Arts of Barry R Irving
(C) Neo Afro
(C) Afroneo
Neo Afro Genre
(C) Awo

Community Folk Arts Central... Art  Moves!


o Afro/Afroneo 

These works are an example of some of the best of my Signature stylings. This is where I actually developed my 

(C)Neo Afro Style ( which is Theo/Folkloric based )  I keep the African signature of symbols, and the Geometrics Motifs present because that is the narrative aspect of the work that carries traditional African design methodry and information. I defy the tradtionally "Lower" classification of Folk Art by identifying the Cultural connections within Folkloric communication and incorporating that energy in my themes and as a lifestyle. So although I have extensive Art Schooling and am College Educated, my aim became to raise the Bar for Folk Art in general in my teachings and my studio work. Folk Art is Living Art with a a story. That should Always be  a value.

Folklore is multi generational and changing with the times - therefore a true expressive reflection of life among "Folk" because Folklore is like a Gene. I realize the the standing definition of Folk Artist is "unschooled", possibly poor and uneducated, 

alcohoic or drug involved, and working for mere sustenance or as a hobby  >therefore "NOT" seen as "Important Art" to the field. Yet Billions have been made from reselling cheaply acquired Folk Art around the world even to the extent of buying wholesale

 and then reworking them to look more expensive. Many tourist shoppers just don't realize the difference between a wholesale commercial carving and Fine Art Traditional Sculpture from an established house. Folk Art has also been described as crude or primitive. Basically, the Folk Atist is akin to the Self Taught Artist. Many shun Art Education for various reasons including misconception and approaching the act of Creating of Art more radically. Art is radical Self or Social Expression for many.

My designs are totally freestyle with no preliminary layout...the composition is built section by section and in layers. The "Pointillism" ( dotted ) technique adds depth, texture and color field. Cowrie Shells top off some pieces and add additional depth and texture as well as Folkloric significance. in old Yoruba Land, Cowrie Shells were a form of Currency.


La Tierra  / Onile 

Hand Painted T Shirt   2008

...In NYC on the Street Art Scene ... The Object is to Stand Out...

...this "Aye Mojuba" Motif ( Heaven & Earth - Salute! ) is one of my most eclectic motifs that I developed over a 20+ year period. This style was very popular when I produced a lot of it. People thought they were The Austrailain "Dreamings" and being an Educator, I always took that advantage to educate on the differences betweem my African American Art and the Austrailiain Spirit Paintings. Tribal Art that is not based in modern technology has a global affinity by intent...theirs is not Art Proper but Life & Spirit.

Most of my work is on Black T Shirts because that is by far the most popular color shirt among the general population. I bought closeouts which featured a variety of colors. For some T- Shirts, I paid as little as 50 cents a piece.  I bought 400 of those Poly / Cotton shirts and sold about 60%. Popular 100% cotton Brands were purchased for $1.49 each. > Regular supply...


These types of shirts are FUN to do but not that easy to sell...gwenerally. It takes an "Artistic" personality to want to wear painted clothing loke these. When I sold on 5th Avenue near the Met, many Europeans poarticularly French, Italian and German saw these as favorites. Hispanic Men also had an affinity for brighter colors and designs. My Splatter Dash technique is fast,
...but it is VERY practiced... Controlled Drawing with Paint. I have three main ways of applying paint. Touch scribbling, short dashes and spiraled throwing which is free style scribbling in a pattern. This is the hardest way to paint on fabric because the lines must come down with force to penetrate the fabric and stick. This is why you throw or fling the paint.

I have created thousands of Wearable Art pieces. There were many pieces using this style where the designs lifted off of the fabric when stretched because the paint line were jus sitting lightly on top fiber rather than seeping into the weave of the fabric. This is prevented by focusing on "down force" strokes.  Make sure the paint is sticky wet or "wash" and not gummy. After you put down a line of patterns you then pat the bottom of the drawing board under the area of the paint stroke >which acts the same as  "throwing" or "flinging" with force. You can't get crazy or when you come down you'll have a lot of wasteful & disturbing pieces that you bury somewhere. You can waste a lot of supply by not being practiced and focused. 

These are Studio Works executed with the most freedom. They have no Cultural Duty valuated role in my life like my Folkloric works or my paintings. These are about Creative Freedom. To make a living that is "profitable"as well as satisfying creatively, you need to learn the principles of design, composition, ecconomic media use and how creating production ( commercial ) work for money develops speed, resolution and "excess" - a body of work that is NOT directed for show or recognition. That excess body of work is like a savings account. Many times when focusing on procucing numbers of less labor intensive works of Art, Brilliant ideas come through.
5 years later some of those ideas that didn't sell may start a new direction or there may be an actual series already made.  When you have the capacity to create in the hundreds you expand the possibilities of your Genre and broaden your practice.

...I try to direct my series works to an end...if I do 3 dozen and sell 40% or 50%, I'll pack the rest and move on to another project. I have at times made my living solely from hand painted T shirts. I would do as many as 18 pieces in a night. A variety of off the top of the head free style designs. I never rely on trying to sell a whole batch at one time unless I produce for that.

Production for income is a "group skill" where you buy, plan, create, "finish" and then market after reviewing the collection and taking out the masterpieces for your personal collection. Selling regularly is about having a broad knowledge of design, Current Trends in Culture, Your own personal offering that is your signature work - and Personality. When people recognize what they are looking at and like what they hear - they become interested.

My work from the studio is wide spread in style and approach. I always do complicated pieces mixed with simpler designs and then I always do my (C) Splatter Dash 2019 style after mostly fine line and brush work. People generally take Splatter Painting as All Jackson cloning, but my working style is hand and finger manipulation with a little Arm. I am small scale as opposed to Pollack who's work is Mural sized. He painted with his whole body from the arm and he traveled "Yards" at a time when doing a sequence. My Pollack Influence is mainly "after Image" / Pictoral Influence - the Look. But his work can't be duplicated because of the amount of layering that can't be detected that affects the outer whole image. In Pollacks Work, depth is "constructed" on a White surface by layering and color. For my depth, I use the dark matt cotton I apply the paint in a pattern where I control the type of splat I get and apply one color at a time from dark to light "usually" >one shot... So my depth is only three to 5 single layers over the dark fabric which creates the Illusion of Depth.

Cut, Bleached, Hand Stitched Jeans

By Dean Story Master  / In Progress..

Stitched, Cut, Bleached, Hand Painted Jeans...