Meet Sabrina Barrios, a Brooklyn-based Brazilian artist, whose interest in the perception of reality results in some remarkably unique installations.
We caught up with her about her love of Brazilian music, relatable Netflix binges, and interest in creating art across a variety of platforms.
Photo by: Leandro Viana
Lives & Works In: Brooklyn, NY
Occupation: Multimedia artist, and when things go wrong (meaning no money for rent), I freelance as an Art Director.
On the Clock (daily routine): I travel a lot to make work, and it gets hard to have a routine. Coffee, however, is a solid constant, as well as meditation.
Your Art Weekend: I avoid seeing art on the weekend in New York because it gets so crowded that it’s hard to see and feel the work. Since I’m in charge of my time (for the most part), I visit galleries and museums during the week. All over New York. I often choose what to see based on the artist. When it comes to making art, my practice encompasses research and traveling as well as making the work, so every day is a good day.
Album: I have several answers to this question, I guess it depends on when I’m asked. Today, Raul Seixas (Brazilian musician) “Gitâ” and Amy Winehouse “Back to Black” were the first ones that came to mind.
Film: “City of God” for its impact, high energy and editing; “Donnie Darko” for the portals and space-time madness; “2001 a Space Odyssey” for the connections between past and future; and “The Day the Earth Stood Still” for its relevance today, even though the movie was made in 1951.
Artist: Lygia Clark. A strong woman who fought (with art!) the Brazilian dictatorship in the 60,; was a co-creator of the Neo-Concrete movement in Brazil (that urged people to value our own roots and culture), and understood life and art to be deeply intertwined.
Book: Einstein’s Dreams by Alan Lightman because of how simple he makes time and space feel.
Eats: I like trying new food as much as I can, but the traditional Brazilian rice and beans is what I miss the most.
Latest Purchase: Salted caramel ice cream
Guilty Pleasure: Binge watching Netflix
Grade in art class: A+. I felt I needed to compensate for English not being my mother language during grad school (at Pratt), so I worked as hard as I could on all the other stuff.
Photo by: Leandro Viana
36 hours: I’m quite spontaneous and would probably surprise myself with some crazy last-minute-better-than-ever thing, impossible to predict at this time. I guess traveling and being alone for chunks of time got me used to making the most of where I am and who I'm with. So why plan?
You are a very diverse artist, working in many different mediums and in 2D, 3D and video art. Do you have a preferred medium and how do you see your artworks of different mediums relating to one another?
My work is conceptual (I often question our understanding of reality) and I create in different platforms because each communicates something that the other doesn’t – and at times they can, together, enhance the understanding of the narrative, like pieces of a puzzle.
When I’m making a video, for instance, I'm able to add new images to it every second. In a painting, all the elements need to be there at once. My 2D work tends to be emotional and relate to the inner self. When I work on a site-specific installation, on the other hand, it’s all about the outer world (the cosmos and the collective consciousness). In this life-sized type of work, I invite the viewer to participate on the experience with their bodies - not only their sight.
One of your sculptures displayed under UV light will be exhibited in a special room at Sugarlift Open Studios this weekend, which is awesome. Where else have you exhibited these sculptures?
I’ll actually show a site-specific installation, which will be created in the space and for it. The piece is unique and will be destroyed afterwards. My goal is to make the moment significant, since you were either there to experience it, or you won’t know exactly how it felt. Photos don’t make justice, one needs to be present.
This piece is complementary to an immersive experience I’m showing right now in Brooklyn (at No.4 Studio until May 14th), and I’ve created others like these in Brussels, Berlin, Aabenraa (Denmark), Chelsea, Brooklyn, Staten Island, Governors Island, North Adams/MASS MoCA, Taos (NM), and Spokane (WA), among others.