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Sunday, September 9, 2012

Ode to Collaboration: Jamie and Alexis Soup

Many years ago I started my now epic artistic relationship with what I call surrealist self portraiture.  I was feeling impulsive and playful and animal all at once.  I sat on the floor in the bright afternoon light pooling beneath my western facing third floor windows.  I threw a piece of blue cloth over the chair behind me and photographed myself as I applied and then obscured layers of make up and plastic gems and exaggerated facial expressions. It was revelatory.


A few days later I tried to recapture the same surrealist energy by adding intoxication and my good friend and fellow poetess, Jamie.  New magics were accomplished and what I expect to be a lifelong partnership was forged.



Jamie and I have now been partners in mischief for almost a decade, and our greatest collaboration is no doubt a friendship which has survived and thrived throughout all manner of trials, tribulations, and adventures (including being roommates in 2007 and 2008).  We have also produced a diverse body of collaborative work with many other wonderful artists and poets, chief among them fellow surrealettes.  We've left a paper trail of post-it haikus, artist trading cards, and exquisite corpses.


And our digital trail is twice as long and infinitely detailed.  We've generated more pixels of us as a pair than any other duet I know.




I sometimes note, with hints of both jealousy and pride, that Jamie has taken inspiration from our exchange of ideas and then outdone me.  After I made a series of self portraits on my work's photo copier, she did a series using her home scanner that exceeded mine in both creativity and aesthetic.

It is quite easy to make art when that act is one of play, and in Jamie I have a like minded playmate.  We both know and love the same games: dress up, mad libs, and idea jar (and then later, idea jar in an envelope, and then even later, idea book jar house).  Rarely do the two of us meet without art ensuing.

During the years our friendship has been long distance, we've exchanged magic through the United States Postal Service.  Jamie is among the world's finest pen pals.

Jamie currently sells handmade steam punk jewelry in her etsy shop, Jamie Demolition and the Mysterious Tinker (the photo in their shop banner was taken by yours truly).
I am currently encouraging Jamie to increase her online presence; she has a deviant art account under the name jamiedemo that is filled with some of her past work.  I am currently encouraging her to join instagram.  We also have a collaborative blog that we fully intend to actually begin posting to one of these days: Jamie and Alexis Soup.

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