In an article about Carter Flachbarth, a photo of three paintings

Carter Flachbarth Tells Stories Through Transformative Paintings

The young painter's career has just begun, but the work produced shows his unbelievable talent.

Carter Flachbarth is a U.S.-based artist whose painting career only recently took off. He is a 2020 Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) graduate whose craft speaks for itself. Despite being only 26 years old, he has already built an impressive portfolio. Although the public knows almost nothing about his background, one thing is for certain: He is insanely talented.

Since the start of his career at SCAD, Flachbarth’s art has quickly circulated and gained public recognition from multiple respectable institutions. His self-produced work has been featured in both national and international showcases. Furthermore, reputable galleries such as the Plastic Murs Art Gallery in Valencia, Spain (which is now permanently closed), and the Plan X Gallery in Milan, Italy, have exhibited his eye-catching work.

For those familiar with his paintings, it’s easy to recognize his distinctive art style. Even people who have never heard of him but have an appreciation for art will love each piece for what it has to say. The abstract style combined with the imaginative fish-eye scaling and the emotions conveyed by the expressive figures feed the perceptive eye and elevate the story of each piece. Really, the biggest takeaways from his work appear in the evocative details and themes.

In recent years, more people are learning about Flachbarth’s budding career. Artsy’s “New and Noteworthy Artists” featured him as a “Noteworthy Newcomer” in 2020. Forbes Italia also featured the young talent’s work. The accolades and recognition he has accumulated highlight what his art has to offer.

Flachbarth’s first museum exhibition took place at SCAD and ran between December 2021 to March 2022. The event, titled “Morality Sucks,” showcased his latest paintings at the time, allowing audiences to appreciate the recurrent fisheye perspective and pop-of-color designs. Each painting depicts the same male figure with enlarged hands and long noodle-like arms in a variety of narratives. Flachbarth creates his pieces to deliver a message to audiences. He described the meaning of his works in a February 2022 interview, stating, “… my work functions as personal anecdotes of my experience within it.

One of the paintings featured in this exhibit is the striking “DRAW,” in which the figure’s blue skin shares the canvas with green and purple. Each color carries significant weight for the meaning of the entire gallery. Though Flachbarth’s figures were originally created with the intention of representing himself, the “character” now seems to embody something larger. In more recent works, the figure exists to “represent broader archetypes of masculinity and their inherent flaws, and is depicted variously as agitated, melancholic, bored and distracted.” The scenarios in which the ambiguous figure appears draw out feelings of sadness or emptiness with his facial expressions.

Along with the many exhibits at big-ticket galleries, one of Flachbarth’s biggest achievements was his first solo exhibition. The event took place in Santa Monica, California, at the Richard Heller Gallery just this year. From July 9 to Aug. 13, the exhibit presented “Carter Flachbarth – Picture Show.” The art featured in the show draws influences from film and offers a “cinematically heightened view of the world.”

The composition of Flachbarth’s pieces is strategically crafted to convey the character’s story through striking imagery. The vibrant colors are another element that grabs the attention of viewers. One of the most prominent pieces of the “Picture Show” exhibit was “BAR.” The acrylic canvas uses Flachbarth’s fisheye perspective to present a couple with exaggeratedly large hands. The deep, soulful hues of red that mark their skin tone contrast the surrounding black and small hints of gold, creating a blend of shade and emotion that enamors the viewer. Along with storytelling and colors, Flachbarth subtly embeds space and elusive movement into each painting. These elements form an impressive composition and are essential parts of every piece’s narrative.

Prior to Flachbarth’s solo showcase with the Richard Heller Gallery, his works from “Satellite of Love” were featured there as part of a group exhibition booth for EXPO Chicago. The early exposure laid the foundation for his talented artistic career.

More recently, the painter took part in a tell-all interview with Juxtapoz Magazine in celebration of his solo exhibition. In the interview, Flachbarth shared intimate details regarding his creative processes and sources of inspiration.

In the span of just five years, Flachbarth has found immense success. His artistic capabilities are extremely praiseworthy. So much so, that his portfolio has practically painted itself. The artist has made serious strides in his career and will continue to leave a lasting impression.

Flachbarth’s journey as the next big thing has just begun. There is still so much more to be seen from his work, and it is clear from his exhibitions that he is passionate about art. Each painting evokes emotions with talent practically bleeding from his work. Through the storytelling of his art, viewers have been subjectively transformed by each piece. Without a doubt, Flachbarth’s potential will only flourish, leaving us all looking forward to the next canvas.

Ally Najera, California State University, Northridge


Ally Najera

California State University, Northridge
Broadcast Journalism, Minor in Marketing

I am currently studying broadcast journalism and minoring in marketing. I read religiously and love watching films. I am very passionate about words. I live and breathe pop culture – and love to share my thoughts.

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