Glenn Barkley makes art about the things he sees and the things he hears. His work is hand-built and composed of fragments from art history, popular culture and botanical forms. He has a fear of empty space and tries to keep all the surfaces of his works alive as it helps him to believe that he is not lazy.
In his studio he listens to a lot of pop music. He’s amazed that lyrically and emotionally pop music often deals with very difficult subject matter like loss and heartbreak packaged in a tightly crafted package that finds you humming a tune about sadness and sorrow.
Pop music acts now in a way that poetry used to. He reads a lot of poetry for the same reason he listens to pop, the ability to strip down emotions and sensation to a line or even a word. It’s for those reasons that pop and poetry tend to be the major text references in his work.
He tends to think of America through its music (and maybe food) and when he thinks about Miami he thinks about Gloria Estefan, and for his first show at Mindy Solomon Gallery he wanted to do a work as homage to her. He finds her song ‘I Can’t Stay Away from You’ the kind of pop he really loves—full of heartbreak and loss that appeals to his maudlin sensibilities.