boston that I began to take my art seriously as a career. I have since shown with numerous galleries over the years and have had my work honored in various National and International Juried Competitions.

I got my inspiration from studying the great Dutch Masters, and have always been drawn to detail. I paint how I see the world, in sharp clear detail, but often juxtapose objects in unusual combinations the viewer wouldn’t expect. My work often crosses over from reality-based, into whimsy and fantasy. Narrative and titles are important to me, and humor often plays a big part in my paintings. I usually have up to a dozen paintings going at one time, as I progress from loose under paintings, to tighter and more detailed layering. In my more conventional still life paintings I always try to paint from my own set-ups, but will often add an element of quirkiness to the final composition.


The process of painting, immersing myself in my subject matter, allows me to transcend my surroundings. It’s an out of body experience in which I become ego-less, and the concept of time vanishes. For me, creating art is as necessary as breathing and I hope to do both for a long time to come.

* This statement has been provided directly by the artist in association to their 14th International ARC Salon entries. This content has not been edited for typos or grammatical errors and has not been vetted for accuracy.