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No doubt Frank Barnett’s fascination with the idea of photomontage was influenced by his mother’s artistic creations in the medium of decoupage. Throughout his childhood, he watched her create beautiful interior design pieces that were sold at W. & J. Sloane, a trendsetting New York retailer that opened a branch in Beverly Hills in 1948. When he opened the Parsons-Barnett Gallery in Oakland, California, it was the venue for Romare Bearden’s first West Coast exhibit in 1980. When Bearden died in 1988, the New York Times’ obituary described him as “the nation’s foremost collagist.”
For Frank, a finished photograph doesn’t necessarily happen with the click of the shutter. Many of his photographs are taken with later creations in mind – creations that are made of several component parts seamlessly joined into a sweeping canvas that reads as a single image. For the image at left, “Object of Desire,” Frank received a 2014 Monochrome Award in the category of Photomanipulation.
Early in Frank's development as a photomontagist, he was mentored by Swiss photographer, István Vizner, recognized by Lürzer's Archive as one of the world's 200 best digital artists every year since 2013.