Meet Kami Baergen
When someone tells you they know someone that's EXACTLY like you, it can always go one of two ways: you meet and they are a complete nightmare and you question yourself, your character, and your friendship with the person who felt so inclined to intro you OR you meet, and you feel like you're looking at yourself in the mirror.
With Kami Baergen, it was the latter. (Thanks Ping for the intro). We met one night at The West in Williamsburg. We laughed and joked like friends who had known each other for years. Things that the general population of people like or joke about felt like our specific likes and inside jokes. And the more I got to know her, the more my heart felt for her. It was like looking at someone who is a little ahead of you in someone ways to help you get through things, and then on the other hand, having gone through experiences so you could help that person when they got there.
She worked at a gallery. We needed a place for a tie dye party. Some totes and tee shirts and a lot of Rit dye later, 7Dunham quickly became our go-to gallery. But then I saw her artwork and it was smart, relatable, intricate, involved watercolors.
After three years of working there and more years of being in Brooklyn, Kami is moving back to where she came, Nashville, Tennessee. And as an artist who is trying to "make it," I wanted to know why she was leaving and why Brooklyn isn't and wasn't the be all, end all for her.
Follow us this week as we page through Kami's sketchbook and conduct her exit interview out of Brooklyn, to BK's loss.
Interview: Sarah Kim
Photography: Michael Cooper
When did you move to Brooklyn and why? From where did you move?
I moved to Brooklyn from Nashville, TN in December 2012 to run 7Dunham, which I had been working since May or so of 2012.
What is an artist to you? Is it someone who is creating? Is it someone that is monetizing their art? Is it someone who has reached a certain stature?
An artist is someone who creates.
How would you describe your art and your aesthetic to someone? What are your favorite things to draw/paint/illustrate? And in what medium?
My aesthetic is line work, geometric and organic, with influence from the biological world. Favorites: weird little sea creatures and anatomy closeups (animals and humans).
Pen/ink and watercolors (Copic makes a really great refillable ink pen - you can replace the tip and the in cartridge separately, so it cuts down on waste - I've thrown out hundreds of pens solely because the tip was busted but still had plenty of ink to go).