Brain Trust

James Kirkpatrick and Peter Thompson (Anteism)

In almost every art form, collaboration is integral, if not vital in inspiring and evolving an artist's career. But most painters, printmakers and sculptors prefer to work in isolation. There is one exception to that rule---graffiti. In the world of street art, collaboration is pretty much the norm, with artists putting up pieces side by side on a wall or a train, sometimes working into each other's characters or, over time, putting new works overtop old. Think, too, of gallery installations by longtime partners/graffiti artists Barry McGee and Margaret Kilgallen, where whole walls are taken over by a patchwork of interwoven styles. That is exactly where the beauty lies in this magnificent book by James Kirkpatrick (see his work at Studio 21) and Peter Thompson, two artists who've been collaborating together and with others their whole lives. The playful collaborative paintings and drawings bask in the interplay between Thompson's well-controlled characters and Kirkpatrick's unravelling abstractions, creating dream-like scenes that demand careful exploration. Some pieces were also worked into by Juxtapoz mag heroes Marc Bell, Nick Di Genova and (Paper Rad member) Beau Labute, which only illustrates the potential when these guys stay up passing around sheets of paper.

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