“In the winter of 2013 I was visiting New York City for Armory Week. At the time Brett Amory was in town from San Francisco working in the street and capturing images for his mid summer exhibition at Jonathan LeVine Gallery. We hooked up on Houston Street where he was shooting Katz’s Delicatessen. After wrapping up, we headed off on foot over to Greenwich Village to meet up with one of Brett’s friend’s Derek Weisberg from San Francisco that was now residing in New York City.
When we got to Derek’s studio he was working on a series of very interesting sculptures while an artist-in-residence and teacher at Greenwich House Pottery. We got to talking and this idea started to circulate about how interesting it would be for artists from different mediums to collaborate on a piece and capture that experience. We all agreed it would be quite an interesting way to show the creative process despite the disparate mediums.
Brett mentioned that Shaun Roberts, an accomplished photographer in his own right, was on his way to New York City and he may be interested in the collaboration as well. The guys started to shoot me over some photos throughout the week and about nine months later Shaun called to say the video and photos were just about complete. The organic nature of these three long time friends collaborating became Conversatin’. What the project evolved into was a unique look at three very talented artists converging from three different mediums without any rules and to explore unbridled creativity. – Jesse Cory 1xRUN C0-Founder
Conversatin’ by Brett Amory, Derek Weisberg & Shaun Roberts
Derek Weisberg: My name is Derek Weisberg and I am an artist that primarily makes ceramic sculptures. I live in New York City and work in the West Village. My part in the collaboration of this piece was the sculpting of the bust.
Brett Amory: My name is Brett Amory and I am an artist living and working in Oakland, California. All of my subjects in my pieces are of random people that I don’t know that I see on the streets.
Derek Weisberg: Brett has done these anonymous portrait series, he’s also done the waiting series where he photographs people and places on the street.
Brett Amory: The people that I put into my paintings all tend to have something in common, they all tend to be overlooked. Ordinary, everyday people.
Shaun Roberts: My name is Shaun Roberts and I am a photographer based in San Francisco. I am a documentary photographer. I shoot everything from street photography to stories for magazines and even some fine art projects.
Derek Weisberg: This project took place in New York in the West Village.
Brett Amory: Shaun was out in New York at the same time that I was, so we were in Derek’s studio looking at all his sculptures, so we started talking about doing a 3-way collaborate. I would paint on one of his sculptures while Shaun would document the process.
Derek Weisberg: The subject of the sculpture is an anonymous Washington Square Park visitor.
Brett Amory: Washington Square Park is definitely a different place in the winter than in the summer time. There are these misfits wandering around, so the subject was just one of the guys that was just there. He definitely stood out.
Derek Weisberg: My initial intent was that I would make a sculpture that was very much my kind of aesthetic. Very stylized figuration. I think that it really came through, but I found myself loosening up to match and emulate Brett’s painting style, as well as to accommodate Shaun’s style.
Shaun Roberts: Photographing Derek is always fun because of the gestures and motions that he goes through while creating. They go from large macro movements positioning himself around the piece, all the way down to small movements of his hands and fingers while he is working with detailed portions.
Derek Weisberg: I did find myself adding and leaving textures and tool marks that I probably wouldn’t have normally if i wasn’t working on this project. OI twas not my normal pace. I work fast, but this was on fast forward because of our time constraints.
Brett Amory: We had about 2-3 days with all 3 of us there. It was the first time i had painted a sculpture before it a bit different from what I’m used to in my studio. I wanted the process to be free and loose, just have fun with it and enjoy the act of painting.
Derek Weisberg: I was surprised by how quickly Brett took to painting on an object, and how quickly he was able to transfer his painting style from a flat surface to a 3D surface.
Brett Amory: It was tricky at first, but after about 20 minutes or so I realized that it was the exact same as painting a face on a flat surface. In some ways you have to think like sculptor but approach it like a painter would sculpt a painting. I think most artists are used to isolation and being by themselves. It’s nice to be in somebody else’s studio, especially if you can hang out with other artists that you admire and respect, you start talking about art and it opens it up.
Shaun Roberts: I consider photography to be a form of sculpture as well. Essentially you are just sculpting with light. So I think there are more similarities between the three of us than there are differences. I think the differences are just choice of medium.
Derek Weisberg: The only differences between any visual art really is the material really. The medium in which you are expressing. Otherwise it’s all about looking. It’s all about perceiving the world and observing it. Whether it’s photography, painting or sculpture, it’s really all just translations of observations.