Art and artists have been part of my life since childhood.
My earliest memories of artists include seeing Pablo Picasso on a Time magazine cover and going with my mother to see his work at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. My mother, a fine portrait artist herself, encouraged my interest in art. I watched her paint portraits of ballerinas and family members. I would often pose for her myself. By the time I was ten years old I wanted to be an artist and maybe, just maybe, a professional baseball pitcher as well!
I went to the Newark N.J. School of Fine Arts after high school, gaining a strong foundation in figure drawing and illustration. It was here that I fell in love with printmaking, specifically making etchings. I deepened by skills in printing techniques at the Pratt Graphic Center in NYC.
At the age of 19, I started making a living selling etchings and paintings. My clients included interior decorators, fine art galleries, and private collectors. I did editorial illustration work for Agatha Christie book covers, the New York Times Book Review, and Psychology Today. The playwright and screenwriter Yale Udoff purchased original etchings I did for his one act plays.
I’m currently working on a long time dream of writing and illustrating my own children’s book. The story revolves around my beloved dog and what he dreams about when sleeping. Many of the hand-colored etchings on my web page are potential illustrations for the story.
A gallery owner once wrote, ‘Barger’s work reflects the influence of Picasso and Matisse, evidenced by the sophistication of his works in the understatement of line and his economy of color. His imaginative, whimsical and often dreamlike etchings have a deceptive air of simplicity. Delicate as his hand-colored images are, they speak with assurance of large subjects and deep feelings; love, friendship, loneliness, and childhood. That he is a professional is evident in the outstanding quality of his prints.’
I currently live outside of Boston with my wife Elizabeth, our children Anna and Evan, and our much beloved dog Chester.