“Seven Deadly Sins” artist, Robert Barrett, at work on “Gluttony”, one of seven paintings in the series. Â All seven paintings will be on exhibit this October in Rancho Mirage, CA at THE RIVER Gallery. Â This will be the first exhibit of Roberts artwork in 22 years. Â While not at the easel, Robert Barrett had a highly successful career in cultural tourism. Â While in Los Angeles, Rancho Mirage, California and also while a Museum Director at the Fresno Art Museum, the economic impact of Robert Barrett’s career can be measured in Billions of dollars for all of Southern California in terms of jobs, tourism income and revenue to cultural organizations. Â It was Robert Barrett who coined the phrase, “Los Angeles, the cultural capital of the 21st Century”, an accomplishment for all in Southern California still saluted on University of Southern California radio station, KUSC.
“Fresno 1993: Robert Barrett the curator explained to me that the Fresno Council of 100 had given Betye Saar the distinguished artist award for 1993 â€“ In the catalog Betys Saar was described as radiant.Â My notebook from the time said that I thought the word was appropriate both in relation to the artist herself and to the work on display.Â During my two-hour visit to this light, airy gem of a gallery, I walked through an entrance adorned with on of her Haitian veve flags, which Robert Farris Thompson describes as â€˜profoundly; liminal, standing at the boundary between two worlds.Â Entering, I was immediately plunged into near-darkness; the sound of the wind circulated above a secret magical space as if high in the hills of some lost empire.Â From room to room, as I wandered through the theatrical twilight and shifting space, her piece shone like stars and mini moons.”
Visualising Slavery: Art Across the African Diaspora, edited by Celeste-Marie Bernier, Hannah Durkin, 2016, Liverpool University Press, pg. 22