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Tyson Anthony Roberts & Joana Chavez

Posted by Kate Singleton on

Where are you both from and where do you live currently?

We are both from Sacramento, CA and we recently moved back to the area after a stint in Seattle, WA.

When did you first collaborate as a couple?

Our first collaborative project was OCTOCHAIR! In 2008 we bought an IKEA lounge chair to experiment on. We painted it a coral red and stitched the cushions with octopus tentacles.

Tell us about the work in this show.

The works in this show were all made using canvas, acrylic, crayon, sharpies and thread. We started with un-stretched canvas, painted the background color with acrylic paint and applied crayon markings. Joana then hand-stitched selected areas to give the overall piece a textured look. Lastly, we balanced everything by shading areas with colored sharpie fine point markers.

Are these works still based on specific landscapes as your older work did or do they come from inside your head?

Yes, all of these works are based on photographs of landscapes taken during recent travels. It helps to have something to reference to keep the composition grounded. Once certain elements of the piece have been established, it then makes it easier to have fun by playing around with hues and textures.

In this series you incorporate a new medium: thread. What sparked that idea?

We have been collaborating on various projects over the past few years, however these works are the first time that we have "married" our preferred mediums (Joana's stitch-work, Tyson's painting and drawing). Our goal with these was to find a balance between the characteristics of these mediums while pushing our individual styles beyond the comfort zone. Trusting what each other was doing was a huge part in making these pieces work...creating these was a good practice in translating a life skill into something tangible.

Name five things that inspire your work.

Traveling. Photographs. Vibrant colors. Patterns. Working with our hands. Listening to Andrew Bird.

Tell us a bit about your studio space and work habits.

Our current studio is a room in our living space. When we are home together, we enjoy spending time working on collaborative pieces mixed in with playing Bananagrams. Tyson also works out of different studios for his larger works on canvas.

What can't you live without?

Each other.


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