James Barnett Paintings of Video Game ‘Scapes

Michelle's Place

Michelle's Place - from Grand Theft Auto IV - Oil on cradled wood panel 30" x 30"

There is nothing new about artists taking inspiration from other created works, but there is something here worth discussing.  People tend to connect with landscape or cityscape paintings of places they have seen before and that is part of the beauty in them.  A painting of the Streets of Charleston is going to connect with me in a way that it cannot connect with someone who has never been there.

Gamers tend to spend a lot of time in front of a glowing screen exploring alternate worlds and realities.  So much so, that these folks can direct you to every nook and cranny of these environments and show you everything worth seeing and exploring.  I am not a “hardcore” gamer by any stretch, but I play enough to know, at first glance, that two of these paintings are from Team Fortress 2 (2fort Red) and GTA 4 (Michelle’s Place).  The intriguing thing about these paintings is I connect with them in a similar way that I do with normal landscape and cityscape paintings of places that I have physically visited.  Seeing these paintings brings back sounds of the game, conversations occurring with other gamers and visuals of characters that I interact with.

These are nice paintings, but the most interesting to me is the way they surface a connection that I have to these make believe worlds.  I can only imagine that a more serious gamer would have an even deeper connection than I do.  Make sure you watch James Barnett’s website for paintings of video games that you might have played.


Megaton - from Fallout 3 - Oil on cradled wood panel 48" x 32"

City 17 Depot

City 17 Depot - Oil on cradled wood panel 24" x 32"

2fort red

2fort red - from Team Fortress 2 - Oil on cradled wood panel 20" x 16"

Canal Barn with Figure

Canal Barn with Figure - from Half-life 2 - Oil on cradled wood panel 32" x 24"

artist & website: James Barnett – jamesbarnett.net

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