"A brilliant manifestation for the former college football player and U.S. Marine who spent his entire life amid alpha males until cancer challenged his proverbial superman complex and forced him to reexamine life."
- Las Vegas Weekly
Michael Barrett immerses himself in masculine narratives that interrogate key areas of gender. After serving a tour in the United States Marine Corps, receiving a collegiate scholarship in athletics, and surviving testicular cancer, his actions reinvestigate masculinity as a historical construct through a humanistic lens. As an A/R/Tographer, he strives to reinterpret how masculinity empowers and disempowers through influential theories and concepts of scholars and authors, such as Susan Sontag, Patti Lather, Stephanie Springgay, and Donna Harraway.
Through the act of connecting bodies, considering space, and sharing time, Barrett addresses five areas of masculinity in his practice. He questions cycles of physicality, gender, and identity in an effort at unveiling previously missed, invisible, and silenced perspectives around social redefinitions of what it means to be masculine and what function masculinity serves.
The five areas of interest are as follows:
1. Physical force and control
2. Work and occupational achievement
Barrett currently enjoys his position as a Ph.D. Candidate at the University of Arizona within the Department of Art and Visual Culture Education. He holds an M.F.A. in contemporary sculpture and has taught and performed extensively around the world, including Austria, Czech Republic, England, France, Germany, Italy, Mexico, Netherlands, Poland, and the United States.
Barrett's selected solo and group exhibitions include:
Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, New York City; San Francisco Arts Commission Gallery; Psi 19, Stanford University; Berkeley Art Center; Quartair Initiatives for the Arts, Den Hauge; Scope International, Basel, Switzerland; Galeria Michaela Stock, DOPUST 2016, Vienna; Surface Gallery, U.K.; SOMArts, San Francisco; Grace Space, Brooklyn; Las Vegas Contemporary Arts Center; Krowswork, Oakland; Raczej Galeria, Poznan, Poland; Hole of Fame Gallery, Dresden, Germany; Tucson Museum of Art; and the KulturBunker, Cologne, Germany.