The Colorboration Project is an ongoing program involves painters Royce Deans (from Acme, Michigan) and Tali Farchi (from Amsterdam) who have collaborating with Chicago-based musicians; it began earlier this month and continues through March 24th — at 2515 N. Milwaukee Ave. in Chicago’s Logan Square neighborhood. The Colorboration Project includes workshops (4-6 p.m. daily) and performances (8-11 p.m. daily). The Phantom Gallery Chicago Network invited The Colorboration Project to come to Chicago, and this involves a partnership with I AM Logan Square.
Recently I spoke with Royce Deans and Tali Farchi about The Colorboration Project, artistic influences, Copper Press, interdisciplinary collaborations, Mo(ve)ment, and working with Chicagoans.
Dan: Royce, how did you first get interested in the arts?
Royce: I have always been interested in art from as far back as I can remember. I have always drawn — not always so well, but I have always drawn and have always found myself responding visually to everything around me.
Dan: Did you have any early art education experiences that had a big impact on your approach?
Royce: In high school I took what would be referred to now as a multimedia class, and that really opened me up to the notion that there can be endless solutions to creative challenges.
Dan: Royce, you’ve been editing Copper Press for a while. How did you come up with the idea for that?
Royce: I am taking a little break from editing and publishing Copper Press at the moment, but it came to be from my love of art and music. That love and my background in graphic design naturally led me to do Copper Press.
Dan: Tali and Royce, what are some interesting things that you find fascinating about interdisciplinary collaborations?
Royce: This is a question that could have a ridiculously long answer. That said, just about everything about collaboration is interesting to me. Interdisciplinary collaborations are fascinating — to realize that creative impulses in each of us come from the same center, and they just exhibit themselves differently depending on the artist.
Tali: I’d say that for some, creativity manifests itself as paintings, whereas others might choreograph a dance or compose a symphony.
Dan: Tali, you and Benno Hübner have been working on an ongoing interdisciplinary performance project called Mo(ve)ment. Would you say that you both started with images or with movement? Or is it a “back and forth” way by which concepts evolve?
Tali: With Mo(ve)ment, it is as much about movement as it is about the images. As you can see with the byline for Mo(ve)ment, “the colors his dance, and she moves his paint.”
Dan: How would you describe the concept behind The Colorboration Project, which is happening in Chicago now?
Tali: It’s about bringing the energies of artists of different disciplines together to create something new and to elevate what person is doing to a higher plane. As we collaborate on a nightly basis with musicians, we have also been working with other visual artists as well who come from many different backgrounds.
Royce: Also, since this project in Logan Square, we really feel like we have expanded beyond what we have done before. With this intensive time in this space in the heart of Logan Square, we have been touched by the culture and the people of the neighborhood. The project has indeed been a collaboration with this part of the city.
Dan: How did this partnership with Chicagoans developed?
Royce: We have a collaborative partnership with Alpha Bruton and the Phantom Gallery Chicago Network, which she directs — as well as the organization I Am Logan Square. Cara Huffman was instrumental in finding the space we are in. Artistically, the project as been extremely productive.
Dan: How do you feel the energy has been building, since Colorboration started? Has the experienced helped you both to generate a prolific output of artwork?
Tali: Yes, and we’ve noticed much more happening than simply ending up with a lot of new paintings. There is a tangibly positive energy that everyone that comes to the space feels, and that has been building over time since we’ve been here. We have heard that from nearly everyone who has come into the space at 2515 N. Milwaukee Ave.
Dan: Tali, how do you decide which medium to use in a particular time during a performance?
Tali: I lay out my materials on my table like a percussionist will lay out his instruments so that I know right where everything is. Once the performance begins, I can just do what I feel needs to be done as naturally as breathing.
Dan: I like how you use projections, based on artworks that are created on a small scale. How would you describe how you think about how the images are created—in terms of the relationship between the relatively small scale (9”x12” sheets of paper, or how large is the paper on which you are painting?) of the artworks, versus how those images are projected onto a wall?
Tali: It is always exciting to my paintings blown up to huge proportions with the projection, but is something that for me is just part of my art at this point. But I still find it so fascinating to see the richness of the paint and the texture of the marks when I zoom in on an area of the painting that is only a few centimeters square. Things get truly abstract at that point.
Dan: Tali and Royce, you two have done projects in Europe and the U.S. over the past several years. Would you say that geographic location of a given performance (in terms of the cultural dynamics, the vibe of a city, etc.) affects what happens? If so, how?
Royce: The influences that come from being in different parts of the world have profoundly affected us and our art. In large part, these influences we have felt as we have been in the U.S., Canada, Europe and Israel have led us to the development of this Colorboration Project that has found its start in Chicago’s Logan Square neighborhood.
Tali: Everything influences and tints the artwork we create — from the food we eat, to the people we work with and who come to check out the performances, to the weather, and to the activities and energy emanating from the streets. It is very “one to one” in that aspect. Our art here is very much in the moment.
Dan: Do you foresee that you’ll be doing another version of The Colorboration Project in other locations in the future?
Royce: Yes, I think we have come up with a good, viable good model from which we can work — and we have plans to continue this project in other cities around the globe.
For more info about The Colorboration Project, contact Royce Deans (231-883-1681, firstname.lastname@example.org) or Gabriel Patti (773-551-0842, email@example.com).