Rufus Barkley is a 22 year old photographer, film maker and writer. He was raised between Southern California, South Carolina, Peru, and Paris. The contrasts inherent in his much traveled life are evident in his work, which contains a provocative energy and a precocious frame of reference. He found his appreciation for art at an early age, developing a particular admiration for painters like Juan Gris and René Magritte. A chance exposure to the street artist Invader and the discovery of musicians like The Stooges and The Cramps were among the catalysts that made him realise he didn’t need to paint or draw classically to be an artist. Rufus turned to graffiti techniques using paint pens and increasingly large canvases. He then picked up a camera and was immediately enthralled by the spontaneity and freedom photography can offer.
He became obsessed with the camera, initially documenting the skate punk milieu he was a part of; the mosh pits and live performances. On moving to New York in 2014, he was captivated by the idea of making fashion photography. Expanding his range into moving image, Rufus has found his metier, which lies in combining his obsessions into free-form diaries that capture the looseness of rock and roll, the flamboyance of fashion, and in his prose the reflective inner life of one who has always been on the move.
Fashion is a part of Rufus’ family history, its in his DNA. His fashion work reveals his love of it, as well as ambivalence and wit. His styling is elegant and irreverent, and often teeters on the brink of art. He is an outsider with an insider’s knowledge, in love with the way the world looks though the prisms of his terrific prose, short films and photographs.
Winner of Barney's Perfect Shot Competition 2017
New York, NY