Our collaborative practice involves sending work between our Philadelphia and Santa Fe studios. We had a strong foundation of working with materials and ideas back in art school, where we met in Rome in 1984. We could not have been more different, or more unlikely to collaborate. David created large abstract paintings in which color and the physicality of paint were a major component. Steve’s work, in contrast, was based on the question: “How can I make a painting as an object, a fully integrated three- dimensional piece?”
We’ve noticed threads from our art school days continue to be important. While David’s strength has always been to push color, pattern and surface in new directions, Steve is constantly fascinated by three-dimensional structures and how things fit together mechanically.
Throughout our collaboration, we have often looked to nature for inspiration. In seed clusters, shell formations, and flower buds, for instance, there are carefully organized parts which are arranged beautifully and made up of numerous, seemingly identical, but unique units. These exquisite structures lead us into new ways of envisioning a necklace, for example, both three-dimensionally and texturally. Many of our brooches are like a collection of fragments. Not necessarily of literal fragments (say, like shards of pottery) but more like “conceptual fragments,”– like a piece of music, a chapter from a story, an ingredient from a cuisine, or an element of a language. At some point, however, we let the references subside a bit and allow the color, abstract patterns and form to lead us. The work feels complete to us when the balance of elements – abstract and imagistic — comes into focus in some unusual way.
Steve grew up in Indiana, and studied art in St. Louis, Rome and Philadelphia. He has been a full time studio artist since 1988. He lives in the Germantown section of Philadelphia, with his partner Ron Rumford.
David is originally from the suburbs of Philadelphia. He developed a passion for drawing & painting at an early age & went on to study art in Philadelphia & Rome. In addition to his business collaboration in jewelry, he continues artistic explorations in painting, printmaking, sound & video. He lives with his wife in Santa Fe, New Mexico.