Esao Andrews “Poisonous Birds” Book Release

Now available through Thinkspace Projects online shop, Esao Andrews’s “Pionsous Birds” a collection of paintings from 2001 – 2018.

Published by Thinkspace Editions in conjunction with “Petrichor” on view through August 4 at the Mesa Contemporary Arts Museum in Mesa, Arizona.

An artist monograph cataloging the works of artist Esao Andrews from 2001 to 2018. 296 full-color pages bound with a linen hardcover. And forwarded by Andrew Hosner (Thinkspace) and an essay by Marieke Treilhard (arts and culture writer).

Standard Edition |$45
296 pages
9×12 inches (22.8×30 cm)
Debossed linen hardcover
1,500 copies

Deluxe Edition | $200
Limited to 300 numbered copies
Housed in a custom debossed linen slipcase
Includes a signed & numbered 8×8 inch (20.3×20.3 cm) print on Canson Aquarella 310gsm paper

PLEASE NOTE:All orders will start to ship on Tuesday, June 18. Our hopes are to have all books arrive to their new homes by the end of June. We will be sure to share tracking details once your package is on the way. If you have any questions once June 18 has passed, please direct them to shop@thinkspaceprojects.com. Please do not check in prior to the end of June, as we will have NO updates prior to that. Thank you for understanding and for your support.

Opening Reception Recap: Casey Weldon’s “Latent Content” & Liz Brizzi’s “CDMX”

Thank you to all those who joined us for the opening reception of Casey Weldon’s “Latent Content” and Liz Brizzi’s “CDMX”

Both exhibitions are on view now through this weekend, Saturday, May 13th. Make sure to see their vibrant work in person. View available pieces from Casey Weldon and Liz Brizzi on the Thinkspace website.

Join Us in Mesa, AZ for Esao Andrews mid-career retrospective “Petrichor”

Thinkspace is pleased to invite you to Petrichor, a mid-career retrospective at the Mesa Contemporary Arts Museum dedicated to the surreal and darkly stylized work of Japanese American artist, and Mesa AZ native, Esao Andrews. Known for his minutely detailed and narratively suggestive paintings, Andrews brings haunting imagery to life through his uniquely mannerist distortion of subjects, both human and animal, and the strange undertow of his desolate, Gothically inspired landscapes. Themed around homecomings, departures, and afflictive transformations, Andrews’ works feel drawn from the same collective imaginary reserves as myth.

Andrews attended New York’s School of Visual Arts where he studied illustration and completed a B.F.A in 2000. An accomplished figurative painter, he participated in the BP Portrait Award at the National Portrait Gallery, London, in 2002. The artist has worked commercially in tandem with his fine art practice which has, in recent years, grown to include large-scale murals, and produced iconic album cover artwork for American rock band Circa Survive. He has also created numerous comic book covers for DC’s Vertigo Comics, and memorable deck designs for Deathwish and Baker Skateboards.

Petrichor will feature over a dozen iconic works by Andrews, borrowed from private collections worldwide, and will include the original artwork from the Circa Survive album releases. Also included in the exhibition are never before seen sketches and maquettes, objects and skateboard decks, and twelve new, never before seen works alongside a site-specific mural created for the retrospective.

Staging a world of unlikely combinations and unexpected tensions, Andrews revels in the surreal elasticity of the subconscious and its penchant for the poetically absurd. No hybrid is too unimaginable, no character too fantastic, no anthropomorphous invention too unthinkable. Objects, animals, and people are all dynamically animate and sentient, subject to the inexplicable rules of their living fictional cosmos. Always one for compelling epilogues, Andrews has revisited past characters and themes throughout his career, building on earlier works and weaving a sort of narrative continuity throughout his output. Though the tone of his imagery often borders on the grotesque or even macabre, a literary impulse links Andrews’ works to the fabric of fable and myth, its folkloric threads binding it to something vaguely archetypal and collective in its haunting resonance.

Andrews lists diverse sources of inspiration for his work, everything from art history to skate counterculture. The immersive manga fantasies of anime master Hayao Miyazaki figure prominently among his influences, as do French 19th-Century Academic painting styles, particularly its neoclassical revisitation of myth and the tenebrous cast of its moody contrasts. Andrews also cites the heightened emotional drama of Gustav Klimt’s Symbolist Art Nouveau style and Egon Schiele’s Expressionistic sensual grotesque as other stylistic sources. Contemporary painters James Jean and Inka Essenhigh list among his inspirations too, as does visionary cartoonist Al Columbia for his masterful, ghoulish reinterpretations of Americana.

“Petrichor” is said to be the fluid stone coursing through the veins of the Gods in Greek mythology, it is also the warm earthen smell after a downpour on desiccated land, the relief of rain on hot desert and dry air that signals a moment of elemental transformation and all the inexplicable micro-metamorphoses that attend a relieved and changing landscape. This is the dark but beautifully redemptive imaginary Andrews is continually bringing to life – one in which endings and beginnings are indivisibly bound.

Mesa Contemporary Arts Museum (Mesa, AZ)
1 E Main St, Mesa, AZ 85201
https://www.mesaartscenter.com

Opening Reception with the Artist(s):
Friday, May 10, 2019 / 7:00pm – 10:00pm

Exhibition runs May 10, 2019 – August 4, 2019

We’re excited to be showing new work by French/Italian, Los Angeles-based-based artist Liz Brizzi in our project room for her solo exhibition CDMX opening Saturday, April 27th. Brizzi’s mixed media technique combines the hauntings of photography with the impressionistic intercessions of paint to produce ambiguously merged dimensions of time and space.

In anticipation of CDMX, our interview with Liz Brizzi discusses the inspiration behind this latest body of work, creative process, and her most memorable moment in Mexico City.

SH: For those that are not familiar with you and your work, can you give us a brief look at your artistic background and zodiac sign?

LB: I grew up in a family of artists. There was never any doubt in my mind I’d end up in the field as well. After High School, I went to Otis College of Art and Design and got a BFA in Communication Arts. I’m an Aquarian. 

SH: Your latest body of work is inspired by Mexico City. In three words, how would you describe that trip? 

LB: Jam-packed, colorful, delicious

SH: What was your favorite meal and most memorable moment from Mexico City? 

LB: I had so much good food, it’s hard to pick one. But my most memorable moment was standing in Frieda Kahlo’s studio. The energy I felt in there was so intense and beautiful. I felt so moved. It was magical. Her presence and energy was felt all around the room. It was incredible.

SH: How do you approach starting a new piece? Walk us through the process of a piece from conception to completion. 

LB: It’s always the same process. There are lots of steps. My work is really a mix of so many different media. Photography, design, collage, paint…

First I look through my collection of pictures. I pick out my favorites, or whichever have interesting details that I feel come together nicely. Then I use photoshop to play around with them. I cut out parts of it, pull out details, bring them together, add to this or that, move this around, take that out, etc… I mess with them until I have a final design that I like.

Next, I plan my color palette and decide on the overall color combination. Then I print my photographic design on simple paper. I cut the outline of it so it’s ready to be collaged onto the wood panel. But first, I lay down paper on the wood. I paint with acrylic and create the painted background. Once dry, I apply the photo-design onto it with matte medium. And finally, once very dry, I add color and paint with very diluted washes of acrylic. Paint my birds, sign, varnish, done!

SH: What excites you about your work / creative process?

LB: The travel part! I LOVE traveling and I want to paint the world. I’m inspired by the big cities and cultures I encounter on my journeys, and I love to try and portray them in my work. 

SH: What frustrates you about your work / the creative process?

LB: It can sometimes be tedious… especially the cutting part. And I try to make each piece very unique, and it can be challenging. But it’s still the best job I’ve ever had. 

SH: A Netflix movie is being made about your life, who would be cast to play you and what kind of movie would it be? Try to describe it with similar movies.  

LB: Have you seen “The Spanish Apartment”? It’s a French movie trilogy (OG title L’Auberge Espagnole). It’s about a guy and his friends from all over the world, his struggles to pursue his dream of becoming a writer, and the three big steps of his life… coming of age, career, family… he’s French, he’s an ex-pat, and I’m pretty sure he ends up in the US. It’s a comedy slash coming of age drama. My movie would probably be like that. Who would play me? I’m not sure… maybe Marion Cotillard?

SH: If you could make the album art for any album, existing or yet to be released, what album or artists would it be for and why? 

LB: WAX TAYLOR IF YOU READ THIS HIT ME UP!

SH: Favorite way to celebrate the completion of a project/body of work?’

LB: Do nothing! Netflix and chill. Also… start planning my next trip!

Casey Weldon’s “Latent Content” opening April 27th.

CASEY WELDON
LATENT CONTENT
April 27 – May 18, 2019

Thinkspace is pleased to present new works by Southern Californian-born artist Casey Weldon in Latent Content. Known for surreal imagery that combines darkness with humor, Weldon creates visual puns and narratively suggestive contexts to stir associations or deliver smart, if at times irreverent, punch lines. His works have often sought to critique and consider the role of popular culture and digital media in the creation of hyperbole and representational extremes.

Striving to create works that are accessible and readily legible rather than obscure, Weldon invokes familiar elements in surreal ways to play with our expectations of the everyday and commonplace. An aspect of absurdity shapes much of Weldon’s work, and a willingness to connect dreamlike extremes with creative recombinations of the known. Looking to popular culture, Weldon has played to the internet’s penultimate tendency towards distortion; his multi-eyed cats come to mind, inspired by its insatiable feline obsession and our weird cultural brevity in the age of memes. Weldon explores the wild in contrast with the domestic, and the safe punctuated by the wonderfully aberrant and strange.

By combining light with dark, Weldon’s richly hued, though at times aphotic palette becomes luminous, revealing otherworldly sources of light that often emanate or erupt impossibly from figures and landscapes. In past works, fireworks have burst forth from human eyes, a great white shark bares mandibles of Lite-Brite bulb teeth, and humanoid figures emerge mythically from otherworldly landscapes. Preferring amplified and even psychedelically disorienting colors, Weldon incorporates neons to alter the atmospheric cast of his paintings and heighten their jarring impact.

Favoring the combination of kitsch and pop, Weldon’s work in the past has gravitated towards melancholy and nostalgia, invoked longing, or inspired a vertiginous kind of confusion when faced with cutie cakes made out of steak, multi-eyed animals, or giant predatory cats shown through extreme amplifications of scale. His new body of work, however, feels thematically darker than previous output. Focusing on the theme of latency as an underlying current for this exhibition, Weldon mines the subconscious potential of his imagery, combining his penchant for narrative with a more acute and psychologically-inflected angle.

In Latent Content, Weldon continues to explore surreal hybrids, free associations, and unlikely amalgams, combining objects and creatures in symbolically valent ways. Playing with optical illusion and trompe-l’oeil techniques, Weldon creates new works that gradually reveal their initially invisible or latent layers, stirring just beneath the surface.