Mike was born in Gillette, Wyoming in 1963. His passion for wildlife formed early as he spent his years hunting on his family’s ranch and fishing at his family’s mountain cabin in the Bighorn Mountains. As a young boy, he read from his father’s collections of books on wildlife art. He especially enjoyed pouring over the books on East African wildlife. He began modeling the animals he saw.
At the age of 10, his dream of going to Africa came true when his family took a month long safari to Kenya. Mike was fascinated with the animals. The safari to Africa spurred his passion for more travel. After graduating from the University of Wyoming, Mike started traveling extensively to fill his desire to see more of God’s creation. His journeys to East Africa, Russia, China, India, Nepal, and Alaska fed his fascination for wildlife, culture, and art.
In 1989, he made photography his first professional, artistic career. His wildlife photographs appeared on the covers of numerous publications, most notably Sports Afield, Outdoor Life and Field & Stream. Mike’s dedication propelled him as an industry leader in wildlife photography.
His years as a professional wildlife photographer served him well and gave Mike a solid foundation for the sculpture that he is so passionate about today.
In 2000, Mike entered full-time into a career as a wildlife sculptor. Mike and his work became quickly acclaimed throughout the art community. Today his sculpture is part of collections worldwide.
From an early age, Mike immersed himself in the study of the greatest American and European sculptors such as Proctor, Rodin, Bayre and Mene. Beginning as a teenager, he has studied the art in museums of London, Paris, Rome, Florence, Madrid, Moscow, St. Petersburg, New York, and Los Angeles. Classic masterpieces greatly influenced Mike’s style. Mike solidifies anatomical correctness into his sculpture, capturing the essence of his wildlife subjects. Mike has sculpted many captivating animal scenes that ultimately tell a potent story. Characteristically his dexterous surfaces magnify the true spirit of his wildlife subjects in a classical context.
“I work to express the strength and power of the animals I sculpt within a classical context.”
– Mike Barlow
Mike and his wife Tracy reside in Montana.