Malene B the brand is synonymous with beauty and function. Malene Barnett the human has earned a reputation as a creative influencer and a leading industry-voice.
Cross-media, contemporary artist, Malene Barnett draws on her deep love of color and rich textures to merge fine art with the principles of digital design to create a collection of contemporary paintings and patterns, clay objects and bespoke carpets. She was born in New York City and raised beside the Norwalk coastline, CT, on a diet of soca, reggae, and Caribbean folktales.
From a young age, Malene chose painting as a way to express herself creatively. From exploring textile design, in her early teens, to later carving out a niche as a one of New York’s most profiled bespoke carpet designers, Malene’s creations now stem from her original artwork on canvas, paper and wood—images and patterns that translate across her entire product line.
In her current portfolio, Malene’s aesthetic challenges the boundaries that seek to confine our expression as individuals. Her most recent, collection, Market Series, 2017, painted in acrylics, watercolors and pastels on wood, renders a visual depiction of the black female nervous system— and investigates the point at which, pain, hope and possibilities overlap.
Drawing on the vibrancy and energy of New York city—the Senegalese vendors in Harlem to the Jamaican jerk sellers on street corners in Brooklyn, Malene takes her creative inspiration from the sights and sounds of culture and community. To date she has traveled to over 25 countries.
A former FIT (Fashion Institute of Technology) alumna, Malene studied fashion illustration and textile surface design. Over the past two decades her textile and pattern design work has been featured in Interior Design, New York Magazine, HGTV Magazine, Luxe + Design Magazine and House Beautiful.—she has appeared as a guest speaker on Morning Joe, MSNBC Your Business, TEDX, Malene’s client list includes leading brands such as Marriott Hotel, Viacom, Saks, WeWork, Avalon Communities and the MetLife Building.
Now, in its tenth year, Malene B is undergoing a transformation from design studio to an art and design Atelier practice, offering a product range rooted in fine art. Under her new brand Malene B Atelier she will continue her artist-brand-collaborations, public speaking and business leadership initiatives.
MALENE B is a certified MWBE (Minority Woman Owned Business Enterprise)
Drawing on my love of custom pattern designs and rich textures is what drives me to work in mixed-media—acrylics, watercolors, pastels, fine yarns and clay. I am interested in pushing these mediums into art and designs that look and feel multidimensional.
From early childhood trips to the Caribbean, then later in life during my extensive travels through Africa, Southeast Asia and Europe, I fell for a shade of blue/green, that seemed to have the ability to catch and hold the sun and ocean colors. Since then I've revered color and metallics—and use them in my work intuitively—cut me and my blood runs turquoise—and gold.
I consider color and patterns a language with a psychology. I'm intrigued by the idea of how style and technique can trigger dreams and memories—identify a people or a place. That idea works with my current body of work.
Most recently in my Marketplace series, I explore the idea that we come as one but ten thousand stand. I revel in the complexity, stories and potential buried in all of that.