Michael is currently Professor of Art-Printmaking, School of Art, Northern Illinois University, DeKalb, Illinois and has exhibited extensively in the USA, Europe and Asia. During 2015 Michael was artist in residency at the Auckland Print Studio 6th International Artist in Residence Programme were some of the lithographs on exhibition were printed with master printmaker John Pusateri.
The recent body of lithographic works by Michael Barnes depicts figures that wander or are stranded within the vacuum that has been created for them by the specific world in which they exist. They are oblivious to their immediate surroundings and the menial tasks to which they are assigned or have voluntarily adopted to cope with their existence.
The work addresses, in part, the destructive nature and absurdities that so readily prevail for human kind, along with themes of mortality and the philosophical questions of existence in general. The images are concerned with environment, social decay leaning towards an inward and isolated path, and cynicism about the historical evolution of so called civilization and its effects upon the world and its inhabitants.