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Lucia Hierro's Big Bag World

 

Growing up, what was one item you sought after because of how you would be perceived? Do you think that it meant as much to you inwardly as outwardly— ie. is there a separation between the sought-after and the sentimental?

 

Wow, I remember when having a nano/giga-pet was a huge deal or getting the issue of Teen Magazine or the Lauryn Hill album. My family didn’t emphasize brands and so I didn’t really grow up coveting that one item, that kicked in late in high-school for me and it was more about wanting to have money, in general, to shop at specific boutiques or go to restaurants with my friends(who could afford it) in NY and feel grown up. In the case of say a Lauryn Hill album, you were cool if you had it but at the end of the day I was also a musicians daughter, so I was actually in love with the album—I still remember holding the cd booklet. Everything is sentimental, even at my most sardonic I think this. 

 

 

Do you think the current system of consumerism is better than the uniform alternative? In other words, how do you think dressing in similar prescribed clothing would affect the perception of class in various social settings? 

 

This makes me think of a couple things. First, When I travel I tend to think less about my appearance or about shopping, I'm more self-conscious about how I'm being perceived as a tourist it's as soon as I'm back in New York, I'm immediately thinking about “my look”. The amount of advertising in just one block is so overwhelming. Second, I spent all of 8th, 9th and 10th grade in a uniform at a private episcopal school in the Dominican Republic, it was not the fanciest school in the town and folks income varied drastically but it was curious how people could still figure you out off of how you spoke, interests or family name. Lastly, I think of something the artist Dario Calmese said in the Observer about fashion/ self-fashioning “It’s an accessible portal for transformation and change.” So all that being said our current model of consumerism is most certainly flawed, the opposite extreme I don’t think would do very much because I think its part of human nature to form hierarchies. 

 

Are you inspired more frequently by social or visual cues in your creative process? Which generally comes first? 

 

The visual is so tied to the social, so I tend to observe how the context of a thing gives the thing its thingness. It really is about looking at the in-between of everyday life, how we interact with things…I believe my mind often shifts between the two. 

 

 

Is there a way we can achieve a state within society that neither deletes style entirely, and edge us towards dystopian design, nor engages with the contagion of hype consumerism and creates class segregation in our culture?

 

I think ‘the aesthetic’ is a part of nature/human nature with that being said I think that we’re also looking at all this from a very American Eurocentric lens- in some cases, other societies have gotten close to the utopia you might be thinking of and their efforts have been attacked and ruined. Some may be already living this as we speak but our ideas of “style” may be different. 

 

What’s your favorite home-cooked meal? 

 

My mother's arroz con gandules and pollo guisado…one day I hope to perfect it.

 

Lucia Hierro's work will be on view at the Red Bull House of Art in Detroit as a part of their "Resident Artist Exhibition," through May 19, 2018.  See you there.