ARTIST SPOTLIGHT: Byron Troy forever Known AS B.Y.

By Danny Dunson

Portrait of B.Y. Image by Elbert Baez Photography

ArtX had the pleasure of connecting with dynamic emerging artist B.Y., his story is incredibly inspirational, and it is an honor for us to share his work. Primarily working with scrap metal, the native son of Norwalk Connecticut, and devoted father uses his story and the work he creates to inspire others. B.Y. is a sculptor and furniture designer, and like his personal life, he brings new form and function to materials that have been discarded, thus making his art as powerful and enduring as he is.

“Growing up to a drug-addicted mother and drug-dealing father, I was set up to fail. Needless to say, growing up in the projects of Norwalk Connecticut wasn’t easy. For the most part as a child I stayed out of trouble, and making art made sure of it. Going into my teenage years, the streets took control. I started gang banging and became the infamous stickup kid B.Y. In 2015 I was incarcerated for 18 months. Bouncing from job to job to make ends meet I started to feel discouraged and drifted back into my love of art. I didn’t want to be the average black artist, so I saved up some money and bought a welder. Scrap metal and chains told my story. What most people would throw away I would bring the beauty back. My brand in a whole describes me from then to now; I became Steeling Roses.”- B.Y.

B.Y. “Innocent 12”, 2018. Welded scrap metal.

ArtX: Tell us about you as a person?

B.Y.: I’m a pretty simple man. Art and my 2 kids consume my life. I go by B.Y. It was my street name and will now forever be my artist name. I was born in raised in Norwalk Connecticut. I finished high school in Savannah Georgia

How long have you been practicing art professionally, when did you consider yourself a real artist?

I’ve always been able to draw, but I started my scrap metal art 3 years ago. I still don’t consider myself a real artist or a professional artist. I’m still working my 9-5 to provide for my family. My art is what keeps me sane.

B.Y., “If you’re not at the table, you’re on the menu.”, 2019, functional table sculpture, scrap metal, and glass.

Did you go to art school? Tell us about your training, formal and informal.

If you wanna call YouTube University a school. Everything I do is self-taught. For me, self-educating is the best way to learn. And I have no student loans.

B.Y. “Shorty”, 2018, welded scrap metal

Who are some of your art inspirations? What are some of your non-art inspirations?

Basquiat. Alfred Conteh, and John Lopez. My non-art inspirations would be Coach K (Mike Kryzewski) J. Cole and Orpah.

My best work comes from one of two mindsets, pain and peace. Went through a bad break up in the beginning of my art career and the work I was putting out was dark and twisted. It expressed my pain. Lately, I’ve been so at peace it allows my thoughts to open up to create.

B.Y. in studio 2018

When do you know when a work is finished?

I never know. My work tells me. It’s just a feeling.

Tell us about your process when working. Do you listen to music or do any rituals to get yourself ready to sculpt and weld?

It wouldn’t be right if I didn’t burn some sage and take a shot Henny. Then I put on Friday Night Light by J. Cole or Get Rich or Die Trying by 50 Cent.

Tell me about the meanings and the concepts behind this particular body of work.

My brand is called steeling roses, so I made a dozen and called it innocent 12 for the 12 people of color killed by police in my city. I made “shorty” after my break up. And took 3 weeks to complete. And I made the ring because I’m married to the grind, art, and hustle

B.Y. in studio. Image by Eliza Benitez Photography

What do you wish viewers would take away from your work?

It’s ok to be different. Everyone is doing the same thing. Find something no1 is really doing and move at your own pace. Tired of seeing people of color doing things just to keep up with others. If you take nothing else from my art. Take time to find you.

The art of B.Y., 2019.

What are your biggest goals as a visual artist? And what has been your proudest moment professionally?

I don’t have any because I do it for the love of the art. I would still create if no one bought my work. I live day by day with no expectations. But my proudest moment is selling a piece to Puma from Black Ink and all the great networking connections I’ve made.

Learn more about B.Y.’s work and upcoming projects on his website
Follow B.Y. on Instagram @steeling_roses

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