The Mission Statement and Biography of
Rahmaan Statik Barnes
Doctors save lives, police fight crime, and the Artist dictates what we
know as Image, Icon, and Form. I live a life-style of observation and
creation. I believe that being well informed on the subject of your
work and having an organized strategy produces a more intriguing work
of art. I believe man has the right to choose his reality. In my
reality I have chosen my own destiny; time and fate have confirmed that
producing art is my positive contribution to society.
The work I produce both symbolizes and creates optimism for life in our
industrialized society. It also challenges the over-saturation of
mindless sexual and violent images in pop visual culture. I put forth a
passionate effort to produce art that has a spiritual, political and
My artwork has been executed by the use of computer based design
layouts and constructed with various art mediums, such as spray paint,
oil paint, and acrylic. The subjects of the work include figure
studies, human nature and political issues. My goal is to break the
preconceived idea of what most people may think aerosol art is,
highlighting the difference between aerosol art and graffiti.
The spray can is an example of a post-World War II product that was not
originally conceived for producing art, but as a household tool.
Through the use of the Chiaroscuro technique, combined with classical
and modern influences, my work seeks to have the spray can recognize as
an artistic medium. Further, the nature of the medium being an aerosol
can use for industry and aesthetic vandalism, is an icon for the fusion
of art and technology. As such, it is a form of modern art.
The historic influences of my work are Alphonse Mucha, Caravaggio and
Andy Warhol. Their uses of color, form and medium have proved a good
reference for setting my personal standard. Likewise, my contempory
influences, which include Mariko Mori, Brat Disney Cook and Zaha Hadid
have challenged me to raise my concepts of modern public art.
The fusion of art and technology continues with the use of the computer
with painting. The fusion of these mediums is what separates the work
artists are doing today from the work of the masters. Yet the master
standard is as important now, as then. The main principle in the
correlation of painting and computer is the creation of order with
chaos. This is another tool for the artist to push the envelope that
much further. We are living in a digital, information age, where
technology grows by the day. This has raised the standard in concept,
quality and quantity of work artist’s produce. I hope to continue to
always challenge the standard, producing quality original urban
Growing up on the South Side of Chicago, surrounded by urban art and
public murals, I became inspired to be involved with the subculture of
urban graffiti. A consequent arrest for “vandalism” put me on a mission
to legitimize the production of aerosol murals.
This became the main focus of my work: public murals that fuse the
graffiti aesthetic with a classical training received from the American
Academy of Art. As co-founder of RK Design, a graphic arts and mural
company, I have produced over 200 murals, multiple CD covers, book
illustrations and logo designs. Through the Chicago Public Art Group,
as well as Gallery 37, I have instructed children in mural painting
techniques, as well as mentored young artists in their craft.
I currently work out of my studio in the Pilsen neighborhood of
Chicago, where in addition to pieces created in oil, acrylic, graphite,
pen & ink, pastels, mosaic tile, spray paint and digital media, I
am developing an instructional video on large-scale aerosol pieces.