I was born in Dover, New Jersey. The manipulation of images and text has interested me for as long as I can remember. As a kid I loved books, newspapers, magazines, and just about anything else printed on paper.
I think it was Silly Putty that really got me going, though. I found it amazing that I could steal images right out of the newspaper and manipulate them.
One day in elementary school, our art teacher Mr. Huntzinger was showing us flash cards of fine art reproductions. When he got to the “modern art” pieces, I was knocked out. With all of the aesthetic sophistication of a 10-year-old, I decided that all traditional paintings were old-fashioned and boring, while all modern pieces were cool and exciting.
My high school art teacher, Dan Krzywicki, was a talented and accomplished abstract painter. He had a profound influence on me. “Mr K” made me feel that art was important and that being an artist was something good.
I later earned a BA from what is now William Paterson University, with a focus on graphic design, art history, filmmaking, and media communications. My teachers there included the art critic Gregory Battcock, filmmaker Umberto Bonsignori, sculptor William Finneran, the painter John Day.
I was particularly influenced by Dr. Paris, my optimistic and energetic printmaking teacher, and by Cliff Adelman, who taught a course called Contemporary Communications. Jesse Collins, one of my design teachers, was exceedingly kind and patient with my somewhat off-kilter approach to his assignments.
Sometimes it’s the simplest things that stick with a student. Professor Collins’ bemused patience, Dr. Paris’ infectious enthusiasm and Professor Adelman’s encouraging comments in the margins of my papers gave me a feeling of affirmation that truly helped me along.
After graduation I started working as an independent graphic designer and art director, mostly to support my music habit (see below). A timely explosion of business growth in Northern New Jersey helped me add clients, and I eventually founded the design firm Barth and Co. We’ve worked hard to produce good work for a variety of clients and along the way have received national recognition for excellence in graphic communications.
To help promote the firm, I’ve written for and have been featured in publications such as Adweek, Graphic Design: USA, Art Direction, Creative New Jersey, Small Business Computing, and others. I’ve also done some speaking and conducted design seminars for a number of client and peer groups, including AT&T, Lucent Technologies, General Public Utilities, the International Association of Business Communicators, and the Art Directors’ Club of New Jersey.
I am currently working on a series of acrylic paintings, constructions and installations that draw on my background as a designer and graphic communicator. My most recent solo show, Branches, was on view at Speakeasy Art in Boonton, New Jersey. My installation Hello Box is ongoing at The Gallery at 14 Maple in Morristown. I was recently in the group show Humor In Art at The Watchung Arts Center in Watchung, New Jersey.
Three of my installations were part of the group exhibition Water, Water, Anywhere at the Therese A. Maloney Art Gallery, College of Saint Elizabeth in Morristown, NJ. The acrylic on velvet Miasma recently appeared in the group show Who We Are: Contemporary Portraits, also at the Maloney. Previously, the multimedia acrylic Dilo! was included in Pura Cuba, a group exhibition at the Perth Amboy (New Jersey) Arts Center. I’ve participated in numerous other group exhibitions, including several shows at the Blackwell Street Gallery in Dover, NJ.
With Dreux Bassoul and Steve Peer, I was a founding member of the band TV TOY. We were active in the burgeoning Northern New Jersey original music scene that bridged the late 1970s and early 80s.
Referred to by some as purveyors of “prog-punk”, we enjoyed some critical acclaim on the peripheries of the punk/new wave movements in New York.
I later hosted the Tower of Babble Radio Program on freeform WNTI 91.9 FM in Hackettstown, NJ, and was a frequent guest of The Mickster’s classic Dangerous Rock and Roll Show on that station.
I am a longtime member of AIGA, the oldest and largest association for professionals engaged in the discipline, practice and culture of designing.
My wife Marcie and I live in Puerto Rico.
Thanks for visiting!