BILL BARMINSKI BIOGRAPHY



Artist Bill Barminski creates artwork in many media including painting, music videos, video installation, music composition and interactive formats. He has been showing his artwork in  solo exhibitions at galleries in Los Angeles and New York since 1990. Visitors to Los Angeles have seen his handiwork at the corner of Sunset Blvd. and Crescent Heights on the Absolut Barminski billboard. Barminski is also a director of  music videos and has received a gold record for his work on "Everybody's Free" (the Sunscreen Song). Barminski shares his knowledge with students in the Lab for New Media at UCLA where he has been teaching as a visiting professor since 1997.

Barminski first came to public attention in the early eighties with his underground comicbook,  Tex Hitler: Fascist Gun in the West, a scathing satire of American and international politics. Noted cultural author Greil Marcus, who has written about Tex Hitler in the pages of Art Forum International, says "What's most remarkable about Bill Barminski's Fascist Gun in the West is how quickly and completely it pulls you into it's twisted, yet utterly familiar little world." The underground nature of the Fascist Gun in the West and it's limited publication have made it a much sought after collectors item among comic book aficionados.

Barminski parlayed his initial success into a job as an editorial cartoonist for the Daily Texan, the student paper of the University of Texas at Austin. The strip, entitled King of the Pre-Fab, featured the adventures of Dick Nixon, a used car salesman and campus gadfly. Scott Scarborough, President of the U.T. Students Association was so pleased with Barminski's cartoons he repeatedly tried to have him fired from the paper. Much to their credit, the Daily Texan refused to be intimidated and continued to publish Barminski's work until his departure in 1985.

Painting

In 1985 Barminski moved to Los Angeles to pursue a career as a cartoonist. As things go however, he picked up a brush and started painting instead. Over the course of the next five years he taught himself how to paint and gained professional representation in 1990 at the Robert Berman Gallery in Santa Monica and at the Ricco/ Maresca Gallery in NYC.

"The advertising-derived images that Barminski incorporates into his paintings are meant to evoke postwar America. Like filmmaker David Lynch and others, Barminski is interested in the ominously surreal side of the good life."  Tobey Crockett, Art in America

The themes and style of his work critique mass media and consumer culture. His exhibitions usually contain installation elements showcasing a video work produced for each show. His richly textured paintings have been reviewed in numerous publications such as FlashArt, Art in America, Art News, Visions Art Quarterly, New American Painters  and the Los Angeles Weekly to name but a few.

New Media

Starting 1992 Barminski co-created two award winning CD-ROMs entitled Bar-Min-Ski: Consumer Product and The Encyclopedia of Clamps. Again, like his earlier underground work both CD-ROMs are self-published and both have become cult classics in a very short time.

The first title,  Bar-Min-Ski; Consumer Product published in 1995, is a far reaching documentary of ten years worth of the life and artwork of Bill Barminski. The title received great critical acclaim and has been featured in the pages of many magazines such as Wired, Entertainment Weekly, The Washington Post, Los Angeles Magazine and the Utne Reader.

The Encyclopedia of Clamps is the second CD-ROM that Bill Barminski has co-created.  Wired magazine calls it "The last bastion of sophisticated CD-ROMs" and that it "..is like a carnival operated by Bill Gaines and B.F. Skinner." (Nov. 97) The CD-ROM features 38 exhibition rooms that run the gamut from interactive artworks to cartoon adventures. In the disc Barminski explores the possibilities of using this medium as a tool for artistic expression.

Barminski has also taken his creations to the internet. Starting with his original character Cyclops Boy , Bill Barminski co-created the internet series Cyclops Boy: The One-Eyed Detective in Satellite Sky. The distinctive graphic quality of the richly textured noir-esque Los Angeles found in Satellite Sky speaks to Bill Barminski's unique visual style. In addition to creating all of the artwork found in Satellite Sky he also co-wrote, co-directed and co-designed the series. The series itself has won several awards, most notably the Best Multimedia Award at the FilmWinter Fest, Stuttgart Germany

Music Video

I
n 1999 Barminski began directing music videos and commercials. His first music video for Baz Lurhmans' song ' Everbody is Free ' (aka. The Sunscreen Song) has earned him a gold record and a Music Video Producers nomination for best music video director 1999 in the 'under 50 thousand' catagory. He also created a short film for the GooGoo Dolls 1999 Summer Tour entitled "Greed in Action", a parody of a 1950's training film extolling the "virtues" of greed.

Teaching

Bill Barminski is currently a visiting professor in The Lab For New Media at UCLA. His classes focus on bringing creativity, design and art to the digital medium.

He has also given many lectures and presentations at Art Center, Pasadena, American Film Institute, Rotterdam International Film Festival, South x Southwest Film Festival and Sigraph 95.



EXHIBITIONS

2004
IS THIS IMPORTANT ? east @ The Ricco • Maresca Gallery, New York.

2003
IS THIS IMPORTANT ? west @ Robert Berman Gallery, Santa Monica, Ca

2001
Filter @ Robert Berman Gallery, Santa Monica, Ca

1999
Living Room EAST  @ The Ricco • Maresca Gallery, New York

1998
Living Room @ Robert Berman Gallery, Santa Monica, Ca
Wall Paper  @ System M, Long Beach, Ca.

1997
Jones  @  Robert Berman Gallery, Santa Monica, Ca
New Paintings @ System M, Long Beach, Ca.

1996
Crap @ Robert Berman Gallery, Santa Monica, Ca
Culture Bomb @ System M, Long Beach, Ca.
Paintings @ Earl McGrath Gallery. New York, NY

1995
Icon Addiction  @  Robert Berman Gallery, Santa Monica

1994
Bar-Min-Ski, Consumer Product @ Robert Berman Gallery, Santa Monica, Ca.
New Paintings @ System M, Long Beach, Ca.

1993
Just Do IT @ Robert Berman Gallery, Santa Monica, Ca
New Paintings @ System M, Long Beach, Ca.

1992
New Paintings @  B-1 Gallery, Santa Monica, Ca.
New Paintings @  System M, Long Beach, Ca.

1990
 New Paintings @  System M, Long Beach, Ca.

1989
Paintings @  La Luz De Jesus, Los Angeles, Ca.

1988
New Paintings @ System M, Long Beach, Ca.
New Paintings @  Reiss-La Brecque Gallery, Venice Ca.

1987
New Paintings @  System M, Long Beach, Ca.
EZTV Multi Media Presentation, Hollywood, Ca.

1986
Paintings @  Oranges & Sardines Gallery, Los Angeles, Ca.



Group Exhibitions

1998
On Politics  Cerritos Collage Art Gallery
Everybody Loves a Clown Guggenheim Gallery, Chapman University, Orange Ca.
Double Trouble. The Patchett Collection" Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego and Museo de las Artes, Guadalajara
10 Years of La Luz de Jesus Gallery Track 16 Bergamot Station, Santa Monica, Ca.

1997
Grins: Humor and Whimsy Curated by Peter Frank, at The Millard Sheets Gallery 

1995
The Romance Show Art Center Collage of Design, Pasadena, Ca.
Treading of Hallowed Ground Guggenheim Gallery, Chapman University, Orange Ca.



Video

1999
Everybody is Free (aka The Sunscreen Song) Baz Luhrman. Directed by Bill Barminski. Animation by Bill Barminski.
Greed in Action GooGoo Dolls Summer 1999 Tour. Directed by Bill Barminski. Animation by Bill Barminski.



New Media

1997
The Encyclopedia of Clamps, 1st place Best Foreign CD-ROM, Multimedia Producers of Japan Association.
Cyclops Boy website. 1st Place Multimedia Award at FilmWinter Stuttgard.
Cyclops Boy, Rotterdam International Film Festival
Deluxoland website, Macromedia Shocked Site of the Day.
Cyclops Boy, Macromedia Shocked Site of the Day.
Rockweb, Macromedia Shocked Site of the Day.

1996
Electra '96 (Barminski, Consumer Product) Henie Onstad Kunstenter Hovikodden.
Burning the Interface (Barminski, Consumer Product) Sydney Museum of Modern Art 

1995
Arts Futuro (Barminski, Consumer Product) Museo National Centro de Arts, Reina Sofia, Madrid, Spain.
Toronto International Film Festival, (Barminski, Consumer Product) Toronto, Canada 
New York Interactive Multimedia festival, (Barminski, Consumer Product) Bronze Medal Winner, New York, NY.



Teaching 

1998 - current
UCLA Department of Film and Television. Visiting Professor
UCLA Department of Design • Media Arts. Lecturer



Lectures and Presentations

2003
Promax  Featured Speaker

2000
Lumo Communo, Multi-media workshop. Lisbon, Portugal July 3-10

1997
Art on the Web, American Film Institute, Los Angeles, Ca.
Digital Art,  GenArt, Los Angels, Ca.
The Encyclopedia of Clamps, South x Southwest Festival, Austin, Tx.
The Encyclopedia of Clamps, IISC, Los Angeles, Ca.

1996
The Encyclopedia of Clamps, Rotterdam International Film Festival.

1995
The Encyclopedia of Clamps, Sigraph 95, Los Angeles, Ca.

1994
Barminski, Consumer Product, American Film Institute, Los Angeles, Ca.
Barminski, Consumer Product, Digital World, Los Angeles, Ca.

In addition Bill Barminski has given classroom presentation at the following schools Art Center, Pasadena, USC, CAL-ARTS, Whittier Collage


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