We met Lacy Barry, a multi-dimensional & multi-platform artist working currently in paper, miniatures and graphic murals. She uses a variation of tactile materials & graphics to formulate environments that are imbued with a personal aesthetic. Lacy’s artwork has been applied to work for retail window display, interiors, live installations, video projects, commercials, web & print media, venues, wallpaper, apparel etc…
Raised by artist parents in the Rocky Mountains of wild Western Canada, Lacy draws an insane amount of inspiration apprenticing her dad early on; a sign-writer & mural artist nicknamed #cowboydale. See his work here, follow him on IG here
Your living in Berlin’s creative hub, Kreuzberg. How is life for you in Berlin?
At first I really wasn’t sure of Berlin, coming from New York and Montreal before that I really had the inclination Berlin would be a larger, German version of Montreal’s artist scene with the international approval of Brooklyn based artists; current and pre-trend. Being one that questions every trend erupting out there in the ‘cool-sphere’, I questioned if Berlin had a place for me… needless to say with a bit of time & consistently sticking my neck out things have worked out lovingly. By accident I ended up in Kreuzberg with two suitcases (nothing really happens by accident) in desperation to find a more long term place to hang my hat, after I was granted a 3 year artist visa I admit I wasn’t entirely prepared for. But after a few hops over the pond from Berlin to New York and back, Berlin began to feel like my new creative home. Good settlements take time I guess 🙂 aaaand fantastic new friends and a fresh work with an amazing agent also makes the transition that much smoother.
Where are you and what did you do today?
I was mostly at my studio in Neukölln, Berlin. It’s a short walk from my home along a lovely canal with some nice cafes where I can pick up a tea or an ice cream. It was quite a relaxed day after two intense productions over the past few weeks, so I was happy to just take that in. I share the studio with 15 other photographers, directors, illustrators, stylists, graphic designers, …I’m the only set designer so I was given a small room to house my various props & art building. Today I switched into that small room, had a Skype call, did some accounting (bleh) and worked on a piece that had been put on hold before the productions. It’s coming along nicely, metallic winged headpiece. Then broke shift at a decent time to grab an hour in the sun in one of my fav parks. Tomorrow I go on a bike journey across town with a producer and two others to check a location for a music video series I will be art directing, whuuu.
Tell me a bit about your previous clients and projects over the last few years?
Hmmmm I’ve had quite a wide demographic of clients, ranging from commercial products to publications (Condenast) , to music ( Mac Demarco) to extremely expensive jewelry ( Tiffanys & co.) to fashion to skin cream ( Clarins) to designing whole bar interiors in Manhattan ( The Penrose, UES) … To name a few. 🙂 Most recently I just wrapped up a campaign project for Sagmeister & Walsh in collaboration with Photographer Erik Johansson under my rep Irene Hansen here in Berlin. I can’t tell you much more but it’s a journey into various scales in various tactiles.
As an artist who does set design my possibilities for creative platforms are endless! Even planning my first product line that stems from my personal paper/ graphic artwork… an endeavor that’s been in development over the past 2 years.
Have you always worked in fashion and design?
Not always, I’ve definitely have had my share of odd jobs, though besides the motive of making a bit of money, the jobs almost always stemmed from the curiosity to know how to do something or how a thing works. I think the oddest job no one seems place me with is a amateur mechanic position I had when I was 16. I grew up in a small town so my options were waiting tables, scooping ice cream (only during the summer months) or this. I convinced my then boss to give me the job, never really hiring girls or having much faith in their work ethic I blew his expectations out of the water and learnt how to fix (light ailments) on my old Pontiac Parisienne, ( a 22 and half long American car that basically was two couches on four wheels). Needless to say I’ve scaled down a lot since to a motorcycle and now a peddle bike. I get almost everywhere by bike… It’s healthier for me and the environment, though I still dream of owning a1960s Citroen DS19’s.
You’re a bit of a jet setter, which is your favourite city to date?
Lately I’ve been reminiscing over Havana, Cuba. Most people hate it because it’s falling apart and hot and rough and if your lucky you may get food poisoning or a snake in your bed, haha, but that’s what I love about it! Obviously I could do without the food poisoning and bed snake surprise, but all the other stuff is the journey I dreamt of before I went last year with my family. However I don’t feel I experienced it as fully as I hoped, since the driver that took us in an old Chevy from Varadero to Havana and sort of rushed us through the city, taking us to highly tourist areas.. and less than frequent secret spots. In any case I saw bits I loved, all a taste to go back again and get a real experience before the political situation changes. In the meantime a friend referred the movie Soy Cuba 1964 I’ve been watching bits of when I think of it.
Can you give us one word you can use to describe fashion?
Last magazine you bought?
The magazines that or sitting near my reading chair are Frieze Art Mag & Craftrad, magazine for motorbike culture.
Favourite restaurant/bar/club in Berlin?
As of this moment in time I love:Restaurant: I just discovered House of Small Wonders opened a Berlin branch to their Brooklyn one I used visit often in my old NY haunts. (thanks Nicola )
Bar: Dschungel (Jungle in English) Bar in Nuekolln ( it’s decorated very kitschy like an indoor jungle)
Club: I’ve had some fun times at Monster Ronsons Ichiban Karaoke, hmm but that’s not really a club more like a sparkle mecca of glistening confidence emulating glittery songs of past yonder.
Who is on the top of your best-dressed list?
Me, obviously! …and possibly my dad, he dresses like a dusty 1970s cowboy ( though my mum has a lot to do with refining his look) … And my friend A. Moon-Age, she and all the friends surrounding her have fearless costume choices that usually impress me to bits! Like making a whole outfit from tying up a few men’s shirts together. And Icelanders, generally the Berlin ones I know have a wild futuristic style I can’t even explain in words.
What’s your favorite hangout in London & Worldwide?
London: I really like high tea at Sketch London, though most Londoners are so over anything that happened in central London about a decade ago, I still love that place for tea and scones. On more scenester places I was introduced to was the ‘new hackney’, not like the ‘old hackney’ where most warned not to go without armor and weapons of defense, noooo I’m talking about the flower market and the Saturday food market and all the little hip transplants surrounding that. It was cute.
Worldwide? Hmm the list could go forever in particular to city, maybe best saved for another interview with greater page space 🙂
If you could take a flight anywhere where would you go and what would be your five essentials?
Havana: snake killer, stomach pills… Haha just kidding
Tokyo, Japan: I neeeeed to go their and bring a toothbrush & a credit card (my dad always says that’s the way to travel) and more practical stuff like multicolored spandex bodysuit, sky high vintage platforms a vintage dealer Japanese friend in Brooklyn gave me for my bday , everything metallic & sparkly in my wardrobe! wuuuu!
What do you do to get away from everything?
Take a blanket, find a park and take a nap under the sun, it’s really easy to do in Berlin, there are beautiful chill parks everywhere cuz I think most were grown over bomb sites from WW2. I like it when nature reclaims the land 🙂
Anything you want to tell us about?
I adopted a goldfish, I named him Herman.. Herman the German.
What was the last thing that really made you stop and stare?
I had to find a toy helicopter for a shoot a couple weeks back, then just as I was leaving my studio a life sized one landed in the park across the street, haha fancy that! … & I love the new Nike designer collab with Sacai, Want that navy sweater!!