Barton Lewis was born into a family of artists and teachers in Urbana, Illinois. After graduating high school from the North Carolina School of the Arts, he moved to New York City to attend the Juilliard School, where he received a B.M. in music composition. He also has a B.A. in English literature from Columbia University.
After college, Barton briefly pursued a career in music, but devoted himself to filmmaking full-time in the 1990s. His films are meditations on the mundane and commonplace and the art of looking and listening in the world, explored through studies of natural light and the urban landscape in states of opulent decay.
Barton’s current work is photography of “found” or “accidental” artworks underground and on the street - surfaces transformed by human hand, the passage of time and organic processes of decay. As with his motion work, Barton is interested in how everyday phenomena are reconfigured as works of art, through the imaginative rendering of life’s raw materials.