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Photography and Publications by James Barbee

“A doctor must seek out old wives, Gypsies, sorcerers, wandering tribes, olde robbers, and such outlaws and take lessons from them.”
~ Paracelus 1493 – 1541

The images that appear in this collection are hopefully aesthetically pleasing, but they have been assembled with a far more ambiguous purpose in mind. They are intended as an exploration of conciousness—my experience of the world in which I have lived. At this stage in life I feel an approximately equal mix of awe, fear, and detachment—but most of all, humility. Much of the latter has come from my experience as a physician, where I see that terrible stuff happens to perfectly nice people all of the time (I call it the “Job Problem”–that’s “Job” as in the Bible, not the thing you do all week long to earn your daily bread).

Through my experiences and theirs I have realized that I have been traveling through life with an imperfect set of devices to guide me (morals, knowledge, family/friends, etc.), and I am handicapped as well by the complete lack of the one essential tool that any traveler needs to get where they want to go—a decent map. And—back to that “awe” thing—let’s face it, the universe is so complex that it is incomprehensible, and a good map would be really useful. Like Paracelsus, also a physician, I believe that there are many valuable clues to be had to guide me, often in unexpected/overlooked places. That is the intent of including the opening quote praising the wisdom of Gypsies, outlaws, and such.

I certainly mean no disrespect to anyone who appears in these images—in fact, just the opposite, these are the few individuals out of the thousands (if not hundreds of thousands) whom I have encountered/photographed who, in that one ephemeral moment, revealed some small but important piece of the map that I had not yet discovered. No one is to be regarded as a curious specimen or even members of a tribe to which I do not belong. We are all on this wondrous, sometimes terrifying, Magical Mystery Tour together.

And so, fellow travelers, in the absence of a good map, I will leave a trail of bread crumbs.

All of the images on this website are available as limited editions of 10 fine art custom-made prints, each one printed with the finest available archival inks and paper, individually signed and numbered by the artist.

Printed cards, also made with archival materials and suitable for mailing, are also available for many of the images. To make a purchase, please click here to contact us on the website for Gallery Huracan.

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