Paintings of piñata surveillance cameras and explosive animals come alive in Back and Forth, a singular body of work created as a collaboration between Dutch street artists Collin van der Sluijs and Super-A. Although their roots are in the street art scene of Holland, they’ve opted for canvas and paper inside San Francisco’s First Amendment Gallery, and a collaborative mural outside of the space.
Van der Sluijs and Super-A’s work still show traces of their origins in graffiti with their works mostly done in watercolor, oil, and the occasional spray paint. In stylistic terms, the vivid colors in the duo’s collaborative paintings bring detailed street murals to mind, though letters and texts are utterly absent throughout the works.
As the title of the exhibition suggests, the works were done in a repetitive back and forth manner. “We’d both start a piece and then we’d switch with one another, working on each in the same frames of time,” van der Sluijs tells Creators. “It feels great to receive a good base to start from and most of the time the base of another artist is something you wouldn’t expect, something out of your comfort zone.”
The ease of their artistic collaboration is likely the result of their shared history. “We both started in the early 90s, expressing ourselves as young teenagers through drawings, comics, and graffiti,” says van der Sluijs. “In the last 10 years, we started working collaboratively on canvasses, mural projects, and a little bit of everything.”
With a long history of collaboration, the two artists show no signs of slowing down. “It’s always a surprise to work together. In the process, things inevitably go good and bad, and things are built up and broken down. You never know where you are going to end up.”