Sage Barnes (American, b.1995) is a self-described “painter and sometimes other things.” Raised in Missouri, Sage studied at the FIDM (Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising) in Los Angeles for a time before leaving to pursue a career as an artist. The artist has been surrounded by creativity from a young age, as his Grandmother is an oil painter, and inspired Sage to pick up a brush and paint. “Even though I haven’t been painting for years and years - I’ve already grown in all aspects of being an artist. My appreciation for art, the way I use art to communicate and really just the way I look at things,” he explained. The artist combines abstract, realistic, and street art techniques to create original and contemporary works.
The artist works from his studio otherwise knows as ‘the lab’ in Kansas, USA. His mode of production is extremely physical and involved, often posting videos of himself flinging paint against the canvas, or taking a hammer to the artwork to reveal an abstracted piece. The artist explores how this mode of destruction can lead to new forms of creation.
Sage Barnes’ work is characterised by his urban street-art inspired portraits, where the figure's head is usually missing and replaced with a burst of colour. Common motifs within his work include smiley faces, balloons, flowers, splattered paint, or colourful pixels.
Sage works primarily with acrylic and spray paint on canvas and experiments with different mixed media elements such as artificial flowers, stucco and foam.
Sage’s work has been showcased in multiple cities across the United States. Look Alive challenge tie viewer to examine their personal character with an underlying theme of self-awareness.