Detroit Artist Brian Lacey’s Series “Projects”

1xRUN Thru Interview
Projects by Brian Lacey

1xRun: Tell us a bit about this series of work, was it part of a recent theme or show that you had?
Brian Lacey: I began getting ideas for this series while I was working on my previous series in the summer of 2013. I started working on the series September of 2013 as I embarked on my second residency. The main theme of the body work is people being a product of their environment, versus their environment being a product of them.  The ideas that I had for this series were further exemplified by my current living situation and environment at the time of its inception.


1xRUN: What materials were used to create these pieces?
Brian Lacey: Re-purposed Oak and Pine sourced from decaying structures in North End neighborhood and east side of Detroit, mounted to MDF. Epoxy resin was then laid down to create a flush surface and for depth.  The painting itself is composed of lacquer, aerosol, enamel, and acrylic paint.


1xRun: Anything immediate you would like us to highlight?
Brian Lacey: The materials sourced directly correlate with the theme of being a product of your environment or your environment being a product of you. The surface detail of aged paint, burnt wood paired with the varying depths of the epoxy resin are key features.


1xRun: Tell us how the idea and execution came about?
Brian Lacey: The idea came about while I was working on my previous series, but it was also born out of me living in the city of Detroit where I started to think more critically of ones immediate environment, its effects on the individual and an individuals effect on his or her environment.


1xRun: How long did these pieces take to complete, individually and as a set?
Brian Lacey: I worked on the entirety of the series at the same time from September 2013 to April 2014. I find that in working on all of the pieces together it is easier to maintain an over-all cohesion as well as a efficient production schedule. I started the series in September of 2013 and completed it April of 2014.


1xRun: What do you feel is unique about this series of work?
Brian Lacey: The materials. Everything that the panels are composed of in one way or another pertain to the main idea and theme of the series. To be more specific, the surface detail and age of the re-purposed wood directly correlate with the theme.


1xRun: Why should people buy these pieces of work?
Brian Lacey: Obviously each piece is unique in and of itself, but the characteristics of the re-purposed wood married with the varying depths of epoxy resin give an almost 3D quality to an otherwise 2D image which, in my opinion isn’t a trait that is readily available in the world of painting.

1xRun: Describe this series in one gut reaction word.
Brian Lacey: Environments.


1xRun: You recently took a trip to New York. Care to elaborate for us?
Brian Lacey: Yeah absolutely. I planned on going to New York City about six months ago for the sole purpose of networking with galleries and other artists and professionals. I composed a self-promotional package of sorts that I presented to galleries and did a few studio visits while I was in the area. I also acquired and painted two murals in the Brooklyn neighborhood of Bushwick during my stay.


This was also my first time in NYC and its Burroughs so I did a bit of site seeing and cycling while I was there. I was a bit overwhelming but in a good way. I was only in the city for a week and a half but I feel like if I lived within NYC for years I would only begin to scratch the surface of the city. Simply put, it was an awesome trip both in networking and leisure.


1xRun: When did you first start making art?
Brian Lacey: I have always created and made art since I can remember but as far as actively producing a sound, cohesively piece of work i would say the year 2000-2001 is when I really started my journey as a visual artist.


1xRun: What was your first piece?
Brian Lacey: A line-work portrait of two strangers on a street sign.

1xRun: What artists inspired you early on?
Brian Lacey: Doze Green, Dondi (RIP), and Tristan Eaton to name a few.


1xRun: What artists inspire you now?
Brian Lacey: LX ONE, Remi Rough, Doze Green, Connor Harrington, AJ Fosik, Dana Oldfather, Augustine Kofie, Dave Kinsey, Hense, How & Nosm, Dabs & Myla. Alot of emphasis on “upper echelon” fine artists but also those executing large-scale public art.


1xRun: Do you listen to music while you work? If so what? If not then what is your environment like when you work?
Brian Lacey: Yeah, almost always though I don’t mind working without music. I’d like to think that my musical taste is really diversified. It also depends on the surrounding environment and mood in which I’m working. To be a bit more specific I listen to a lot of House & Techno, Hip Hop, Indie Rock, Punk, Metal, all the way to Blue Grass, Bossa Nova, Salsa and Merengue.


1xRun: If you could collaborate with any living artist who would it be and why?
Brian Lacey: Doze Green for sure, his style is really specific but also extremely unique. He has a simple but really well developed and refined pallet. I also feel that he was one of the early  pioneers of the Graffuturism movement. I would also love to work with Connor Harrington. He has such a solid grasp on the figure that, quite honestly, I’m envious of. Not to mention, his use of line and ability to blend very specific styles of varying time periods blows me away. These two artists also have a extremely good grasp of concept within their work which I feel is not emphasized enough within fine arts today.


1xRun: If you could collaborate with any deceased artists who would it be and why?
Brian Lacey: Diego Revera due to his work ethic and his focus on large-scale public paintings. MC Escher, due to his insane grasp of form and space but also because in a sense he was one of the first to meld illustration and graphic arts with the world of fine art. And lastly Dondi White because he was one of the godfathers of Subway Art and Graffiti  but also because he was one of the first Graffiti artists to make the transition to showing his work in galleries and the world of fine art.


1xRun: What was the first piece of art that you bought? Do you still have it?
Brian Lacey: A line drawing/figure study that I purchased from a fellow student my sophomore year of my BFA. And yes, I plan on keeping it as it is currently in my home.

1xRun: What was the last piece of art that you bought?
Brian Lacey: A Limited print form Revok’s recent series “Ordinary Things”.


1xRun: Where else can people find you?
Brian Lacey: WebsiteInstagram@detroitbrian – SaatchiBehanceLinkedin