Tyler Dobson (b.1983) was born in New Britain, Connecticut and studied his BFA at the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York. He now lives and works in New York as a gallerist, curator and artist. His occasional collaborator, Megan Marrin (b.1982) was born in St. Louis, Missouri and studied at Sarah Lawrence College before attending New York School of Visual Arts to obtain her BFA. She now lives and works in New York.
Tyler Dobson and Megan Marrin have worked on two collaborative exhibitions, which are self-referential, directly exploring the process of creation and the experiences that influence the works. The products of their collaboration are heavily influenced by the ready-made as well as photographs encapsulating ephemeral moments of compatriotism. Embodied in this shared experience is a sense of commercialism and art as a product of commodification.
Dobson and Marrin’s works centre upon the nature of inspiration and the process of making. Many have included ornithological objects, such as eggs and nests and thus become symbolic of the collaborative process. The eggs appear in various states; some are hollowed out with text printed on them; others are smashed or have had their contents viscerally smeared upon a canvas leaving the innards as the only indicator of the egg. This choice of artistic material is emblematic: the egg is an incubatory and embryonic habitat which symbolises the duality of artistic inspiration, something that is violent yet fragile. For the artists, collaborative works require intellectual intercourse to become fruitful. However, once it has been fully realised it can be smashed apart and violently enacted. The smearing of yolks upon a canvas represents a literal incarnation of the creative process.
Moreover, Dobson & Marrin’s practice scrutinises the role of the gallery as an embodiment of historicity; the gallery itself is a containment vessel for the reification of ideas and the proliferation of artworks as saleable objects. This is exemplified by the presentation of works on postcard racks as though they are to be bought and sold as trinkets. However, this is not an indictment - it is simply representative of the acceptance that art and culture inhabits a system of value exchange. These racks speak about the nature of collaboration and the importance of shared experiences in the role of creation. This is integral not just to artistic collaboration but also to the existence of communities and communication.