Del Kathryn Barton

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Del Kathryn Barton is an Australian artist who was born in 1972. She won the 2008 Archibald Prize for her portaiture You are what is most beautiful about me, a self portrait with Kell and Arella and has since then gained significant attention from the world of art. She is represented by Karen Woodbury Gallery, Melbourne, Australia and Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery, Sydney, Australia.

She began attending the College of Fine Arts of the University of New South Wales in 1990 and graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in 1993. She moved on the work there as a lecturer in drawing.

Her work has a dream-like, fantasy element to it. She incorporates animalistic features in her art. They are always rich in colour and life, with nature and wildlife in general being a key aspect to her work. Her work includes painting, sculpture, drawing and mixed media, which draw on imagery from the human form. My favourite thing about Barton's work is her use of materials. Synthetic polymer paint, gouache, watercolour, pen. She also often incorporates sequins, glitter and beads in her work to give it more life. Her work is very busy and cluttered with imagery. It is rare that her art will contain parts with nothing going on. Infact, it is often so full of colour and scenery that different parts of her work seem to overlap eachother. Trying to recreate Del's work is impossibly difficult. Her work bursts with life and colour and shape. It's incredibly sexual and expressively raw. I used watercolour pencils to get the same fluid colours that blend into one another, but it did not work as well as I'd have liked. I stuck to faces here as the way she draws bodies is beyond difficult! She seems to draw her figures with extra joints and often she draws them with extra limbs or body parts.

She lists Henry Darger as one of her influences, a reclusive American writer and artist who died in 1973. His work has become one of the most famous representations of Outsider art. After his father died in...
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