Worldwide icon-chevron-right North America icon-chevron-right United States icon-chevron-right New York State icon-chevron-right New York icon-chevron-right Public eye: Veronica Lee, 27

Heads up! We’re working hard to be accurate – but these are unusual times, so please always check before heading out.

Veronica Lee
Photograph: Zenith Richards Veronica Lee

Public eye: Veronica Lee, 27

New York street interviews: Stories from the sidewalk as told by real New Yorkers about their lives in the city that never sleeps.

By Kate Lowenstein
Advertising

W 4th St at Jane St

Where are you from? I live on the Lower East Side. I moved from Queens, where I used to live till I got maced in the face.

Were you robbing someone? [Laughs] Right? Mace is usually used for self-defense, but someone used it as a weapon against me.

Yikes. Yeah. What’s so messed up is that I was screaming like crazy, and no one came outside to make sure I was okay. I was like, I can’t live in Queens anymore, so I moved to the LES and things are a little better.

How old are you? I just turned 27.

Did you celebrate? I did, but in a low-key way. Every birthday, I freak out and hide. I don’t like to make a big deal about getting older.

You’re already worried about getting older? I’m not saying I’m, like, 50 or something, but your roles and expectations start to change. On my birthday I wanted to be alone and let that sink in instead of celebrating it. That sounds so serious. It’s not that serious.

There’s something to be said for self-reflection. What are your goals for the year? Well, I mean, I’m not jaded or anything, but I take money much more seriously than I used to.

What do you do? I’m an artist—I do illustrations as well as kitschy home-decor installation artworks. The work is kind of childish, but also evokes a bit of darkness and terror.

Kind of like you? Probably. I mean, art is a stream of consciousness that you’re putting into your work.

So you’re becoming more fiscally conservative in your old age. Are you considering becoming a banker? Not a banker, but being Asian you have these certain roles you have to perform for your parents. My mom wasn’t happy when she found out I was going to major in fine arts in college. I’m thinking maybe I should go back to school and study medicine. Maybe to become a plastic surgeon? I have no idea. At the moment, I also work at Helmut Lang.

Is that what pays the bills? Yeah. I’ve always been in fashion. I love it, but i feel like I’ve been there and done that. Art is more substantive. It feeds my soul.

But not your mom? [Laughs] Right! Plastic surgery would feed my mom.

More from Veronica

“My goal is to become the next Cindy Sherman, if I can. You know, just a small goal. [Laughs]”

You might also like
See more New York stories from the sidewalk
See photos of New York street style
See more in Things to Do

Recommended

    You may also like

      Advertising