Art

Worlds Collage: Re-Vert Studio

What happens when two minds meet in the middle? When two mediums mash themselves together? When artists are so inspired that they feel compelled to work together? Continue on to find out…

Photos by Chris Sallquist and James Dimmock
Photo © James Dimmock and Chris Sallquist

Photo © James Dimmock and Chris Sallquist

Citizen Brooklyn: How did you two end up doing this collaboration?
James: It’s a classic “the power of social media” story, I was on set shooting the ad campaign for The Following for FOXtv.
As we waited for the crew to set up, I was cruising through my Instagram feed, I had started following Chris a week or so before, I turned to my friend and creative director at FOX and said: “You should follow this guy, he does cool shit”. Cut to FOX speaking to Chris and asking him to work with my images of Kevin Bacon. And so, the bond was made, haha!

Photo © James Dimmock and Chris Sallquist

Photo © James Dimmock and Chris Sallquist

Chris: It started on Instagram. James and I connected through a mutual project we worked on for FOX. He shot the photography for the upcoming season of The Following, and I was brought in to mash up his work to help promote the show. We got to chatting and realized that there are some great synergies between what we each bring to the table… his photography and my art. We experimented with some images and decided to see where we could take it. The result is a collaboration we call re-vert studio.

Photo © James Dimmock and Chris Sallquist

Photo © James Dimmock and Chris Sallquist

CBK: How does the creative process work? Are the images shot to be mashed? Or is it just a case of using existing images and then reshooting?
James: The current collection is an experiment with my back catalog, Chris and I discussed this, I wanted to see what he thought of my work and how it inspired him. As a photographer, I am sometimes too precious with my work; it was refreshing to see someone literally tear my work apart. The next project will be all shot specifically to be torn apart.

Photo © James Dimmock and Chris Sallquist

Photo © James Dimmock and Chris Sallquist

Chris: Right now, I’m working with James’ catalog of images that he previously shot. Our next step is to shoot photos specifically to mash up and exhibit. This will allow us to capture specific elements for mash ups versus working with existing photographic components. It’s a shift in the way I’ve worked to date. I’m looking forward to it.

Photo © James Dimmock and Chris Sallquist

Photo © James Dimmock and Chris Sallquist

CBK: Does James help with the collage and Chris with the photography, or do you two hand off the work at different stages?
James: There is a lot of back ‘n’ forth between us, I let Chris run wild with the images, the results are inspiring, so inspiring that I then get involved with suggestions on possible directions.

Chris: James and I collaborate on the direction the art takes. I first sit with the images and start experimenting with different ways to mash them up—tearing, shredding, juxtaposing… Once I’ve got 30 – 50 compositions we talk about what’s working and where we can continue to push. I go back into my studio and come back with a refined set of images. We select the keepers from there.

Photo © James Dimmock and Chris Sallquist

Photo © James Dimmock and Chris Sallquist

CBK: For James: Coming from a fashion/celebrity background, is it tough for you to switch gears from the super clean aesthetic of those industries?
I wouldn’t say fashion and celebrity are super clean. Maybe the finished polished results feel that way sometimes, but the process is the same. That being said, yes this collaboration is very refreshing. The boundaries can be pushed and torn open.

Photo © James Dimmock and Chris Sallquist

Photo © James Dimmock and Chris Sallquist

CBK: For Chris: How is it different working with James’s photography?
James’ photography does a great job of revealing the personalities of the celebrities and models he shoots, which makes it easier for me to further extract the unexpected quirks and emotions within them. There’s a rawness and polish to his images that fits perfectly with my approach to art.

Photo © James Dimmock and Chris Sallquist

Photo © James Dimmock and Chris Sallquist

CBK: How would you describe the characters presented in the images?
James: Chris may correct me here, but I see the images in two categories, the fashion work is all about abstract form, beauty to create a dreamlike image. The celebrity-based work is the flip of this, its experiment to tear open the traditional persona of someone we think, through the power of social media, we “know”. It’s a statement really, we don’t know these people, and they are real people with real life situations. The subjects are as real and as normal (in most cases) as your own family. An instagram feed of selfies doesn’t give us the right to know or judge them, so by “tearing” them open we are suggesting there is more to them than the polished media feed.

Photo © James Dimmock and Chris Sallquist

Photo © James Dimmock and Chris Sallquist

Chris: To me, the images reveal an unseen side to the characters that have always been with them, but haven’t been revealed until now. It’s almost like they are fragments of their own imaginations that viewers get a chance to see. And at the same time, they’re reflections of our own experiences. Who hasn’t felt fragmented and ripped apart in their life? I think it’s one of the reasons the work resonates with so many people.

Photo © James Dimmock and Chris Sallquist

Photo © James Dimmock and Chris Sallquist

CBK: What is the end product of this collaboration beyond the individual works?
James: Right now, the end product for this current collaboration is an exhibition and show later this year, initially in LA and then, if things go well, hopefully my “hometown” of Brooklyn.

Chris: Currently we’re working on an exhibition in LA. But the collaboration is bigger than the show. The work is expanding into other channels and projects. Both commercial and fine art.

Photo © James Dimmock and Chris Sallquist

Photo © James Dimmock and Chris Sallquist

CBK: How has the experience been so far? Would you both do it again/continue to do so?
James: Well, we are continually talking about what we plan to do for the next project, each day of editing and discussion on these images sparks inspiration for what to shoot for the next. I would say this is an ongoing partnership.

Chris: For me, the collaboration has been really rewarding. We’ve done it 100% remotely via internet and phone (I’m in Seattle and James is based in Brooklyn), but because the process is asynchronous it hasn’t been a hindrance. And as our body of work increases, we’ll see more opportunities to work face to face. I’m really enthused about where we’re headed.

Follow Chris:
@csallquist – instagram
@arts_mashing – twitter
www.artsmashing.com

Follow James:
@jamesdimmock – instagram and twitter
James Dimmock – Facebook
www.jamesdimmock.com

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