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Curtis Barnes

Date Available


Creation Date



86.4 x 59.7 x 2.5 cm (34 x 23.5 x 1 inches)


oil paint, canvas


Oil painting of a mask and a face by artist Curtis Barnes. The content of this painting reflects Barnes's interest in the ideas and philosophy of dualism. Dualistic imagery is commonly found in the art of many indigenous cultures. The artist's primary inspiration is directly related to the ancestry of mankind, and its lineage to present-day cultures. His interest in cosmic mythology and mask symbolism allowed Barnes to juxtapose the images and produce an Egyptian-influenced representation. The profile mask and primary focal point of the composition is taken from a charcoal drawing of a studio model created during open studio sessions at the Dayton Art Institute in 1998. One could consider the traditional mask imagery a reflection of distinct qualities found in ancient Egyptian and Nubian cultures. The heart is symbolic to the common spirit shared by both cultures. The visual statement is a combination of Barnes's relative connection to what is known, and his acknowledgement of the mystery of the unknown. He identifies and documents imagery within a historical context in relation to current societal imagery. The artists states, "Both feed my soul, and subsequently fuel my creative process. The overall composition reflects my continuous interest in masks, mythology and cosmology."

Permission Statement

U.S. and international copyright laws protect this digital resource. Commercial use or distribution of the resource is not permitted without prior permission of the copyright holder. Please contact Roesch Library at the University of Dayton to inquire concerning available permission to use the digital image.


oil painting


masks, paintings