Tom Billings & Jenny Hellman
April 8th – May 7th
Gitana Rosa Gallery is proud to present "IN COLLABORATION", new works by Tom Billings and Jenny Hellman. Meet with the artists FRIDAY, April 8th, 6-9pm in conjunction with WGA's Art Crawl, where all the galleries in Williamsburg will stay open till 9pm.
Brooklyn-based artists, Jenny Hellman and Tom Billings, began their series of paintings,
"In Collaboration", in 2010, but had worked together on occasion for a couple of years
already. They merged their styles and mannerisms, the things they each knew, to create
an entity in itself, different than their own. "In Collaboration" is an enigma in its own
right, as it should be.
Popular culture provides a context, but the themes of the paintings are personal, they
come out of the everyday. A joke about a bear and Sarah Palin, a raccoon that roams the
street outside the Brooklyn studio, and a small unfinished sculpture of a loon carved by
Tom’s father, all really do exist.
By painting with each other, and layering formats and technique, Billings and Hellman
blend these narratives from one painting to the next in pursuit of a single body of work.
The painting “Means of Production” is about both Afghanistan and heroine addiction.
A plastic toy cowboy has been with Tom since childhood.
Dog E. Style in its earliest incarnation, as a sketch on a page, was provocative because
the structure was oddly reminiscent of a Nazi symbol, or a Hindu symbol depending on
how you saw it, but once painted became an entity unto itself.
With no concern for formalism, what matters "In Collaboration" is whether or not what is
being built will hold together on a wall. As long as it hangs on a wall it is presumed to exist.