Good art can take time. It can take time to create, and time to take in. We don’t often think of art as collaborative, but often it requires more collaboration than we recognize. A new work on display at Ro2 Gallery in Downtown Dallas took several years to comple, and is the work of two artists, Sam England and Eric de Llamas.
The examples of collaborative work in art history are probably more numerous than we realize. Thomas Eakins wife Susan Macdowell Eakins often painted his likeness into his works. Peter Paul Rubens and Jan Breughel the Elder executed about two dozen paintings together. Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen created works together. Indeed many of the works that have been created jointly have been attributed to one artist or the other.
That doesn’t mean they aren’t collaborations, and it doesn’t mean the result is less satisfying than a work created by a single artist. Indeed here the result is mesmerizing.
There’s so much going on in the painting, it doesn’t do it justice to try to say what it is about. There are many historical references in art and religion, representations of mental anguish and attempts to find beauty amidst chaos.
Here the self has given way to result. And wouldn’t the world be a little less chaotic if that happened more often.