Entropy Magazine Interviews Terry Arena

Arts and culture magazine Entropy recently interviewed artist Terry Arena who currently is exhibiting a few pieces in our “LAX / DTW: Detroit Hustle II” show at Inner State Gallery. Terry is a talented graphite artist who is able to balance light and shadow within a finite space. We’re excited to be showing works from Terry Arena next month, August 5th, in our office area for her exhibition Swarm.

Find out more about one of the newest members of the Thinkspace Family, Terry Arena on the Entropy website.

Entropy: How would you describe your art? It could be characterized as representational art, photorealistic drawings, still-life with graphite. And, of course, it’s fine art, but your work also delves into conceptual art or maybe even activist art.

Arena: I would classify it similarly. Maybe socially aware contemporary still life. I don’t want to take a strong role in terms of activism, but I want to participate in a dialogue about contemporary issues.

‘UNITED > DIVIDED’ the interactive installation by David ‘Meggs’ Hooke & Miya Tsukazaki – Temple Children

David ‘Meggs’ Hooke and Miya Tsukazaki (together Temple Children) created the evolving and interactive installation ‘UNITED > DIVIDED’ currently on view for Thinkspace curated exhibition,  ‘LAX/DTW: Detroit Hustle II’ at Inner State Gallery now through August 26th.

The immersive installation is a 270 -degree experience created as a three-phase progression, the initial phased marked as the “Divided.” Together Children invited friends, artists, and the public to participate in the artwork’s evolution, painting colorful peace signs and positive messages over the floor on one-half of the ‘X’ (a symbol for division).

In the artists’ words,
“The intention was to create a genuine experience of people working together to celebrate shared creativity, positivity, and sense of community. “A seemingly small gesture of inviting people into our home studio to paint on the floor side-by-side was a humbling experience overflowing with positive energy,” they said.
The ‘Greater Than’ ( > ) phase emerged as a result of the public’s involvement, and in the week that followed, MEGGS and Miya transitioned the installation into its final phase, ‘Unified.’ The resulting colorful peace sign leans on its side, a dual expression of the planet’s wavering environmental state and hope for a resurgence of solidarity. They installed living plants and flowers sourced from Eastern Market, creating a juxtaposition of Detroit’s discarded layers and Mother Nature’s revival.

The underlying inspiration for the artwork was their reaction to President Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement and was motivated to highlight what human beings are capable of through unification, continued proactivity, and perseverance from the community level up.”

“The fight against catastrophic climate change begins and ends with us, and we must take responsibility for our own carbon footprints in the name of Mother Earth,” says MEGGS.

‘UNITED > DIVIDED’  was created in MEGGS’ & Miya’s home studio from approximately 90% repurposed and natural materials that the two began collecting in the fall of 2014.

 

For more information on ‘LAX/DTW: Detroit Hustle II’ and Meggs visit the Thinkspace Gallery website.

Opening Reception of Noségo’s “Ingress” and Drew Leshko’s “The Only Constant”

We kicked off the month with a (third) eye-opening exhibition from  Noségo and Drew Leshko. The colorful dreamscapes from Noségo vibrated on the white walls with bright spirit animals holding within curiosities and stories to encourage our own reflection or simply enjoyment. Leshko continues to document the changing landscape of the hometown of both artists, Philadelphia.  He encapsulates, with great detail, the passage of time and gives meaning to parts of the city’s history that would be soon forgotten at the hands of a bulldozer.

Artist, Joseph Martinez rounds out the exhibitions showing eight pieces from his Designer Bag Lady series in the Thinkspace Gallery office.

All of the exhibitions are on view now through June 29th.

To view available pieces from NoségoDrew Leshko, and Joseph Martinez; please visit the Thinkspace Gallery website.

LAX/DTW II: DETROIT HUSTLE II Opening Reception

Our second exhibition with Inner State Gallery, LAX/ DTW II: Detroit Hustle II opened with a positive reception and buzzing excitement.  The exhibition showed works from over 50 artists in the new contemporary art scene with works ranging from paintings to sculpture. Megg’s interactive installation bridged the gap between observer and artist.  Pieces from the exhibition are now available through 1xRun,  and are on view now through August 26th.

Interview with Noségo for “Ingress”

Thinkspace is proud to present Noségo’s latest body of work Ingress’ in our project room. Noségo’s colorful and detailed paintings that reference themes like urbanism, the vulnerability of nature and the wild, mysticism, healing, mythologies, and art history are mesmerizing and hypnotizing. In anticipation of Ingress, we have an exclusive interview with Noségo to discuss philosophy and creative growth.

SH: What ideas were you exploring while creating this latest body of work?
NG: While working on the show I’ve been in a bit of a reflective period and I feel that the search of a deeper idea of who I am sparked the visual inspiration for the work.

SH: You always aim to challenge yourself with each new body of work, do you feel you experienced any breakthroughs while creating Ingress? Breakthroughs regarding technique, composition – anything.
NG: Yes most definitely, I feel overall I learned not to force what I’m creating and to have patience
with myself and the work.

SH: Your work has a very philosophical element to it. What is your personal philosophy towards life, do you follow any formal philosophical thought?
NG: Yes, I follow several things I’ve learned over time. I think my opening was in high school after reading “The Four Agreements” by Don Miguel Ruiz. Overall my personal rule is to always grow and just forever be a student.

SH: You’ve painted murals in cities around the world, I’m sure everyone is special in their own right but did any city have a particularly memorable story?
NG: Each one has a highlight or memorable moments but I don’t recall anything to stand out over another.

SH: What do you feel is your biggest accomplishment in your art career thus far?
NG: Honestly… just having an art career. I try to only do the things I love and I feel being able to do that at the moment is the biggest accomplishment.

SH: What were you listening to in the background while creating this body of work?
NG: Everything from music to podcast and documentaries.

SH: What is your favorite way to unwind after a long day at the studio?
NG: Sleep.

SH: What has recently influenced your creative palate?
NG: Trusting what I think I want to see and experimenting.

 

Join us for the opening reception, Saturday, July 8th from 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm

Interview with Drew Leshko for “The Only Constant”

Thinkspace is proud to present Drew Leshko’s latest body of work The Only Constant’ in our project room. Drew Leshko’s highly detailed sculptural works in paper and wood depict architectures and urban spaces of his beloved and changing Philadelphia. In anticipation of Leshko’s upcoming exhibition with us, we have an exclusive interview with Drew Leshko to discuss copy cats, changing cityscapes, and the symbolism of iceboxes and dumpsters.

SH: In our last interview with us your went into great detail about your creative process and technique, what makes you fearless to the “copy cats” or so open to sharing your process in such detail?
DL: Well after this boom of copycats, I find myself reconsidering things for sure….I think that there is more to my sculptures than how they’re made– It’s an ongoing, cultural conversation that is communicated through my sculptures. I guess I’m fearless about sharing because I’m working with some of the best galleries in the world that have already acknowledged the innovation, I’ve been supported by amazing collectors, and am showcased by important press organizations. Copy Cats are inherently unoriginal, and it’s sad to imagine living a life like theirs — void of original ideas, scrapping from the handiwork of others, trying to use that as leverage or shortcut for “borrowed” ideas. Copy Cats are a real problem though. I’ve been working on these since 2005 and can’t believe the amount of people mimicking my work all of the sudden.

SH: What do you think is the role of an artist in society?
DL: Tough question. It seems lately that there are so many conceptually thin works created these days, where the artist is more interested in the bright colors and decorative qualities rather than the works having more to discover and communicate. If you look through the classics, so many of the great works by the masters were telling stories and speaking to cultural issues. For me, i think its important to translate what is happening in the world around you through what you’re creating in the workshop so that painting or object may live as a reference to the past.

SH: You’ve given the advice to young artists not to get frustrated, what has helps you to stay grounded and push forward with your art?
DL: Everyone gets frustrated, but this all comes naturally to me. These projects are something that I want to pursue. If I had to force myself to be grounded and push forward, it would be really tough. It would almost feel like work. haha.

SH: The sculptures document the changing landscape of your city. You’ve said you’d like to document other cities but need to have a sense of the buildings and changing neighborhoods. If you could travel through time, what cities would you want to document and what time periods?
DL: My works now are examining the re-development of the city, as people are repopulating a previously abandoned place. To me, it would be really interesting to create a series that is the inverse of this process, documenting parts of the city after “white flight”, one of the initial cultural transformations of industrial American cities. Let’s say the 1960’s. As for the city, Baltimore would great (i was born in Baltimore), but really any city with a strong heritage of blue collar industry.

SH: How has Philadelphia not only shaped you as an artist but as a person?
DL: Philadelphia is a great place. A place that I’m incredibly proud of. The city has shaped me as a person through the cultural diversity in the community. It’s quite the melting pot. In the last few years, the art scene is really changing here. Collectors seem to be popping through galleries and supporting the community all of the sudden, which is great. But before this trend, the city made me stronger— Those 8 or so years making these works without anyone noticing, without good opportunities. Without Philadelphia incubating me that through experience, I don’t think I’d be able to fairly value what I have built for myself now.

SH: What do you listen to in the background while creating work?
DL: This year I’ve been listening to the “Up and Vanished” podcast (cold-case murder mystery). I listen to music mostly. The Hold Steady, Craig Finn, Tigers Jaw, Wicca Phase Springs Eternal, Dave Hause, Elliott Smith, Conor Oberst, Jawbreaker— A lot of lyrically driven stuff. And also a lot of hip-hop. I’ve lately been listening to a lot of Cam’ron, Dipset, Big Pun, Kendrick Lamar, J Cole, and 2 Chainz.

SH: In an interview with Wide Walls, you expressed how the dumpsters and ice boxes symbolize addicts and drug dealers, but you don’t elaborate on this point much. Do the other objects you sculpt hold any additional symbolism?
DL: My favorite band, The Hold Steady, has a song that really resonated with me and encouraged the metaphor of the dumpsters and ice boxes as dealers and users. The song is called “Rock Problems”, but the theme is reoccurring throughout their discography.
“That one girl got me cornered in the kitchen.
I said I’ll do anything but clean.
She wants to know what I liked better
Being a trash bin or an ice machine?”

I like that metaphor a lot, but there is a bit more symbolism too. Not only are the dealers and users being pushed out of the neighborhoods I’m addressing, but the dumpsters and ice machines are being pushed out too. The new versions of the neighborhoods are too polished to have “eyesores” lining the sidewalks. New regulations, laws, and codes are forcing business owners to find new solutions for their trash, and no longer able to utilize their sidewalks, for the ice boxes, as parts of their stores

The beer distributors and cigarette shops are strewn with advertisements aren’t necessarily symbolic or metaphorical. But, they should be considered from a cultural perspective— it seems these type of businesses and advertising strategies only occur in the economically depressed areas. It’s a systemic problem that perpetuates class differences that need to be addressed.

SH: What about another artists’ work excites or fascinates you? Who do you think everyone should look up?
DL: I really like artworks that tell a story. Lately, I’ve been spending a lot of time in some of the more depressed parts of the city. I keep coming back to a series of photographs by artists Jeffrey Stockbridge. The photographs are incredibly powerful and the accompanying texts are pretty great. He’s exploring the same parts of the city but from a more cultural anthropology scope. Check out his site! I recommend exploring the “archives” section, where you get a bit of background info per image. https://kensingtonblues.com

 

SH: If you were hosting a dinner party, who’s on the guest list, what’s on the menu, and what would be your icebreaker question?
DL: This question stresses me out. I’m not always a comfortable host.

SH: If your artwork inspired a cocktail or a beer, what would it be made of and what would it taste like?
DL: I’d have to go with a no-frills, Philadelphia classic— the “Citywide”. It is a cheap domestic beer and a shot of whiskey. perfect.

Last Week of ‘JUXTAPOZED’ & Robert Williams ‘SLANG AESTHETICS!’ at the Fort Wayne Museum of Art

It’s the last week of ‘Juxtapozed‘ and Robert William’s ‘Slang Aesthetics!‘ at the Fort Wayne Museum of Art. With the holiday weekend in full swing, our friends in the Midwest should head out to the Fort Wayne Museum of Art and see these amazing exhibitions that will be closing after Sunday, July 9th.

Slang Aesthetics!‘ showcases the work of influential artists Robert Williams, who is known as the godfather of the low brow and pop surrealist art movements. The exhibition displays paintings, studies, and massive sculptures that are doorways into the mind of Williams.

Juxtapozed‘ co-curated by Andrew Hosner of Thinkspace Gallery, Gary Pressman of Copro Gallery, and Adjunct Curator of the Fort Wayne Museum of Art, Josef Zimmerman, is the second installment of exhibitions the gallery has brought to the Museum to date. The exhibition showcases new and exciting work from the steadily expanding New Contemporary Art Movement. A continuation of Thinkspace’s mutually reinforced mission to garner institutional exposure and recognition for New Contemporary Art, its history, founders, key players, and artists, the exhibitions celebrate the impact of its most enduring media platforms, Juxtapoz Magazine, and the work of one of its most iconic trailblazers. Now widely considered the largest and longest running art movement in history, the New Contemporary Art Movement encompasses everything from Street Art and Muralism to Pop Surrealism and Hyperrealism.