Our collaboration is a softening of ego- a subtle letting go of "what's mine". In fact, the main concept of each work is not so much explicit content or form, but collaboration itself. This is a radical choice, perhaps a new vision of the future.
We trust going into the unknown, and in fact, find joy and meaning in heading both "out there" and "in there".
We embrace improvisation both as a creative call and response and akin to jazz.
There is a recognition of the duality of presenting individual ideas and expanding on group ideas.
The surface of the canvas, to us, is a kind of dance space, and we move with brushes.
We love the visual, paint, mark making, color and design.
We take pleasure in our process and need to plumb our subconscious for dreams, memories, and messages.
Kindred Art Collaborative presents an earnest, non-ironic stance. We believe our process is significant, and the results, paintings, are the well crafted response of three life long painters
Notes on the origins of the Kindred Art Collaborative
Carl Cellini and Richard Metz grew up in the Philadelphia area and went to Temple University’s Tyler School of Art in late 1970's. They started playing music together with Raymond King, as the “What You Say Band”. The band dissolved in the early 1980's. Cellini and Metz shared a studio/ living situation in center city Philadelphia after graduating art school in 1980-81. There were frequent shenanigans, music, and much art making, as the work environment was very stimulating for both. Cellini and Metz worked together at Allen’s Lane Art Center in Philadelphia and stayed in touch as both embarked on differing lives. They spent a few months painting outside together in 1991, landscapes in the day and the Shawmont train station (Roxborough), at night.
They lost contact with each other after 1998 but reconnected in Ambler area in mid-2018. After that meeting, they both had dreams where they were working on the same painting. They decided to make it happen at Cellini’s studio -to create works together, with the goal of experimentation, expression, and joy. Working large and abstractly allowed for the collaborative process to flow, based on design, movement, improvisation, music, and painterly processes.
Mikel Elam grew up in Philadelphia and graduated from the University of the Arts in the late 70’s. Metz met Elam while both worked at a Philadelphia art supply store in 1982, and they become friends. They lost contact after a few years as Elam traveled with famed jazz musician, Miles Davis as his personal assistant. Elam collaborated with Mr. Davis on paintings. He has lived, showed work, and had his paintings represented in galleries in Los Angeles and New York City as well as the Philadelphia region. They reconnected in the late 90’s after Elam moved back to Philadelphia. In early 2000’s they did a small series of collaborative drawing/ paintings, passed back and forth to each other.
After a few months of making collaborative paintings in the summer of 2019, Cellini and Metz pursued the idea of adding a third collaborator to the group. Mikel Elam was a natural choice, and he agreed. The three are friends and collaborators, working in similar and different modes. Elam suggested the name Kindred, to express their shared humanity and expressive goals. All three also pursue their own artwork. The process of making the work is exciting, always evolving, and extremely rewarding. In the future, they may add other collaborators.
The work is large, ranging in size from 95 inches to 48 inches in width and 63 inches to 36 inches in length. To date the artists work on canvas using latex and acrylic paint. Some works have been drawings using charcoal and conte crayon. Each canvass has been worked on by all three artist together at the same time.