ERIK HALL AND AMY SPASSOV
It can be said that our individual work is so disparate that drawing any connection between them is an exercise in futility. While our approach to painting could not be more different, our visual “volume” is quite similar. They are both stylized, comprehensive and painstakingly detailed. The paintings exist well in proximity to one another as evidenced by nearly two decades creating under the same roof. Our studio is in a large “L” shape with one of us in one wing and one in the other. If you imagine the letter “L” and observe the simplicity of the shape it is very telling of our collaborative work. We are not attempting to merge philosophies, but rather move towards the single intersection where our individual efforts as artists meet… the visual volume.
The challenge of our work at that intersection is to use our shared “volume” to convey an idea that is personal for us yet ambiguous enough to allow others their own conclusion. Bringing our singular aesthetics together offers the viewer a new context from which to view a seemingly traditional style (Hall) or a more urban contemporary style (Spassov). It is a setting aside of ego that allows us to honor the contribution of the other and, as it is in our individual efforts, convey in our own language our view of the world, but in one shared volume.
The method with which we approach our collaborations is driven first by requirement. It is required that acrylic be the base layer and oil the top, but our process belies this truth as it very much appears that Amy’s work exists over my own. Amy will begin, covering the entirety of the surface in great detail and in her signature style. I follow using red oil based paint to capture the silhouette, often canceling many of those details. The image borne out of this process is carefully considered and is edited to accommodate our preference at scale. It requires us as individual artists to not sentimentalize any one mark or make precious any item within the painting and to further understand that many of our efforts may not make the completed work.