Barisani was born in 1918 in Naples. He majored in Sculpture at the Art Institute of Naples, and won a scholarship to study Industrial Art at Monza. He won prizes at several exhibits, and taught art at the Liceo Artistico di Napoli from 1946 until 1956.

By 1954 he had begun experimenting with painted wooden shapes, with steel and wooden tubes assembled orthogonally, and with plexiglass and wire. During this time he also designed jewelry, clothing and interiors. In 1962 Barisani participated in the XXXI Biennial of Venice with a group of pictures depicting found objects. In the 1960s he devoted himself to decorating ceramics and floor tiles, and in 1972 he was again in the Venice Biennial with graphic works.

His sculptures are the most MADI of his works.