The Antipodes Project is a surreal collaborative drawing project started by Washington D.C. artist Ben Tolman in 2006. Thus far, three projects have been completed and a fourth is close to fruition. All four of these projects were done with 005 and 01 micron pens on 11 X 14 inch pieces of Bristol paper (panels). The individual panels were put together to create large pieces. Thus far, 37 very talented artists from around the world have contributed to the project, and we are still looking for more artists to contribute.
The project essentially evolved from the collaborative Exquisite Corpse Club, a surreal drawing club, of which numerous artists including Ben and me created surreal collaborations. Ben's first Antipodes Project, "Novus Natura" was a collaboration between him and Lars Peterson composed of nine 11 X 14 inch panels to form a 33 X 42 piece.
33 X 42 inches, twelve 11 X 14 panels, 2006.
Ben Tolman and Lars Peterson.
Happy with the results, Ben invited others to participate in more collaborations. I, along with several other artists, contributed to the group fairly early on with various bits of pen drawings. At some point about five years ago, the project seemed to be headed for extinction. Ben was overwhelmed with his creating his own art and the task of trying to get artists to return art. Because I had already done a lot, and because I thought the project was a great idea, which tied into things I wanted to do anyway, I pestered him about continuing the project. Eventually, Ben asked if I wanted to take it over for a while. So, in 2014, Ben sent me several 11 X 14 inch panels, six of which were fully completed and six of which were partially completed. I had worked on many of those 12 panels already, so this made sense that I take over this particular project. At that time, this was to be a 16 panel drawing. I started a FaceBook page for the group, and as we posted progress shots, interest begin to build. Suddenly, the 16 panel project became a 20 panel project! I tied panels together as best as I could from work done by 17 artists from around the world. The eventual project (project 3) I called "Kilroy was Here." Just after finishing this, I hosted an international exhibition at Mississippi State University featuring the works of various surreal artists from Portugal and the USA (LUSO American Surrealism Now). This seemed like the perfect time to showcase this spectacular collaborative drawing that was 44 X 70 inches (bigger framed). Wow! The response from viewers was overwhelming!
Meanwhile, Ben was now reinvigorated! He grabbed some artists to help complete the second project entitled " A Transitional Moment", which was finished up in late 2015 just before "Kilroy was Here" was completed.
|"A Transitional Moment".
33 X 56 inches, twelve 11 X 14 panels, 2006-2015.
Contributors: Ben Tolman, David Mack, Greg Kanteres, Ryan Thornburg, Rens Ink, Rick Bach, Durga, Theo Ellsworth, Cayung Siagian, Reinhard Schmid, and Marnie Pitts.
The fourth project is currently in progress and is entitled "The Myth." Ben has mostly been guiding this project, although I have worked on four panels and solicited artists to contribute as well.
These four projects, along with individual works by some of the artists involved, are currently on display through August 29, 2016 at The Fridge Gallery in Washington D.C. The opening reception was held on 29 July 2016. Although I was not able to make it to the reception, it apparently went well. In fact, the awesome art magazine Juxtapoz even had a writeup about it on their web site. Scott Stead and Jonny Goldstein did a live feed video of the show. The next day, Whitehot Magazine published a lengthy online story about the show and the Project.
The Antipodes Project is garnering some great national and international attention. This is wonderful, although not surprising with the caliber of artists contributing!
When the show at the Fridge comes down, I will be taking over the project for a while as Ben will be arting in Germany. This joker is rolling! Future plans include finishing the fourth project, then its wide open. I would like to incorporate color in some future works and a variety of sizes and formats. I would love to have some musicians come together to create collaborative surreal experimental music to tie into this project to be played at shows and to be available online. Video collaborations would be great as well. Certainly, we should produce a book of the artwork, prints of panels, etc. I will be looking for volunteers to assist in these new aspects of the projects as well as gallery directors to host these incredible pieces.
So far, the following 37 artists have contributed something to the three finished projects and the fourth unfinished one! Numbers after each name indicates which project the artist worked on. Project 1 - "Novus Natura", Project 2 - "A Transitional Moment", Project 3 - "Kilroy was Here", and Project 4 - "The Myth".
Ben Tolman (1-4), Joe A. MacGown (3,4), Lars Peterson (1,3), Joseph H. MacGown (3), Julianne MacGown (3), Chloe Marsters (3,4), Marnie Pitts (2, 3,4), Otto Rapp (3), Paulo Cunha (3), Pizo Meyer (3,4), Ryan Thornburg (2,3,4), Zachary Nolin (3,4), Reinhard Schmid (2), Cayung Siagan (2), Kris Kuksi (4), Maura Holden (4), Jon Beinart (4), Kuba Ambrose (4), Gil Perry (3,4), Rodney Gee (4), Phil Rubinov Jacobson (4), Yainderidoo (4),Durga (2, 4), Sal Hunter (4), Rens Ink (2, 4), David Mack (2), Greg Kanteres (2), Rick Bach (2), Theo Ellsworth (2), Marcel Bakker (3,4), Alexander Bostic (3,4), Deborah Valentine (3), Danielle Caners (4), Héctor Pineda (4), Matthew Sergison-main (4), Janelle McKain (4), and Jay Garfinkle (3).