En Masse, Working Together with Black and White

 

Following years of west-coasting through the small art pockets of valley life, I arrived in Montreal and was astonished by the sheer mass of like-minded creative beings.

Photo Credit © [Jeremy Shantz]
 
Photo Credit © [Jeremy Shantz]
Montreal-based drawing initiative shows an example of inspiration through collaborative means.


Following years of west-coasting through the small art pockets of valley life, through the constant search for knowledge and new processes and of course, too many post-secondary years of creating art as an individual in a reclusive fashion, I arrived in Montreal and was astonished by the sheer mass of like-minded creative beings. People who, I would learn, could provide something fresh and new to share with me and for me to play a part in.

Oversaturated with the new feelings of east coast city life and the everyday bustle, I was blessed to stumble upon a city wall that emanated a calming sense of collaboration. A feeling that I would forever relate to the black and white maze of EN MASSE, an experimental, multi-artist collaborative drawing initiative that, through a densely layered game of visual cross-reference, encourages the recall and progression of personal and collective narratives between artists from very diverse artistic backgrounds.

Many urban adventures later, I found myself at a local art market enjoying a weekend of providing ugly portraits for the people passing by, one of which would be the creator of this initiative. Someone who himself had worked the obvious into the possible, allowing artists like myself to cultivate these conversations between the very mainstream galleries, museums, and funding agencies that before I had often been excluded from.

This became yet another discovery of artistic identity where my individual authorship had been cast aside for the creation of a collective vision. I saw the model with which to pursue my own artistic endeavors, beautifully intricate and greater than any one person could create alone, through the act of communication in non-linear dialog. This irreverent and graphically potent study in pop-surrealism would help me to both test and surpass deeply ingrained and often flawed social identities and realities, in order to broaden and solidify my own artistic community.

enmasse.info
 
comments powered by Disqus

About the author

Obsessive collector and sculptor of things, Shantz lives and bleeds for those moments of collaboration.

Did this article inspire you?

See how you can save it in a project—something you can do with any colours or photos you find on the site too.

Let’s go!