Barbara Rachko is an American contemporary artist and author who divides her time between residences in New York City and Alexandria, VA. She is best known for her pastel-on-sandpaper paintings, her eBook, “From Pilot to Painter,” and her blog, “Barbara Rachko’s Colored Dust.”
Barbara has led an extraordinary, inspiring life. She learned to fly at the age of 25 and became a commercial pilot and Boeing-727 flight engineer before joining the Navy. As a Naval officer she spent many years working at the Pentagon and retired as a Commander.
On 9/11 her husband, Dr. Bryan C. Jack, was tragically killed on the plane that hit the Pentagon.
Barbara uses her large collection of Mexican and Guatemalan folk art – masks, carved wooden animals, papier mâché figures, and toys – to create one-of-a-kind pastel-on-sandpaper paintings that combine reality and fantasy and depict personal narratives. Her paintings are bold, vibrant, and extremely unusual.
Barbara exhibits nationally and internationally and has won many awards during her 30+ years as a professional artist.
If Andre Serrano were a painter, he would do a Barbara Rachko. Indeed, the advent of an erotic consciousness that Serrano initiated in the hyperrealist medium of photography now extends to canvas; Barbara Rachko newly interprets painting as the subject/object 'capturing site' of the 360-degree perspective of the hieros gamos.
-Dr. Lisa Paul Streitfeld
Barbara Rachko's antecedents are not in the folk traditions of the cultures she studies and embraces, but rather in the sophisticated strategies of Henri Matisse (who was a master at mixing patterns) and Edgar Degas (who exploited the power of oblique angles and cropped figures).
It is undeniable that, like de Chirico, Barbara Rachko has created a unique, original, and very private landscape.
Rachko has done a spectacular job at allowing viewers to understand her, her approach to art, and her techniques... The diversity of her background and experiences has certainly had a significant effect on her unique and remarkable approach to art, and her ability to consistently create such important works of art.
Hear Barbara's Yale Radio Interview.