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Artists: Frank Boyden & Tom Coleman


Artists: Frank Boyden & Tom Coleman
Boyden/Colemn, USA
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The Collaborative Ceramics of Frank Boyden and Tom Coleman.


Boyden and Coleman's collaboration is rooted in fiat, because each man at first feels the labor alone. The verb "to labor" means to hurt, to suffer. Labor is as gritty as it gets. We may cheer another on, but the one whose muscles are burning is the one who gets things done. But when each pot is born of two men working together, something indescribable happens; the lineage is out of either artist's hands alone and the mix becomes the subject of speculation. How did that happen? Who did what? it's archetypal. Do you have your father's nose? How did her lyrics influence his tune? Who raised the barn? Who sailed the ship? Who wrote the law?

It is important to remember that free collaboration, the unforced shared labor of two people, is risky, because collaborators see each other sweat and worry. What is it to collaborate? It is to do more than one body can do, the faith of it. The sum of this effort, at its best, is what each artist hoped for.

Both Boyden and Coleman are in their early sixties. Each has seen his father die, his mother grow old. The back door is opening. Both men talk about their families. What is the role of biography in art? Potters, like architects, need seasoning, which takes time. Additionally, ceramists endure physical stress-turning, pressing, bending over, looking in and breathing the chemicals and smoke. Autobiography works it way into the image.

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