The four artists collaborating on Mint Gallery's upcoming show, Here We Hide, are not content to throw a few of their latest works on white gallery walls. Instead, Sam Parker, Joe Tsambiras, and Paper Twins (who go by Edgar and Nica) are transforming the small gallery into an intricate, detailed domestic space layered with their works ranging from wheatpastes to cuckoo clock assemblages. Drawing influence from Swoon's immersive installations, the group is working in the gallery all week to put the finishing touches on the show.
Last night, they were kind enough to take a short break from stenciling the walls and sawing chairs in half to tell CL a few things about show.
So, how did the collaboration come about? Did everyone know one another?
Sam: Joe and I have been collaborating for two years now. We did a show at Beep Beep Gallery called Majestic Hours in 2008.
Edgar: We [Paper Twins] started collaborating in the summer of last year. It was Mike's idea to put the four of us together. We all knew of each other, but we didn't know each other.
Joe: The day that Mike got us together, it just gelled.
Is Here We Hide intended to be a specific home? Is there a story behind it?
E: We talked about having it that way. Each of us were going to have a specific person, but it didn't exactly work out that way.
Nica: I know I have my own characters, but they're not everyone's. I think each of us are working with different characters...
E: There are going to be a lot of people living in the house.
S: My idea going into it involved drawing parallels between domestication and thee way people live. The ways people try to recreate nature by creating environments where they can control all the variables - aquariums, terrariums.
How does the installation work to create that experience?
J: I'm interested in putting rhythms into the space. I'm thinking about pop culture and pop music, the way it becomes very attractive through rhythm. I notice when you have pattern and rhythm the eye can enjoy it at sensual level.
S: There are these echoes in that rhythm, and the whole show becomes one piece, one composition instead of pieces on blank walls in a gallery.
All of you are coming from a street art or graffiti background, right? Has that effected how you work?
S: Well, I wrote my name on things for years. I don't know if I would really call that...
I guess that's a different "discipline"?
S: Yeah, it's like the discipline of "fuck you." [laughs]
N: I've never worked with wood or gallery walls like this. I put my work on the street to get destroyed. Doing this, working in a gallery, it's more than what I thought I could do.
Here We Hide opens at Mint Gallery on Sat., Feb. 27 at 8 pm. Mint Gallery is located at 684 John Wesley Dobbs Avenue, Unit B.
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