It takes a certain degree of selflessness for one person to creatively collaborate with another. Filmmakers and musicians do it all the time, but visual artists lean toward being lone wolves. This isn't the case for Shelly Johnson and Lori Swartz, a pair of Madrid-based painters who enthusiastically share the same canvases.
"I'll hand a painting over to Lori or she'll hand one to me and I don't know what I'm going to get back. Often, large parts of it might be painted over and we just kind of go back and forth and back and forth until it feels right," Johnson says. Aesthetically, she compares herself to Andy Warhol and Swartz to Jean-Michel Basquiat, which makes their team-up apropos, as Johnson fondly remembers seeing a Warhol-Basquiat collaboration in London many moons ago.
Lately, the painters have been working on a documentary called
, which will chronicle their collaborative creative process, critiques of their work and--in the centerpiece of the film--a trip to Los Angeles in an attempt to make connections with new galleries to exhibit their work. "We've been filming everything: our studios, where we work, the actual pieces we're working on," Johnson says. "We've had one critique and we're planning on having another one in August."
They've also been raising money to fund the trip and documentary through several ways, including putting on a yard sale. A
has been crucial to amassing donations. Since being launched in late June, 41 backers have contributed $1765 to the making of
. That figure healthily surpasses their original aim of getting $1000, but after recalculating all the various expenses for the trek and film, t
. The donation window on Kickstarter closes this Saturday, Aug. 6, at around 6:00 pm, which means there are still a few days to help them reach their revised goal. Johnson emphasizes that whether or not the $3000 goal is met, the documentary is "definitely happening."
Johnson and Swartz begin their trek to LA on Sept. 7 and should be back on Sept. 21. They have an exhibition opening up at
in late September, at which point they hope to screen footage from the film. Ideally, Johnson expects the final version of
to come to fruition around October.