Thursday, February 12, 2009

Making a shape

A friend and colleague of mine asked me to contribute to an upcoming exhibition of his. Bryan works with paper and idiosyncratic shapes as I do, so the pairing of our work makes sense. We've decided to not simply keep our work separate but to begin an exchange. I pushed some of my shapes under his studio door last week, and he then reciprocated with some of his. Very exciting (seriously!).

The above image is the first "successful" outcome of the collaboration, and perhaps I should not be so hasty to define success in terms of a product I like or am interested in. Because when I began looking at what Bryan gave me I was completely flummoxed. Not because the shapes were uninteresting to me. Bryan's fragments are captivating, BUT they are often outlined and they are generally solid in color. And I don't do outlines and solid color in my work--at all really--this may be obvious to everyone else familiar with what I make, but the realization came to me as something of a revelation last week. So the above shape is the first successful physical result--and it is not yet in a finished painting or drawing--but the success of our collaboration appeared the moment I understood the specificity of my tendencies--and then began asking why.

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