Barry was born on a farm in Berea, Kentucky and moved to Southeast Michigan in the early 1970’s. He was a technical illustrator for the auto industry until the early 1990’s, when he started Art/Harrison Interiors – an interior design and furniture manufacturing business – with Arturo Sanchez.
Most of Barry’s artwork draws inspiration from his life on the farm. His home has been affectionately referred to as ‘cow-centric.’ However, drawing inspiration from real livestock doesn’t deter him from abstracting his pieces, as is shown in his horse sculptures.
His favorite thing about his work – and probably the thing viewers notice first is the large scale of each piece. The process starts with building cardboard prototypes at 2 ½’ = 1” scale, then moves to the wooden horses – built at 1/2” = 1’ scale. Each wooden horse is made of ash that is torched until it is black. The soot is then removed and completed with a wax finish. The wooden horses are for interior use only and are signed and numbered in editions of five per design. The final steel horses are approximately 8 feet tall and 11 feet long. They are made of either corten steel – which rusts naturally, or galvanized steel with an acid wash to darken them. The steel horses can be used in either interior or exterior environments and are signed and numbered in editions of five per design.