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The Aleatoric Series

Paper engineering set off with abstract painting in a collaboration from Ghostly International

by James Thorne in Culture on 27 March 2012

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From the record label-meets-art house Ghostly International comes a collaboration between abstract artists Michael Cina and Matt Shlian. The limited edition series contains works on paper that bring together the divergent styles of the two artists, marrying Cina's colorful abstractions and Shlian's signature paper engineering to demonstrate the common theme of experimentation in their respective processes. Shlian's paper pyramids borrows from geometric and biological forms to create a 3D canvas, his typical monochrome look overhauled by Cina's vibrant pigments, which have roots in his background creating album art for Ghostly.

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The name for the Aleatoric Series refers to the element of chance to create an unexpected outcome in the artists' joint work. "These pieces feel spatial or nebulous...a micro and macro all at once," says Shlian. "When I read, I never understand the important parts first. I pull out the details and focus on them first, and then I have to work at understanding the bigger picture." In this way, the two artists shared the back and forth that comes with collaborative, ongoing work.

The pieces are assembled by hand using acid-free glue and paper, and the surface is colored with vegetable-based ink. As arrangement of the color changes from piece to piece, none of the 25 iterations of each composition are exactly the same. All told, the collection demonstrates the benefits of artistic experimentation and the effect that occurs when two talented artists riff off of one another.

Pieces from The Aleatoric Series is available from the Ghostly Store for $250.

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