Barry Dwayne Hollis


At a certain point in my life, well into the journey, I had an epiphany. It did not occur through a specific event but through an endless series of them, and I suddenly realized and acknowl-edged, I am an artist. Before this I had seen myself and presented myself as a photographer. A self-identity in which the role as artist had a distinct bearing, but not an exclusive one. This realization was and is paramount in putting me on my path. I had found my destiny. Thank goodness I’m finally free! Oh no, what have I done? I actually apologized to my wife Chris at this point and said, “I’m sorry I just can’t help it, I’m an artist”. I was out of the closet.

Since this pivotal point with my widened fences, I have applied my energies primarily (not exclusively) to three-dimensional sculptural type works. Touching upon and experimenting with materials across a wide swath of categories, I have focused in on metals as my current and primary interest. Carbon steel and Bronze being the dominant two. Having worked for so long with a basically two-dimensional (not always) medium of such fragility as photography, expressing myself with works that occupy real space and are not in need of constant oversight to survive, fulfilled a long unfulfilled craving.

The heartiness of metal works appeals to me and my identity as an artist very much. Works of art that by their very nature say I’m strong and I’m stable and I’m not going anywhere is a comfort to me as the creator of that work. The role of artist as I see it is both complicated and simple. Complicated in that the specific short term goals and tasks, selling works, exhibiting work, gaining acceptance, defending against critics, overcoming prejudice, learning new skills, finding inspiration, can be dizzying. Simple in that your only true task is to create work. To leave a legacy. It is the thing that I find most enthralling about being an artist. When I am long gone, my works will travel like ambassadors into the future, reflecting my soul and the soul of my generation and my time. As humans the only way we can immortalize ourselves is through what we leave behind. I choose to leave art! a giddy privilege and a troubling responsibility to be sure.



Artist’s Statement