Poor Al's Collabro Show

Juxtapoz // Wednesday, 17 May 2006
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Photos and text by WORMZER3000


[[Interview conducted 4/9/06 with Poor Al, artist and curator of Collabro, an art show about shared space and cooperation.]]

After driving for 3 hours in a horrible storm, I finally arrived at my destination, a dimly lit bar at 1:15 am in San Diego where Artist/Curator Poor Al was to meet me. I've met Poor Al on many occasions, but this night he had an energy that was contagious. No doubt all his hard work was coming together. I was there to speak to him about his latest show Collabro, and he was eager to talk about it.

W. So Al, give me a little background on the show?

The idea of doing a collaborative show first came up in 2001 when I had started a series of pieces that I was giving out to friends, and I was going to do a Poor Al's Robots vs. Everyone Else show. The show never happened, but I've done a bunch of collaborative paintings since then. I had been doing collaborative work on the streets for years with my friends (both on walls and freight trains). Those are the deep roots for the show.

W. Where'd the nameCollabro come from?

I was supposed to do a piece with Tim McCormick, and gave him a painting many years ago. We both got too busy to finish it up. (I had spinal surgery, and he was running two galleries in San Diego). At one point he was going to do a collaborative group show and came up with the name Collabro. When the show idea was resurrected, I asked him if I could use the name for the show. The name really embodies the spirit of the show.

Preview of work from Collabro: Greg "Craola" Simkins and Alex Pardee


W. What was the motivation to do a show of collaborative work?

I thought the timing was right. I like to make a statement with my art, and my style of curation is the same way. I believe that collaborative work really started in the 80's with the mixing of graffiti and fine art in New York. 

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