In 2005, Dana DeVito, Marcy B. Freedman, and Carla Rae Johnson combined forces to collaborate on drawings.A “true” collaboration, each work of art involved multiple passes from one artist to the next.Each artist added to the drawing with her own style and sensibility creating uniquely layered images and forms.
Beginning with large, drawings of unconventional proportions (long and narrow) one artist would start the process and pass it on to her two collaborative partners.In order to facilitate the exchange of works-in-progress, a drop-off site was chosen. This was a small narrow, backroom, behind one artist’s garage. Because this room served, first and foremost, as a “house” where cats could stay warm in the winter, this space had been dubbed the “Cathouse.”
Thus, the name “Cathouse Associates” became their calling card.Their logo: a stretching cat/spiked-heel shoe, cleverly combined the double entendre of their collective’s name. Eventually, the ‘cathouse” was cleared out for a summer exhibition: long, narrow drawings in a long, narrow room!As a P.R. ploy, the three associates dressed and performed as “pimps” for their own exhibition.“Mark Territory” could be seen on the streets of Downtown Peekskill soliciting for the associates!
The associates continued their practice of making drawings in unconventional formats creating and exhibiting large grids of 4” square drawings that had been produced with the same collaborative process.
Gradually, the “Cathouse Associates” branched out to create collages, which were adapted to become covers for their “Not-Books.”These “Not Books” were creatively displayed in the local Bruised Apple Bookstore.Viewers of this exhibition were obliged to search among the shelves to discover “Not-Books” among the actual books!
Further explorations lead to an exhibition of Cathouse Associates’ “Not-Shoes:” wildly witty and weird adaptations of footwear altered to become works of art.
Finally, the “Cathouse Associates” created a series of “Not-Umbrellas” which, when suspended from a giant spreading Oak at a local riverfront restaurant/hotel complex, rained down their splendor upon visitors.
After numerous exhibitions and presentations, the “Cathouse Associates” moved on to other, separate pursuits, but one can never know if they might, again, join forces!