Born in 1941 in Morocco, Barbey has journeyed across five continents and numerous world conflicts, though he does not consider himself a war photographer, he has nevertheless covered the civil war in Nigeria, Vietnam, the Middle East, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Ireland, Iraq and Kuwait. His love for and fascination with Morocco, the land of his childhood, is evident in the colourful body of work shown in this exhibition. Barbey expresses a unique empathy for its people in the subtle complexities of life he reveals through his lens. “ I find smells and colours that remind me of my youth. And one should not forget that this country has inspired painters such as Delacroix and Matisse.” The yellow ochre and burnt umber tones of the towns and rural areas depicted create graphic images rendered dazzling by Morocco’s scorching light.
In 1999, the Petit Palais (Musee des Beaux Arts) of the city of Paris, produced a large exhibition of his photographs taken in Morocco during the past 30 years. He has received numerous awards for his work, including the French “National Order of Merit”, the “Oversees Press Club Award”, and the“University of Missouri Photojournalism Award”. Barbey is author of several photographic books of which three focus on his beloved Morocco.