Okay, I had to peruse back through 2011's posts to recall where I left off.
(Not that it was hundreds of posts ago or anything)
Back in 2011, right after showing The American Beast collaboration at Kirk Hopper Fine Art in Deep Ellum, I was going to talk about production insights behind it's creation. I won't bore you with the production side, after all. It was hot. We welded. I cut & designed the swirls. We delivered and talked about it. Packed up and moved on.
Instead, I'll touch more on the "chemistry" aspects of collaborations, and how two elements can have the power to both create and destroy with factors seemingly not being taught in universities.
Long before I moved to Dallas on New Years Day in 1988 to give the art world a shot, I embraced a strong ethical imperative instilled in me by my father. As a professional artist since the early 1990s, I learned a good deal of things from conversations with nationally-known, and real-world, road-tested Artists with a capital A. I strongly believe that professional ethics and human decency can fill in the gaps when chemistry associated with first-time collaborations can go in any direction.
Aspiring artists who live where they sell work should start their professional careers with the highest of professional intentions and ethical clarity, remembering good old humanity, if nothing else.
It's been said repeatedly by professors and gallerists, that MFA Grad students really need stronger coursework on professional ethics & collaborations before they should graduate and face a relatively unknown world to them. Without a proper understanding on how collaborations work, artists might forget themselves out of fear, sheer insecurity and self-delusions. Hunger, too, can alter one's sense of decency during a sudden feasting.
Some Universities don't teach the decency part. To some, it's already there - inherently. Love them all! As some learn first-hand, being decent can also get you burned by hunger and greed. some might even leverage faux piety to get away with it publicly. Those who can't play well with others should just stay in their own yard until their issues are worked out - if ever.
For the next several months, I'm working on a new collaboration with a well-known Dallas sculptor and Indian Cowboy, Dan Brook, who is an amazing talent of wise and wary travels who walks the walk of high moral ground. No heaviness, no drama. Not an unethical bone in his body, but a strong proponent of artist's rights.
I can't go into depth about the project yet, but from a local perspective, it has a relatively high profile impact quotient. It's a project that is actually dear to me and from behind the scenes, a seminal project in the timeline of my projects for the coming months and years, weaving into a flow of what will be a rigorous and adventure-filled river.