ChrisTims (the Hynes Bros.)

These collaborations grew out of a lifelong relationship between two brothers who have always worked together in artistic endeavors, both musical and visual. My brother Tim and I each start a piece at the same time so we always have two going at once. The development is a process of working on them and passing them back and forth until we both decide they are complete. Besides bringing together the ideas and sensibilities of two different people, we are also working on juxtaposing the abstract with the real, the ancient with the modern, and classical imagery with symbols of pop culture. Sometimes the background comes first, sometimes the figures. At any time during the process, neither of us knows what the other is going to do. It is exhilarating, stressful, amazing, and challenging.
In keeping with my practice of recycling the detritus around job sites from work in the trades, we do these paintings on wood. Usually I do the backgrounds and the outlines of the figures, and Tim works inside the figures. The pouring of the figures is like Zen painting. I meditate first and then pour the outlines of the figures. Tim fills the figures in and breathes life to the faces. In the early works he also frequently added words— sometimes his own poetry.
Working with another person stretches both of us to our limits and expands our ideas of the creative process and about materials to use. Tim contributed the idea of using mud and heavier texture and of using masking to delineate the use of space. I bring a sense of freedom in using color and the technique of moving the actual materials and paint. Together we have developed an understanding of the use of multilayering— putting multiple images on top of each other. The process has opened up for us the freedom of working on large surfaces.
We go for the push/pull—complexity, movement. The eye is activated—it’s drawn into the painting and back out, out and in. If that happens, that’s when it works. That’s when we’re happy.