Dual Vision: In Conversation with Jim Chatelain

Jim Chatelain is an Ohio born painter who moved to Detroit in 1967. He received a BFA from Wayne State University in 1971. He has worked at the Detroit Institute of Arts and Wayne State University, and has exhibited Metro Detroit for the last 49 years. He currently lives and works in Ferndale, MI & upstate New York.

How did you come to work with your specific collaborator? Did you know them before this? Were you familiar with their work?

Not sure how we were picked to work together(I’m just a lucky guy). I have known Steve Foust for more than 50 years and we are close friends, I know his work well and have many of his works in my collection.

Before the actual process of making, what was the process of deciding on what to make like? What was the making process itself like?

Because we were in different places, me in Michigan & Steve in New York we took a very practical approach. Mostly of exchanging existing work(4 in total), for the other to work on. There was some process in deciding which work of Steve’s I wanted to work on and visa versa.

What new possibilities were offered through collaboration that would not have been possible working alone? Did you feel any disadvantages compared to working alone? 

I got to work on Steve’s work, which was a great treat for me. It was a great new way for me to start a painting, the work already had so much going for it from the start.  How could I go wrong? Not a disadvantage in any way.

Did working collaboratively provide you with any insights that could be extrapolated and used outside of art in either a personal or political context? Were there lessons learned that could be used in other aspects of life? What did it teach you about democracy?

Take your time , things will work out, trust your friend & collaborator, he or she has good ideas.

Going off of the title of the exhibition, how do you and your collaborator see your specific work differently? 

Steve I think, see the piece more as sculpture, me it’s all about the painting, I think they compliment each other.  That’s if it works.

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  1. […] story to tell of the Cass Corridor. For instance, gallerist Paul Kotula is an ardent supporter of Jim Chatelain. Many in Detroit’s art community speak Ellen Phelan’s name with reverence and […]

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