Barry Lee’s naive art

7 MN

Barry Lee’s naive art

One could say Barry Lee is the result of an accidental encounter between Pablo Picasso and the Muppet Show. The Atlanta-based illustrator depicts a surrealistic form of naive folk art with flashy colours, handing out a dose of fun and joy for the rest of the day. Fresh out of art school, Barry has already exhibited in quite a few cultural hotspots in Atlanta, Georgia. It’s with great pleasure that we ask him a few questions today.

portrait barry

Hi, Barry! You’ve only just graduated from art school in Atlanta. Why choose illustration as your means of expression?

It’s now actually been almost three years since I graduated from school, which is surreal. When I was little, I drew a lot of cartoons and weird sort of scenes. Originally, I thought I wanted to delve into the world of comics (though frankly, I didn’t really read any comics as a kid or young adult besides “Peanuts”), then I thought I wanted to work in Animation until I realized I wasn’t going to be able to have more creative control (you know, for selfish reasons). So the thing about Illustration that intrigued me was that I could be able to do a wide variety of projects, whether it be commercial or fine art. I could also hold my own with Illustration. I liked that all these artistic mediums and outlets could be at my disposal while maintaining my sensibility. 

You were born with Nager syndrome, a condition that affects the development of the face, hands and arms. How did you manage to turn this into a positive force in your artistic work?

A few years ago, I created a show entitled “Home is Where You Drown” which was displayed at a pretty popular coffee shop in Atlanta. The show addressed the issues of growing up with the syndrome in a small town. When I was younger, I often used art as a coping mechanism and over time, it became a career for me. Each piece was based on a story or series of events that I had dealt with as a child, whether it was people not understanding what my hearing aid was, or the feelings of being different in a pretty non-diverse town, or how people would often stare at me.  The syndrome is so rare that many people misinterpret it for what it really is.

Along with the pieces, there were actual written stories next to the works to show what each piece was about – this was a very vulnerable thing to do in such a public space, but I felt that it was important to teach people about my experiences in order to hopefully help others better understand the various differences as well as how to react to them. My syndrome doesn’t define me at all, my work along with my personality does, and once I realized that, life has been a very freeing experience.

collage barry lee

We know, and can feel, that you’re profoundly inspired by vintage, the Muppet Show and Picasso. Can you tell us how you manage to mix all these influences together?

Jim Henson and Pablo Picasso both have a very huge influence on me. When I was a child, I would draw “Sesame Street” characters often, so I think the whole separate nose design elements of those characters really stuck with me. People are like “why the off-colored noses?” to which I don’t really have an answer for, it’s a part of my history and habit.  I think it’s funny when people read into that. 

Your drawings are always full of vivid and funky colours, without putting your characters in grotesque or humorous situations. What emotions do you want your public to feel when looking at your pieces?

I always think in my head “What will make me smile?” or “What would I like to see in my home or another home?” and I think that if I make somebody smile or make their day brighter, then I have done my job as an artist. I want my work to cultivate a joyful experience.  

Your illustrations are essentially portraits. Why do you like to draw people?

I love people watching, I always have. I’m kind of a loner I suppose. Sometimes, I like to just be in a space and watch people because they fascinate me to no end. The world has an endless supply of humanity and that kind of amazes me how everyone is different, yet we all have this common connection of being human. I think that’s why I enjoy drawing people. I like to show the diversity (even if it is through purples, blues and neon pinks).

terront

On our TERRONT t-shirt, we recognise the French cyclist of that same name. What did you find interesting about him?

At the time of creating the illustration, I really didn’t have any knowledge of Terront, so I had a lot of fun learning about him. I thought it was interesting he was really one of the first “celebrity” cyclists and I also felt he had a great moustache. 

We heard of your collaboration with skateboarding shop Mom’s Sweet Shop in North Carolina. What’s your rapport with skateboarding and street culture?

I grew up in Nags Head, North Carolina, a small beach town that heavily relies on tourists visiting the beach during the summer, and while many kids I grew up with were skateboarding, I was inside drawing pictures. So when “Mom’s” hit me up to do a design for them, they wanted me to draw the older cliental that’d often visit the beach, and put the two older tourist characters on a skateboard. I find irony in these skateboards in a few ways: first of all, I have never been on a skateboard because I have the worst balance imaginable so this wasn’t a thing I ever did as a kid, second, while the characters are shown as these older tourists, they are on skateboards that young locals use, so it’s putting two worlds of the culture I am from together into one product. I thought Derik Wineland, one of the owners of the shop, was pretty smart for having a nod at that with the boards, and those skateboards have since sold out. 

You created a series of portraits of legendary film and TV series characters, such as Princesse Leia, Alex from A Clockwork Orange, Gandalf or (more recently) Breaking Bad’s Heisenberg, for The Bookhouse Project. What made you want to connect your art with emblematic cultural figures?

“The Bookhouse Pub” is a bar in Atlanta that my best friends and I regularly go to. I have been going to Bookhouse for five years, and the name is taken from the show “Twin Peaks” though it isn’t a bar based solely on the show – there are many elements in the bar that are a nod to various pop culture things. “Bookhouse” holds a very special place in my heart, I know most of the staff and the owners. They have seen me at my best and worse times. I also think I am the only one who is ordering the chicken sandwich there so I am glad to be keeping that alive.

I was approached by Murphy (the owner) to do a series of portraits for a whole wall next to two big booths in the space. Bookhouse plays all sorts of crazy films on their big television, so based on the movies and references I have already seen at the bar, I made a list of about 30 icons that’d been featured. I wanted these to be characters people would recognize or love. There are a few little homages to the staff as well, including a portrait of one of the bartender’s dogs. The installation of portraits is now a permanent fixture of the space, and every time I go in there it’s always funny to see people trying to figure out who is who.

zissou

You portrayed Bill Murray’s character from Wes Anderson’s The Life Aquatic on our ZISSOU t-shirt. You also drew the young boy scout from Moonrise Kingdom by Anderson as well. What draws you to the film-maker’s crazy world?

I love how Anderson creates films that are homages to other parts of film history, and that his films create worlds you can escape to. His color palettes are always so gorgeous. 

Atlanta is seen as very active in the cultural and art worlds. How does the city encourage you with your work?

Atlanta is great! They strive to support local artists, and the artist, in the community also support one another which is encouraging for sure. 

You say you’re extremely open to all kinds of collaborations. What are your projects for 2016?

I love collaborating with other companies and artists. I recently completed a show in December where I worked with some great local Atlanta artists to make a show with a nautical theme. While I am constantly making things daily, I do tend to focus on things one day at a time, therefore I am unsure what tomorrow will bring. But I know I’ll gladly welcome whatever tomorrow brings. I do see more murals in my future though.

barry lee

A big thank to Barry Lee for his answers.

You can follow his news on his website and on Instagram.

Our tee-shirts TERRONT and ZISSOU are available on our retail shops and our e-shop:

terront gristerront-heather-grey- (1)zissou gris chinézissou-heather-grey-

– M.P

Interview réalisée par Valentin Porcher
Forgot your password ?
Need help?

How to order?

Please follow the following instructions in order to submit an Order:

  1. Visit the Website;

  2. Follow the instructions on the Website to place your orders and especially the instructions given to create a Customer account;

  3. Fulfil the Ordering form. After extended inactivity you may encounter an automatic cancellation of the Goods you submitted. You shall start a new Order of any Good and Service you wished to order;

  4. You shall check the Goods and Services you Order, and if necessary, please identify and correct the error;

  5. Confirm the Order, the Total Price as well as the All-Inclusive Price (the “Order Confirmation”);

  6. Follow the payment Website instructions in order to pay the All-Inclusive Price.

After you have submitted an order, the Customer receives by email and without delay a confirmation of his approval of the Order.

The Customer also receives by email and without delay, a receipt of the order sent electronically, regarding as a confirmation of the order (“Order Confirmation”).

The Customer receives electronically, the confirmation that the Goods have been dispatched.

The delivery shall take place at the location indicated by the Customer at the time of the Order.

Additionally, by undertaking these different steps to Order, the Customer accepts to strictly comply with this Agreement, in accordance with section 1316-1 of the French Civil Code.

The Vendor undertakes to deliver the Goods and Services subject of the Order Confirmation. In the event that a Good ordered is unavailable, the Vendor will promptly inform the Customer about this.

However, under section L.122-1 of the French Consumer Code, the Vendor reserves the right to cancel your Order if the Order is abnormal, involves bad faith or for any other reason that is under the sole discretion of the Vendor. The Vendor also reserves the right to reject orders from any customer with whom the Vendor have an ongoing legal dispute regarding a prior order.

Place of Delivery

The place of Delivery shall be determined by the Customer within the Territory, under sanction to refuse the Order.

The Customer is exclusively responsible for any error in the Delivery due to a lack of indication contained in the Order.

Amount of Delivery Charges

The amount of Delivery Charges depends upon the amount of the Order and upon the Method of Delivery the Customer chooses. In any case, the amount of Delivery Charges shall be indicated to you before the Order Confirmation.

The Delivery Charges are free if the amount exceeds EUR 200,00.

Delivery Term

Delivery Terms are available for review on the Website. They may change depending on the availability of the Goods subject of the Order.

Delivery Terms are expressed in working days and correspond to an average time for preparing and shipping the Order to the Customer.

Delivery Terms shall begin to run at the Order Confirmation date.

Delays

In the event of delays in the Delivery, the Order is not cancelled. The Vendor shall inform the Customer by electronic mail that the delivery will take place later than what was contemplated by the Parties. You will be then entitled to decide whether to confirm or cancel your order and shall send to the Vendor a cancellation notice of the Order at service-client@olow.fr.

If the Order has not been shipped yet at the time the Vendor receives the cancellation notice, the Delivery is effectively cancelled and the Customer is reimbursed of the payment he/she made, within fifteen (15) days from the receipt of the cancellation notice.

If the Order has been shipped at the time the Vendor receives cancellation notice, the Customer is still entitled to cancel the order by refusing the Delivery. The Vendor shall then reimburse the Customer of the payment he/she made, within fifteen (15) days from receipt of the returned products in the same condition as they were sent and must have their original label. The return expenses remain at the cost of the Customer.

Tracking

The Customer can follow the track progress of his/her Order on his/her account on the Website. Regarding the delivery progress, the Customer shall contact the Company to obtain a tracker number, to follow the progress.

Prix et délais de livraison précis

Shipping cost

> 1 kg1 > 2 kg2 > 4kg
5.56.57

Delivery time

3-5 working days

Allemagne, Autriche, Belgique, Bulgarie, Chypre, Danemark, Espagne, Finlande, Grèce, Hongrie, Italie, Malte, Pays-Bas, Pologne, Portugal, République Tchèque, Suède, Ukraine

Shipping cost

> 2 kg2 > 4kg
9.511.5

Delivery time

4-7 working days

Andorre, Biélorussie, Croatie, Islande, Monaco, Norvège, Royaume-Uni, Russie, Suisse, Turquie

Shipping cost

> 2 kg2 > 4kg
9.511.5

Delivery time

5-8 working days

Bahamas, Canada, États-Unis, Mexique

Shipping cost

> 1.5 kg1.5 > 4kg
1519.5

Delivery time

5-9 working days

Argentine, Brésil, Chili

Shipping cost

€27

Delivery time

6-9 working days

Arabie Saoudite, Bahreïn, Chine, Corée du Sud, Émirats Arabes Unis, Hong-Kong, Indonésie, Israël, Japon, Malaisie, Qatar, Singapour, Taiwan

Shipping cost

€24

Delivery time

4-7 working days

Australie, Nouvelle-Zélande

Shipping cost

€27

Delivery time

6-10 working days

Returns

You have received your order but the product does not suit you?

You can return your products within 15 days of receiving your package, for any order.

The items must not have been worn, washed or damaged and must be returned in their original packaging, in perfect condition for resale.

How do I return my package from France?

To return your parcel, it is very simple :

  1. Go to “My account”, in the “My purchases” section,

  2. In the list of your orders, select your order,

  3. If your order is eligible for return, please tick each product you wish to return. If a product has been ordered in several copies, you can indicate the quantity to be returned.

  4. Indicate the reason for the return at the bottom of the order details and click on “Request a return”. You can track your return request in the “Returns” section of the “My purchases” section.

  5. Once your return request has been validated by our team, simply download the return form and place it in your package.

  6. Send your package to the address indicated on the return form.

Want to make a return request with a guest account?

It's very easy : contact us by email at service-client@olow.fr indicating your order number, the items you wish to return and whether you wish to request a refund, a credit note or an exchange.

The return costs are at the customer's expense (cost of shipping by the transporter chosen by the customer and any other related costs: customs duties, taxes, etc.).

How long does it take to get my money back once my package has been sent?

Refunds will be made within 10 days of receipt of your items and automatically to the account associated with the credit card used for payment or to the Paypal account used for payment.

Is it possible to return my item in the shop?

No, for all internet orders, returns can only be made to the address mentioned above.

What can I do if my item has a defect?

We take great care in the manufacture and finishing of our products. However, if you wish to report a manufacturing defect on a product, we invite you to contact our customer service by e-mail: service-client@olow.fr.

Desperately Seeking Susan
Forgot your password ?
Need help?

How to order?

Please follow the following instructions in order to submit an Order:

  1. Visit the Website;

  2. Follow the instructions on the Website to place your orders and especially the instructions given to create a Customer account;

  3. Fulfil the Ordering form. After extended inactivity you may encounter an automatic cancellation of the Goods you submitted. You shall start a new Order of any Good and Service you wished to order;

  4. You shall check the Goods and Services you Order, and if necessary, please identify and correct the error;

  5. Confirm the Order, the Total Price as well as the All-Inclusive Price (the “Order Confirmation”);

  6. Follow the payment Website instructions in order to pay the All-Inclusive Price.

After you have submitted an order, the Customer receives by email and without delay a confirmation of his approval of the Order.

The Customer also receives by email and without delay, a receipt of the order sent electronically, regarding as a confirmation of the order (“Order Confirmation”).

The Customer receives electronically, the confirmation that the Goods have been dispatched.

The delivery shall take place at the location indicated by the Customer at the time of the Order.

Additionally, by undertaking these different steps to Order, the Customer accepts to strictly comply with this Agreement, in accordance with section 1316-1 of the French Civil Code.

The Vendor undertakes to deliver the Goods and Services subject of the Order Confirmation. In the event that a Good ordered is unavailable, the Vendor will promptly inform the Customer about this.

However, under section L.122-1 of the French Consumer Code, the Vendor reserves the right to cancel your Order if the Order is abnormal, involves bad faith or for any other reason that is under the sole discretion of the Vendor. The Vendor also reserves the right to reject orders from any customer with whom the Vendor have an ongoing legal dispute regarding a prior order.

Place of Delivery

The place of Delivery shall be determined by the Customer within the Territory, under sanction to refuse the Order.

The Customer is exclusively responsible for any error in the Delivery due to a lack of indication contained in the Order.

Amount of Delivery Charges

The amount of Delivery Charges depends upon the amount of the Order and upon the Method of Delivery the Customer chooses. In any case, the amount of Delivery Charges shall be indicated to you before the Order Confirmation.

The Delivery Charges are free if the amount exceeds EUR 200,00.

Delivery Term

Delivery Terms are available for review on the Website. They may change depending on the availability of the Goods subject of the Order.

Delivery Terms are expressed in working days and correspond to an average time for preparing and shipping the Order to the Customer.

Delivery Terms shall begin to run at the Order Confirmation date.

Delays

In the event of delays in the Delivery, the Order is not cancelled. The Vendor shall inform the Customer by electronic mail that the delivery will take place later than what was contemplated by the Parties. You will be then entitled to decide whether to confirm or cancel your order and shall send to the Vendor a cancellation notice of the Order at service-client@olow.fr.

If the Order has not been shipped yet at the time the Vendor receives the cancellation notice, the Delivery is effectively cancelled and the Customer is reimbursed of the payment he/she made, within fifteen (15) days from the receipt of the cancellation notice.

If the Order has been shipped at the time the Vendor receives cancellation notice, the Customer is still entitled to cancel the order by refusing the Delivery. The Vendor shall then reimburse the Customer of the payment he/she made, within fifteen (15) days from receipt of the returned products in the same condition as they were sent and must have their original label. The return expenses remain at the cost of the Customer.

Tracking

The Customer can follow the track progress of his/her Order on his/her account on the Website. Regarding the delivery progress, the Customer shall contact the Company to obtain a tracker number, to follow the progress.

Prix et délais de livraison précis

Shipping cost

> 1 kg1 > 2 kg2 > 4kg
5.56.57

Delivery time

3-5 working days

Allemagne, Autriche, Belgique, Bulgarie, Chypre, Danemark, Espagne, Finlande, Grèce, Hongrie, Italie, Malte, Pays-Bas, Pologne, Portugal, République Tchèque, Suède, Ukraine

Shipping cost

> 2 kg2 > 4kg
9.511.5

Delivery time

4-7 working days

Andorre, Biélorussie, Croatie, Islande, Monaco, Norvège, Royaume-Uni, Russie, Suisse, Turquie

Shipping cost

> 2 kg2 > 4kg
9.511.5

Delivery time

5-8 working days

Bahamas, Canada, États-Unis, Mexique

Shipping cost

> 1.5 kg1.5 > 4kg
1519.5

Delivery time

5-9 working days

Argentine, Brésil, Chili

Shipping cost

€27

Delivery time

6-9 working days

Arabie Saoudite, Bahreïn, Chine, Corée du Sud, Émirats Arabes Unis, Hong-Kong, Indonésie, Israël, Japon, Malaisie, Qatar, Singapour, Taiwan

Shipping cost

€24

Delivery time

4-7 working days

Australie, Nouvelle-Zélande

Shipping cost

€27

Delivery time

6-10 working days

Returns

You have received your order but the product does not suit you?

You can return your products within 15 days of receiving your package, for any order.

The items must not have been worn, washed or damaged and must be returned in their original packaging, in perfect condition for resale.

How do I return my package from France?

To return your parcel, it is very simple :

  1. Go to “My account”, in the “My purchases” section,

  2. In the list of your orders, select your order,

  3. If your order is eligible for return, please tick each product you wish to return. If a product has been ordered in several copies, you can indicate the quantity to be returned.

  4. Indicate the reason for the return at the bottom of the order details and click on “Request a return”. You can track your return request in the “Returns” section of the “My purchases” section.

  5. Once your return request has been validated by our team, simply download the return form and place it in your package.

  6. Send your package to the address indicated on the return form.

Want to make a return request with a guest account?

It's very easy : contact us by email at service-client@olow.fr indicating your order number, the items you wish to return and whether you wish to request a refund, a credit note or an exchange.

The return costs are at the customer's expense (cost of shipping by the transporter chosen by the customer and any other related costs: customs duties, taxes, etc.).

How long does it take to get my money back once my package has been sent?

Refunds will be made within 10 days of receipt of your items and automatically to the account associated with the credit card used for payment or to the Paypal account used for payment.

Is it possible to return my item in the shop?

No, for all internet orders, returns can only be made to the address mentioned above.

What can I do if my item has a defect?

We take great care in the manufacture and finishing of our products. However, if you wish to report a manufacturing defect on a product, we invite you to contact our customer service by e-mail: service-client@olow.fr.

Give me some news !

* Required fields
But where is Olow?