Artists I admire: PaJaMa

I'm working on a new project about the artist Paul Cadmus, and through my research I've learned about a unique collaboration between him and two other artists, Jared and Margaret French.

Cadmus and Jared French were lovers in the early part of their relationship, but when Jared married Margaret, the three became a trio of artists, often traveling together and influencing each other's creative output. I'm not certain about the particulars of their relationship, other than their work together with photography. Margaret owned a Leica camera, and on their frequent visits to Fire Island and Cape Cod, the camera came along and the three of them used it interchangeably, taking pictures of the beachscapes, their friends, and each other. The compositions captured in the images are quite beautiful and thoughtful, and their influence can certainly be seen in some of Cadmus' paintings as well.

Many years later, long after the trips had stopped and the trio spent less time together, a decision was made to exhibit the photos. For many of the images, it was difficult to discern which individual had actually taken the photo. Paul, Jared, and Margaret decided to exhibit the images under the collective name PaJaMa, composed of the first two letters of each of their first names. A collection of the images was exhibited this past fall in New York, and it was a privilege to see the images up close and to feel the synergy of the three artists through their related styles of composition, uses of light, and points of focus.

For finding a way to tap into the energy of their complex relationship to create something lasting and symbolic, for capturing beautiful moments on beaches, and for their clever naming of their creative collaboration, PaJaMa are the artists I admire for this week.