International Collaboration

Sometime last year I had a conversation with Jean Christensen, a collage artist whom I’ve befriended through an online art group and who lives and works in France, about the idea of a collaboration. I had pitched the idea to him just because I thought it would be a interesting exercise in managing decision-making within a control-variable situation. I’m a bit of a control freak as I think Jean is, although I believe we’re both generously diplomatic at the same time. But as he has suggested himself, he and I are quite different in our styles, tastes and history.

So he agreed to the idea and sent me a 10″ x 14″ hardwood board he had glued various cut paper to. Images of fish, food, mammals, rocks, etc. I worked oil paint into it and sent it back to France. He  added more collaged bits and sent it back where I sat on it for a long, long time. I Had been trying to make it work abstractly but it wasn’t happening so I went in another direction and finished it. I think it works pretty well under the circumstances, formally and somehow as expression.

I suggested to him if we do this again, I’ll start the piece and he finish it. The artist to last work on a collaboration like this has the advantage of final say.

This is a mediocre photograph but I’ve included the first 3 stages of the process as well.

Tom Bennett & Jean Christensen Collaboration, 3/12

Tom Bennett & Jean Christensen, Collaboration, oil paint, collaged paper, varnish. glue on wood, 10″ x 14″

Below are the first 3 stages.

stage 1:

Stage 2:

Stage 3:


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