George Barker is a musician and artist living in West Hollywood, California with is wife and their two cats. In addition to traditional American music (ca. 1850-1960), his focus is photography and installation art. Before settling on the West Coast, he attended Florida State University (FSU) where he studied formalist music theory, composition and electronic music. Barker’s involvement with experimental music included being a member of the Stockhausen Ensemble (FSU) and the American New Music Collective. While at FSU, he became active in various artist run projects and exhibitions leading him to form a non-profit organization and gallery (named CA) with artist Claudia Bucher. Approached by Steve and Hope Kurtz in 1988, Barker became one of the founding members of The Critical Art Ensemble. In 1991 both he and Bucher transplanted themselves to Los Angeles, where Barker worked in the film and theater industry for over a decade. In 1993 he formed an art collective, BS International with his future wife (Rachel C. Spencer) and the collective began exhibiting performative site-specific art installations throughout southern California.
From 1995-1999 Barker was the technical director for Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions and while there, served on various programming committees that focused on interactive, performative, dance and new genre art. In 1999, he became the technical director for the Hammer Museum, a position he held for 10 years. While at the Hammer, Barker enrolled in the University of California Los Angeles. He went on to graduate with a BFA focusing on photography where he studied with Jim Welling and Cathy Opie. In 2011 Barker began his Masters studies in photography at California State University Long Beach (CSULB). Here Barker studied photography with Rebecca Sittler-Schrock and Todd Grey, theory and criticism with Mark Ruwedel and Jedediah Caesar, art history /museum studies with Karen Klienfelder, Tom Folland and Karen Moss as well as digital media with Tiffany Sum. Mid way through his graduate studies, Barker shifted his focus from studio art to art education. Just prior to beginning graduate studies, Barker was recruited by Homeless Health Care, Los Angeles to develop and direct an arts workshop program for the organization’s homeless clients in downtown Los Angeles, which continues to flourish to this day. In 2013 Barker was elected to the Board of Directors of New Town, a Pasadena based artist run non-profit which produces events and exhibitions in non-traditional locations where he serves on curatorial and programming committees.
Barker’s photographic procedures are quite varied with regard to the process and tools used; this is dictated by the images. He shots in a variety of film formats utilizing multiple vintage cameras, such as 4” x 4” view cameras, twin lens Seagull 6 x 6, Bronica 6 x 6 , Kodak Six-16 Art Deco Folding Camera 620, Canon AE1 35mm and a variety of DSLRs. Film may be scanned and processed in the digital domain or developed in the darkroom as Silver Gelitan or C-prints. All digital images are produced as digital C-prints. The average print size is around 18” x 24”.