In our third installment of Collabograms, David and Danielle welded and wove their unique artistic backgrounds together to create an exquisite embroidered metal scorpion sculpture. The harshness of the metal and the bright delicacy of the thread come together in an unexpected way to highlight how differences can complement one another, instead of clash.
When the artists first discussed possible concepts, they knew the only non-negotiable was creating something that had equal parts of each artist – David’s art emphasizing toughness and masculinity and Danielle’s art showing a softer, more traditionally feminine style.
On their final decision, David and Danielle noted, “The Scorpion was the perfect choice for us; as it is aggressive and highly weaponized, but shows a deadly beauty through its hard and soft features. We sought to change its symbolism of danger by adding something a tad more whimsical, while not compromising its nobility and natural beauty.”
Meet the Artists
Located in Mexico, David’s artistic story started with his father, Rogelio Madero (1936-2014,) who began welding in the 1950s and worked as a master metal sculptor throughout his lifetime. On pursuing metal art as a career, David said, “It was a very easy choice for me, both through nature and nurture. I was always surrounded by art and I was lucky enough to have inherited my father’s creative drive. He was an inspiring figure in my life so it was natural for me to follow in his footsteps.”
Usually drawing inspiration from everyday life and his most terror-filled nightmares, David approached the Collabograms project as a unique opportunity to challenge himself by choosing to be uncomfortable and collaborate with someone so artistically different.
Danielle’s entry into the work of embroidery art was much less intentional, but just as fateful. Danielle, located in South Africa, recalled, “My mother taught me to sew and, while studying, I would make plush toys for friends and stitch basic details onto these toys. One day, bored at my weekend job, I found a needle, thread, and scrap piece of felt at the bottom of my bag and ‘doodled’ a rabbit – I was hooked. I kept doing these ‘thread-sketches’ and only later realized it was embroidery and had been around for centuries; I feel like I stumbled onto the art form.” From that point on, Danielle was fixated with the craft and, while there was not a decisive moment that brought her embroidery from hobby to career, she has completely committed herself to the art form.
Approaching the Collabograms project, Danielle felt excited about the potential of the project, which fueled her inspiration and collaborative spirit as she began working with David.
The Final Product: A Balancing Act
The artists’ collaboration began with a video call connecting the artists across the world from Torreon, Mexico to Cape Town, South Africa. On that first contact, the artists said, “it was quite surreal as we have such similar values and, from the get-go, had a lot of complementary strengths. We established that no matter what we created, it had to tick the ‘I’ve always wanted to do this’ box for both of us. We were instantly supportive of each other and were friends after about 15 minutes of conversation.”
Once the two had settled on creating the scorpion with equal parts metal and embroidery, they got to work. David created the scorpion sculpture in Mexico, using the welding techniques passed down to him from his father and from almost half a century of experience. The piece was then shipped to Danielle whose hands and colorful thread had been hard at work weaving intricate embellishments. Once her embroidery was installed on the sculpture, the masterpiece was complete.
“The piece is about duality. The duality around us, in us, and between us.”