Art

DSC_0651Visual Art has always been a huge component of my life. I’ve painted murals, designed stage sets and I have a thriving business creating custom finishes on drums, guitars, motorcycles and vehicles.

Early in my career I teamed up with Michael Cotten (former Tubes member) to create Cotten/Prince, an artistic design partnership. We combined our art expertise and worked with The Tubes choreographer Kenny Ortega (Dirty Dancing, High School Musical) to collaborate as the artistic team responsible for devising the production design and theatrical staging for The Tubes live shows and videos. We also designed the album covers and graphic design for the band.

We also come up with a style and air-brush technique which allowed us to design and paint some of the world’s largest murals.

One of our most famous murals was the “Flying Records” on the exterior of the A&M Records building in Hollywood, Ca. The mural’s demise was mourned by many in the music community, in particular Jerry Moss, founder of A & M Records. The destruction of the mural was documented in a 2012 NPR interview.

BARCO: Moss says they knew it was all over when Polygram executives did away with murals painted outside the recording studios.

MOSS: We had these incredible murals that were painted by Mike Cotten and Prairie Prince, of the group called The Tubes; the A&M logo and – beautiful, all around those studios. And the week we left, for some reason, they just whitewashed it. And it was like, OK, that’s – that’s – that’s who they are.”

Other iconic murals include “Crashing Waves” on San Francisco’s Cliff House and the interior of The Chemical Bank of New York at Rockefeller Center in New York City.

Our artistic vision and ability to produce innovative and artistic projects led to working for the world’s top live performers, high-end retailers and companies around the world.

Working with long time collaborator Kenny Ortega we created set and stage design for some of the world’s biggest musical touring acts (Michael Jackson, Shania Twain, Bonnie Raitt, Gloria Estefan, Bette Midler, The Tubes and Todd Rundgren).

We also collaborated on the Closing Ceremonies of the 1996 Olympic Games and the Super Bowl XXX Half-Time Show, starring Diana Ross, Michael Jackson’s 1997 “History” tour and “This Is It” musical residency in London in 2009.

We painted murals across the United States for companies including I. Magnin, Macy’s, The Limited and Federated Stores. We painted murals and interiors for international clients in Spain, England, Italy, Germany, Mexico, Sweden and Japan. Other major mural commissions include grand scale interiors at the Ho-Chunk Casino and the Potawatomi Casino in Wisconsin.

I continue to design and paint murals and custom interiors in private residences and public places across the country and around the globe.

For the past 20 years I have been a muralist and decorative painter at the Thornton House, a private residence in San Francisco that was designed by the Palace of Fine Arts architect Willis Polk in 1915.

The late Vince Welnick (Grateful Dead, The Tubes) commissioned us to paint murals in his Mexican villa – Casa Del Sol – in Akumal on the Maya Riviera.

In the fall of 2013 I was commissioned to paint murals in a Pueblo Revival style home called Casa Que Pasa just outside of Santa Fe, NM.

I am the Artistic Director of MouthMan, a company founded with Ross Valory, founding member and bassist of Journey. We designed a line of shirts where graphic designs of jaws and teeth on the sleeves form a mouth when the wearer “hugs themselves”.

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