Monday, February 4, 2013

Frank Gehry on working collaboratively as designers and artists

The Behrens|Versluis 2012 shared art project tried to promote and raise the notion of collaboration. Working artistically on projects together can be very rewarding yet very risky. As preeminent designer/artist Rick Valicenti has cautioned, “Only work with people you would have at your breakfast table.”

Two pieces from their collaborative montage series “Iowa Insects” have been selected for a juried regional art exhibit, Comedy of Errors sponsored by the Orange City Arts Council at the DeWitt Theatre Arts Center, Northwestern College in Orange City, Iowa. The works selected for recognition are “Beetle” (shown above) and “Cicada”. The show runs from 15 February to 23 February in conjunction with NWC’s performance of Shakespeare's farcical play, Comedy of Errors.

Speaking about the artistic collaborative process, here’s an excerpt that seems apropos, from the book Conversations with Frank Gehry.  The interviewer is Barbara Isenberg.

Gehry describes his working process as: after all the building program research, his favorite part is developing the design per se. At the same time, however, Gehry says, “It’s also the most scary part because it’s the unknown” and adds, “I start sketching and trying things until, all of the sudden, something emerges that becomes interesting and I sort of follow it. But it’s intuitive. It’s not preconceived. I don’t have an exact plan of action, and I always feel like I’m leaping off a cliff.

Gehry further elaborates about working with others, “I collaborate with people on projects because it enriches the mix and gets you somewhere else that you wouldn’t have gotten to otherwise. When it’s really working, it is like holding hands and jumping off a cliff together.”(1)

As for jumping off a cliff together—hopefully you’re tethered to a bungee cord.

  1. Isenberg, Barbara. Conversations with Frank Gehry. first ed. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2009. 154-55. Print.

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