Collaborations with Billy Renkl
In our own culture, at least, the practice of making art is often an exclusively self-referential activity. The popular model is for the artist to disappear into their attic of anguish, emerging eventually with a personal, insular, self-referential triumph. Or, often, not.
We have known each other for more than a decade; for many years we've each used the other as a sounding board in thinking about our individual work. That was a productive practice, but it only faintly prefigured the exchange of ideas that produced this work. Regardless of the outcome of the endeavor, we value this exercise as a refutation of the model of the isolated artist.
Though both of us primarily work with found imagery, the way we use it is quite different. (One of us emphasizes accrual, for instance; the other often employs subtraction.) Even so, recasting our studio practice as a companionable endeavor has been surprisingly easy. Collaboration favors regard over self-regard, conversation over solitude, empathy over self-expression. It is, really, a relief to have a voice outside of oneself to ratify what is effective and clarify what is not.
The title of these collaborative works refers to 'four hand piano,' a piano duet intended to be played by both musicians on the same piano.