We had the good fortune of connecting with Kirt Barnett and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Kirt, why did you pursue a creative career?
Honestly, I’ve just always had a need to create since I was a child. Ever since I can remember I’ve always had a pencil my hand and been drawing. For some reason or another I’ve always had a drive to create artwork and haven’t really looked back since. I’m not very good at anything else, so it just seemed like the natural progression!
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
In my photography I am inspired by the concept of ‘glamour’ and how I can manipulate it into classy Camp-y tropes. I’m always striving for the perfect mixture of surrealism, kitsch, and sparkle. Usually, I’ll have a loose thread of an idea come to mind and from there I’ll find a way to push it to the most extreme version through styling, set design, and lighting. I work fast and loose, which is something I’m proud of but, sometimes my process can stress people out. While there’s a solid vision I have in my mind, the details normally aren’t perfectly manicured. For me, the most exciting moments while shooting is when everything magically comes into place to make a great shot, so I try not to meticulously map everything out as It feels restricting. I think I am where I am today because I really do love creating artwork. It’s just always been there for me and made me feel good about myself. Being able to take an image you have in your mind and bring it to life is a powerful thing, and it gives meaning to my life.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
In pre-Covid times I would plan their visit around a time I knew there would be a few cool house shows and take them bar hoping in East Nashville. Starting with my favorite dive bar by my house called Mickey’s. Then we would move to Pearl Diver and The Dive Motel, and end the night at Dino’s to split an order of the animal style fries Plus a a $5 beer and shot combo. I really love dive bars, so I’d probably just take them around to all my favs in town over the week. On a nice day I would show them the Cheekwood Museum and botanical garden for a nice stroll. If the Elephant Gallery was having a show during their visit I would take them there as well. Defiantly would have to take them to Prince’s for some hot chicken too.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I would love to shoutout my best friend Juniper Jefferies, who has been by my side though it all and always been my biggest cheerleader. She is an insanely talented individual who has always been there for me to bounce ideas off of and collaborate with. Of course I have to shout out my Mom as well, who is really my number one supporter and inspiration. She been a hardworking woman her whole life and I couldn’t have asked for a better role model to encourage me to always strive for my best. U would also like to give a shout out to my wonderful roommate, beautiful model, and close friend Zoey. She has helped me so much since I moved to Nashville feel at home here and I couldn’t have asked for a better person to live with and be lucky enough to work with so much.