Brain Trust Interviewed in Monday Magazine

Peter Thompson and James Kirkpatrick have a been interviewed in the current issue of Monday Magazine. Interview with Peter Thompson and James Kirkpatrick

Pump up the Jam

By: Amanda Farrell
Peter Thompson and James Kirkpatrick get in each others’ heads

It’s obvious that Peter Thompson and James Kirkpatrick feed off each other. Really, one need only look as far as the two London, Ontario artists’ new book, Brain Trust—an eclectic, quirky collection of pen-and-ink drawings and paintings—for evidence, but their collaborative creativity is corroborated by the e-mail interview we did. The duo, who have been creating work together since 2000, answered the questions while sitting in a laundromat (I guess they even wash their clothes together) and say there’s not really any set way that their co-produced pieces happen.

“Sometimes we talk about what we want to use, like paint or just pen or something, but other than that we pretty much just let it happen,” says Kirkpatrick, who also raps under the Thesis moniker. (The two will also be doing a musical performance at their book launch Saturday.) “Sometimes a pen piece will turn into a colour thing.”

Thompson adds, “Yeah, we don’t need to ‘talk’ about anything, we are geniuses.” To which Kirkpatrick replies, “We have the Brain Trust.”

Well, now we know where the book title comes from.

However it works, know the end result is rad-tastic. The line drawings and paintings (Thompson has a background in zine-making while Kirkpatrick comes from the graffiti-art scene) have a real whimsical quality to them, often with strange characters having stranger conversations with one another (“Whoever has something they want to write down on the pieces writes it down there, and it is awesome,” Thompson says of the dialogue.) The two not only collaborate with each other, but with artists like Beau Labute, Rosie Cook and Marc Bell. Of those artists, Kirkpatrick says, “Let me tell you, by no means are they back-up singers.”

Jam-style pieces are a bit unusual in the visual-art realm, but Thompson and Kirkpatrick find working with other artists to be really rewarding.

“I don’t have to rely on my own sorry-assed solo stuff,” says Thompson. Says Kirkpatrick: “Have you ever had ice cream that was melting and you put it back in the freezer? And a month later you find it and are like, ‘stoked!’ It’s kind of like that, except it’s Peter showing up at my parents’ basement with bourbon.”

Sounds like a recipe for good art to me. M

Brain Trust Book Launch

Noon, Saturday, September 26

Boucherat Gallery, 16 ¬Ω Fan Tan

Free • boucheratgallery.com