Barrett gives us light and motion, the hot fuels of life, and
wraps them in a package of inscrutable beauty, the horse. She
riding, faster than we'd like, as her Thoroughbreds careen around racetrack curves or launch themselves into the air, clearing mean fences.
She offers quiet moments, thick with tension. And she gives us deep and lasting drama. A foal and its mother, a champion's final hour.
Katey Barrett's work actually owes very
little to the still photographers of the past or present. Her
earliest influences came in the 1960s
with the Actors Studio in Hollywood, where she immersed herself in directing. Indeed, she calls her technique "cinematic" and pays hom-
age to the great visionaries of film, directors like John Ford, Stanley Kubrick, John Huston and Orson Welles.
If Katey has a signature, it is the wondrous
sense of "movement" she gives to much of her most
admired work, capturing the essence of
the horse in many ways. She can give it to you cool and clinical, focused and framed with each vein and muscle popping to the rush of lac-
tic acid. Or she can give it to you in a caress, imbued with the lustrous warmth of the Impressionists, awash in the golden glows of a dying
What it comes down to this is: Katey
Barrett is a painter in photographer's drag. Instead of oils, inks and charcoal,
her paint comes from
sunlight etching a latent image that only Katey Barrett sees.
Minor White most certainly was talking
about Katey Barrett and her horses when he said: "No matter
how slow the film, spirit always
stands still long enough for the photographer it has chosen".
Excerpts taken from Eclipse-award winning writer, Jay Hovdey's introduction to Katey Barrett's book, "The Light Touch".