Alan Barnett

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Serial Killer, Maryland
Serial Killer, New Jersey
Serial Killer, New York
Vapors, 2011 Archival Pigment Print 12 X 18 In.
Quick Facts

I make photographs to create meaning by editing my world into fragments that when removed from the larger environment, speak even greater truths. I use my camera as a means to explore both familiar and unfamiliar worlds, relating with people and places to gain an understanding of the harmony and discord that combine to create engaging images. I aim to separate subject and content to explore their relationship or the friction that may at times result in unforeseen meaning.

I started by photographing architecture and urban landscapes, but I felt my interest in these stationery subjects begin to wane. I expanded to integrate people into my work and now the challenge never ends. Whether intimate portraits or people within the social landscape, I attempt to probe below the surface to reveal circumstances perhaps unknown even to the subjects themselves. These revelations satisfy the questions that I carry with me about life and at the same time confound me further, leading me on a constant quest to express the inexpressible.

While my work is deeply personal, I want to lead viewers to create their own narrative as I hope that my work uncovers hidden emotions and touches on universal experiences which bring them to alternate interpretations. I am satisfied when my photographs reflect viewers to themselves as complex individuals, as I am myself revealed in the process of creating them. I wish to invite viewers to participate in my work and to come away asking questions about how they fit into their own worlds.


Alan Barnett grew up in Union, New Jersey and graduated with a BA in Communication from Rutgers College. The son of a math teacher and an art director, he became an art director himself and worked for large publishers designing books and marketing materials. In 1994, he left to start his own graphic design firm in New York City. Alan soon discovered that his love of fine art photography was a perfect complement to his skills as an art director. He enrolled in classes at the International Center of Photography and studied under H. Eugene Foster, Harvey Stein, and Joel Meyerowitz. Alan is currently working on long-term projects including one exploring images of masculinity in social context.

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