From bridging the gap between the past and present to Alexander McQueen-inspired ‘fierce, but familiar’ to ‘new exoticism’, Arteriors guest designer Barry Dixon finds the roots of inspiration in all forms of art.
When the talented interior designer unveiled his first collection for Arteriors in the Fall of 2012, the ghosts of designs past and art history made their presence known throughout. This collection was the introduction to how Dixon’s Southern roots and global travels have shaped his design aesthetic.
Look no further than Barry’s instantly-iconic Foliage bronze handmade porcelain lamp (below), a functional homage to the art and artisan processes of yesteryear.
“Inspired by my own original 1930s Italian faience urn which I wired as a lamp and put in my music room in Warrenton, Va.,” Barry said of the striking piece. “I was astounded that Arteriors had the resources to recreate this incredibly complicated piece of art.”
Fast-forward to the designer’s second collection for Arteriors, released in the Fall of 2013, and it was immediately clear that Barry’s latest offerings drew from his worldly travels.
Rustic, yet refined, the Fall 2013 collection hearkened back to exotic locales like India, South Africa and French Polynesia.
The contrast and evolution of Barry Dixon for Arteriors is best personified by the aforementioned Foliage Lamp (above) and Bedouin Lamp (below), an intricate design emulating that of an 18th century Middle Eastern lidded urn, originally use for storing spices and grain.
“The genesis of my first two collaborations with Arteriors was my personally curated collection of antiques and objects – my private 21st century curiosities shop,” says Barry. “Items selected due to my peculiar history…strong southern roots steeped in warm, familial memories of early childhood, tempered with an adolescence spent abroad, hopping from continent to continent with my wildly nomadic family.”
The Spore Mirror (below) is another iconic design from Barry’s second collection – a faithful reproduction of a 60’s original paper
The designer’s third collection was a love letter to the “ever-inspiring flora and fauna of the glorious natural world around us”, with clear lines of influence and evolution from his previous collections.
“The heart and soul of this third collection are what I like to call ‘permutation’ of favorite pieces launched in collections one and two, whether a quiet tweaking, gilding a piece to make it more formal, more glamorous or playing with dimensions and purpose of a piece in response to customer requests…the new product is still connected to the original,” says Barry.
Barry’s third assortment introduced several unique designs, including the Grotto Table (below), Diana Sconces and Stirrup Tables, inspired by the designer’s love of all things equestrian.
October of 2015 saw Barry launch his fourth collection with Arteriors, a fierce, but familiar curation inspired by nature’s dichotomy of eloquent functionality.
Fingerprints of inspiration from Alexander McQueen’s Savage Beauty exhibition can be seen all throughout the collection, particularly with the Aramis Sconce (below).
The fourth collection toes that district line between both natural and historic elements. Whether it be hornets’ nests or beetle shells, battle shields or fencing masks, Barry’s fourth collection drew inspiration from the themes of protection and defense.
Few pieces embody the protection and defense theme quite like Barry’s Spiked Mirror (shown below).
With the valley of inspiration being so vast for Barry, what can you expect in his latest collection for Arteriors, launching next month?
“Burnished metals, carved stone, smoked glass and mirror,” teases Barry. “Eastern mysticism all play a part in this hybrid collection.”
In his latest offerings, Barry looks again to the fashion world, specifically the Through the Looking Glass exhibit at the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art.
What new themes and design aspects will this latest collection bring to the Arteriors catalog?
“I think that elements of this new collection bring a specific new exoticism to Arteriors,” says the designer. “And a bold new scale!”