In a time when doing the right thing means staying home, I have been thinking a lot about what vacation means in our era of pandemic. Borders are closed and endless flights have been cancelled. Hotels are shuttered or are providing housing for healthcare workers, while many cruise ships have been transformed into floating hospitals. Swimming pools feel dangerous and beaches are off limits or only open with strict guidelines. Carefree leisure simply does not exist right now. But the optimism that is inherent to vacation mentality is all about fantasy. So when the only tangible option for a breezy escape is to fantasize about playful indulgences, how shall we proceed?
Katie Barrie’s work is concerned with the exploration of color, architecture, the influence of design on culture, and the potential of paint. Her work regularly examines the aesthetics of leisure and the societal implications of taste. Using highload acrylic, a super pigmented and matte paint, Barrie combines iconic patterns alongside architectural details on the canvas to capture her own built environment, often incorporating textured elements linked to her subject, like pumice and sand.
Born in 1987, Barrie lives and works in Richmond, Virginia. She received her MFA in Painting & Printmaking from Virginia Commonwealth University in 2019, and a BFA in Art & Design from the University of Michigan in 2011. Barrie has exhibited work at the Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art, Reynolds Gallery in Richmond, Virginia, and the Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts Project Space in New York. She has participated in residencies at the Sam & Adele Golden Foundation, 100 West Corsicana, the Vermont Studio Center, Pocoapoco in Oaxaca, Mexico, and the Mudhouse in Crete, Greece.