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Into space with Chicago's finest wife-husband art team

Two moon-obsessed Midwesterners kick off our new-artist day

As part of our new summer US project States of Independence we've invited our favourite 30 American curators, magazines, creatives and institutions to takeover Dazed for a day. 

Today, for new artist day, we've turned the site over to our favourite independent galleries to tell us their favourite, freshest American visual artists. From Antoine Catala's ET portraits to Devin Kkenny's rap happenings, dig in and take note. 

Beginning our day of American new artists with a trip to the moon, we're following the lead of the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago. One of the midwest's major art hubs, the curators at the MCA choose the husband-wife duo of Sarah and Joseph Belknap. Chicago born and bred, their work is about moons and and meterorites, and the MCA will host a show from them in the Autumn.

"They exemplify the multidisciplinary trend among artists in Chicago – working in sculpture, photography, and performance – and they are very influenced by science", the MCA told us. "They look at our place in the cosmos, drawing inspiration from the history of science, imagination, and a personal sense of wonder. They’ve modeled the cratered surface of the moon and followed meteorites as they crash to earth. What makes them especially interesting is their experimental use of materials, such as silicon and simulated lunar regolith, which is a manmade equivalent to moon dust." Check out there work in this gallery, and read a quick interview below that. 

When did you decide to become artists?

There really wasn't a particular moment for either of us. We were both invested in art while we were kids and we never got tired of making. We love that we never have to stop playing around, researching and experimenting. We don't really know how any of this actually happened. 

What is inspiring you right now?

The Moon, meteorites, the cosmos, exoplanets, cosmic discoveries, and materials like silicone and plastics.

Is there an individual who has helped you get to where you are as an artist today?

Each other. We have become each other's teacher and person to throw ideas at. Before we started working together we assisted and pushed each other's work and collaborating has only made us each stronger artists. 

Can you tell us a bit about your practice? 

We have been working collaboratively for the past six years. Our work focuses heavily on materials and process. We spend most of our time in the studio playing and experimenting. 

What's the work that you're proudest of? 

Our moon skins. We used silicone for years in our work, but we only used it as a step in our process. About a year ago, we began incorporating the material in our work and it was one of those "whoa" moments for us. The skins feel so dirty and raw and the process of making them is exciting for us. 

What's your favourite colour? 

Sarah - sea green

Joseph - light yellowy green