Amongst New Zealand contemporary artists is Barry Ross Smith. His paintings show key moments in rural life in New Zealand on a farm, beach or bach.
Barry was born and raised in New Zealand. His professional training included sign writing and commercial artist. Painting became his focus after meeting and painting with an American artist in 1995. He takes pleasure in outdoor scenes and life models. The very first public exhibition was held in 2008. The same year he started studying at Whitecliffe School of Art in
Parnell, Auckland to gain his Master of Fine Arts degree.
In his artwork Barry renders life in rural New Zealand. New Zealanders are portrayed working on their farm or with their farm animals. Paintings show farmer in their leading, selecting and organising role they take on while working with farm animals. At other times the beach and the activities around the beach like sunbathing, reading in the shade or going camping move into the centre. At other times the painted story revolves around the typical New Zealand bach. Commonly the scenes described in his artworks touch viewers in a way like meeting an old acquaintance.
'Rush Hour' on a farm means it is the time to bring in the cows for milking.
Two farmers are peacefully resting on a quad bike with an attentive eye to the dog who is herding the cows towards the milking shed.
'Sitting Pretty' is showing a retro caravan standing under trees swaying in the breeze. Nostalgic memories of a sun drenched kiwi summer immediately echo pictures of similar scenes the viewer may have experienced.
'Interior Landscape' is an interesting title to a painting that tricks the observer. A bach front with an open front and back door lets the eye walk through to the unfolding mountainous landscape on the back side of the bach and turns it cleverly into an interior landscape.