Barreres was born and raised in Valencia, Spain. After coming to America, he studied at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, where he was awarded the prestigious Clarissa Bartlett Traveling Scholarship Award in 1965 and 1982. He taught at the Museum School from 1967-2006.
Barreres said that the two greatest influences in his career are his Catholic upbringing and his immersion in the New York school of abstraction. He has exhibited at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, the Whitney Biennial at the Whitney Museum of American Art, the DeCordova Museum and Sculpture Park and continues to exhibit in Boston, New York and Spain.