FINE ART INVESTMENTS SINCE 1978
Ernie Barnes (1938-2009) was an American painter, actor, and football player best known for his depictions
of figures in motion. His compositions, often filled with crowds of people, were intended to promote racial
harmony by showing people from different backgrounds standing side-by-side. “I am bound by the strongest
ties with the organic life of all people,” the artist has said. “And being an artist has created in me the desire to
continually affirm beauty.” Barnes is commonly associated with the painting The Sugar Shack, inspired by
the popular sitcom Good Times, which depicts a crowd of people dancing in a jazz club, their bodies twisting
and serpentine. Born on July 15, 1938 in Durham, NC, Barnes began to experiment with painting while
studying at North Carolina College. After playing in the National Football League for five years, the artist was
hired by Sonny Werblin to be the official artist of the New York Jets. Barnes’s work has appeared on the
covers of several albums, including BB King's Making Love is Good For You and Marvin Gaye’s I Want You. In
2004, the artist gained media attention after he was commissioned to paint the mural A Life Restored for
Kanye West, which reflected on the rapper’s near-fatal car accident. Barnes died on April 27, 2009 in Los
Angeles, CA. His work is currently held in the collections of the American Sport Art Museum and Archives in
Daphne, the Seattle Art Museum, and African American Museum in Philadelphia.
Title: "Destination Unknown"
Medium: Original Offset-Lithograph
Limited edition: 203/300
Sheet size: 19.75" x 25.25"
Image size: 16.75" x 22.25"