In Cahoots at Junctionview

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

In the mostly abstract paintings of artist Michael Bush, wide brushstrokes are applied with crackly thickness and black asserts its presence equally with other colors. Beyond their own strengths, Bush's works inspire collaboration, as he first discovered a couple of years ago.

While working at Axis nightclub, the artist offered a couple of his smaller canvases to a co-worker, illustrator Zack Burgess, to alter as he wished.

"From there I wondered, how many other artists would be interested in this?" Bush recalled.

So far, dozens of artists have liked the idea. The 40-plus works they've created with Bush will be on view this Saturday at Junctionview Studios in the show "In Cahoots."

A lot of artists are understandably protective of their individual styles and works, and in his studio at Junctionview, Bush pointed out a painting that he'd hate to have touched by someone else.

However, as he explained, "I wanted to see what would come of this, and I'm pretty secure in my own work. It got to the point where I'd come up with an initial idea and think, 'I wonder what Cyrus Fire could do with this, or Stephanie Rond?'"

Both agreed to participate, with Fire adding bright, surrealistic figures and Rond stenciling soldiers and planes, using Bush's brushwork to evoke the fog of war. In another work, Rond suggests an exploding head in the placement of a little girl's torso below a large paint splotch left by Bush.

Other contributors include Ashley Voss, aka Coreroc; Larry Doyle; Jay Moffett; Lou McAfee; Jaime Hesper; Lauren Mudd, who's turned one of Bush's works into a functional light fixture; and Cyndi Bellerose, who co-opts Bush's paintings to continue her own tongue-in-cheek series of faux advertisements offering sci-fi weapons for militant feminism to 1950s-style housewives.

Junctionview Studios

6-10 p.m. Saturday, April 16

889 Williams Ave., Grandview Heights