The artists recount the crossover of vision and technique.
When and how did you first meet?.
GM: More than about a dozen years ago – Christian suggested we do a portrait swap, which I was delighted to do. He painted my portrait and I photographed him in his studio– it was fun and felt like a positive coming together of minds. We have remained friends since then and when Christian proposed collaboration, I jumped at the idea.
How did this particular collaboration come about?
CF: I was looking closely at one of my Mankowitz photographs on the wall one day and saw it in colours in my mind. I got on to Gered and we had a little chat about doing something together.
What is the work process? Do you work separately or together?
GM: We discussed a basic concept and then Christian came to stay with me in Cornwall where we thrashed out a framework, tested some ideas and generally got excited about the project. We both wanted to create unique hand finished pieces and I was keen to produce the original prints myself. We liaise on an almost daily basis, bouncing ideas off each other.
Delving a little deeper into the process – Gered – are you providing Christian with your original black and white images to work on ?
GM: No, absolutely not – in fact that is the last thing either of us wanted to do. This project needed to be a collaboration in the complete sense, so, with that in mind we spent a lot of time together, discussing concepts, images and colour palettes and then I created completely new colour interpretations of the chosen images and produced hundreds of new prints myself at my studio in Cornwall, which I then sent to Christian in London. He then worked his magic on them to produce the final prints you see in the exhibition. For me a big part of the success of the project is that you really cannot define where my work ends and his begins, which is, I believe, the mark of a true collaboration.
CF: I think these art pieces are an opulent and unique combination of both Gered and my sensibilities. As in music – when musicians work together in a band to create a piece of music that transcends the sum of the parts, I think we have as well with our vivid 45RPM collection.
What were the criteria for choosing the photographs for the exhibition?
CF: Just looking at something with both pairs of eyes and suddenly thinking, “YES, that has something”. This means images that have not yet been seen before have become part of our collection.
GM: To be honest, that side of things fell into place pretty easily as well – Christian knows my work in depth and we clicked at every choice.
When do you know that the painting is done?
CF: Art is never finished, only abandoned. You come to a natural conclusion and know when it’s time to leave something alone. Leaving a bit of space. Like music, the silent passages are as important as the noisy ones.
GM: I never really know when a piece of art is finished, but I am getting to a point with a print where it feels right and I sense that there is enough of me on the paper and that it is time for Christian to complete the vision.
Do you work listening to music?
CF: I am always listening to music in the studio. I can’t live without it. At the moment I am listening to His Purpleness Prince and London Grammar.
GM: I always had music playing at the studio when I worked and I play music when I am on the computer now– lot of Stones, Soul & Blues but I like sticking iTunes on shuffle and being surprised!