Artist: Josh Benz and Roddy Hernandez
Gallery: Max L. Gatov Gallery East
Title of Piece: PAIRS
Artist Conversation with Josh Benz and Roddy Hernandez
This weeks conversation was a little different due to the fact that each piece of art in the galleries was made by two artists. The painting that I found most interesting was done by Josh Benz and Roddy Hernandez. They used paint on a white canvas. As you can see, there is a lot of contrast with light and dark colors as well as the incorporation of abstract images, which really brings this painting together. I thought this idea of collaborative painting was very unique because it is the work of both of the artists, presenting both of their styles. When talking to Josh and Roddy they explained that throughout the duration of this painting they were in a competition with each other for canvas space.
The process was that one of the artists would start to paint for a few hours and then they would pass the baton and let the other do their work. This went on for about a month before the final product was complete. Overall, Josh and Roddy said they had a good time working on this piece. They both agreed that it was fun competition and interesting to paint around and get inspiration from each others style.
As I spoke with Josh and Roddy they were trying to incorporate the theme of a city that had been destroyed. In the painting there are very few clear images but you can tell that it represents that of city life. However, the main idea of their painting was that it was collaborative. Josh and Roddy worked together to create this work which allowed them to expand their skills and to create a new art style that has never been seen before. Part of the success to this painting was that Josh and Roddy found that happy medium where they were able to use each others designs as inspiration for creating new images and characters in this painting. Both artists contributed to the fictional characters in this piece; although, Roddy made more of the background shapes and lighting, while Josh created most of the creatures.
When first viewing this painting I saw a city in chaos. There were partial building structures and few characters in the painting which showed people in distress and sorrow. Not only that but this painting represents the concept of team work; being able to build off another’s momentum and style. This can be hard because you have to be able to agree with the other artist and see what fits to make this painting complete. But what I interpreted this painting as was a trial in which each artist had to be adaptive and work with what was given to them by each other. This could be hard because like I was saying before Josh and Roddy had to compete for what space was theirs, which could be one of the difficulties when working with a partner. But I think once getting to know that artist and their style it can allow for the creation of new shapes or images that will inspire the other so they can almost lead the piece to its final end.
Like I have said before, this was a very interesting week, seeing a painting that was completed by the work of two artists. This style of working with a partner isn’t that common but with everything there are pros and cons. A couple of the pros is that a new style and new art form can be created, while at the same time being inspired by a fellow artist to paint something that maybe was never seen in one’s head. As far as cons it could be a problem when fighting over who has more dominance of the piece, as well as maybe not seeing what vision the other artists has. It seems though that Josh and Roddy found that balance and where able to successfully create a painting that included both of their artistic styles.
If you want to get to know the artists’ a little more then you can try finding them on Facebook. On Facebook you can look up Josh at Josh Benz and Roddy at Andrew Montoy8. I attempted to find them on Facebook and Instagram but I couldn’t but maybe you will have better luck than me.