Founded in Miami in 2002 by Samuel Borkson and Arturo Sandoval III, artist duo FriendsWithYou centers their practice on ideas of inclusivity, shared experiences, and unity with the universe. Now based in Los Angeles, they aim to spread “magic, love, and friendship” through a spectrum of work including resin sculptures of anthropomorphized objects, animated short videos, and brightly colored large-scale installations. FriendsWithYou has exhibited at Art Basel, The High Line in NYC, Design Exchange, and Albright-Knox, collaborated with Pharrell, and is creating an animated children’s show for Netflix.
FriendsWithYou’s newest work, The Dance, makes an exciting debut in a forthcoming site-specific presentation at Dallas Contemporary. An interactive and communal experience, the exhibition actively incorporates audiences: two moving orbs serve as ambassadors in the dark as they meander along in a spiritual, cleansing, and comforting ritual set to a custom soundtrack in celebration of the beauty and power of togetherness. Dallas Contemporary Executive Director Peter Doroshenko, who curated the exhibition, reveals that the installation was “designed with the mission to envelop visitors and transcend them into a higher state of self-awareness and tranquility.”
Also on view for the first time are new paintings which are the largest the duo have created to date: the first, entitled A Beautiful Place II, is inspired by a set from Hayao Miyazaki’s feature Howl’s Moving Castle. This is the latest in a series of narrative works that take place against impressionist landscapes. The second new painting, Interness, is made of plasticine and the latest of The Playworks Series, first begun in 2017. In this work, highly recognizable icons rendered from pop culture populate a pictorial field in soft, playful, and at times jarring representations of memory, memes, and the internet.