Interview with TikToy for “Timewarp”

Thinkspace is proud to present Timewarp featuring new works by Netherlandish artists TikToy in the project room. The exhibition is the artist’s first solo project with Thinkspace, and will showcase the artist’s surreal character clock sculptures that possess psychedelic cuckoo fixtures. Inspired by the aesthetic freedom of street art, pop surrealism, and graffiti, his cartoon-inspired, sculptural interventions are staged throughout cities worldwide in unexpected recesses and its less-traveled nooks. In anticipation of Timewarp our interview with TikToy explores the allure of the street, the constant stream of ideas, and the desire for just a little more time with his clocks.

SH: How do you approach developing a new body of work? Were there specific themes or techniques you wanted to explore in ‘Time Warp’.
TT: When I take a piece of wood I try to create a shape that’s organic. Kind of like when I do a throw up with a spray can. There doesn’t have to be symmetry.  What is important is that it looks and feels good to me. The shapes come while working. I take a look at the way the wood goes and the shapes follow. When I have sawn a clock I like, the painting begins. I love different patterns and colors. The challenge is to combine the different patterns and colors into a coherent whole. This process comes to me at the same as I’m making the shapes. There is no fixed plan. While working I do what feels good and the rest follows
The most important thing for me was translating my street work into work that is worthy of hanging in a gallery. Street art, of course, can be very temporary. Sometimes my work only stays in the street for a few days. I want to keep this contemporary street art flow alive in my work but also take it to a next level so it will stay in someones home and last much longer.

SH: Is there a particular piece in this exhibition you feel really challenged you? If so, why and what makes you proud of this piece?
TT: The work I’m the proudest of in this exhibition is “Jan”. It has been a real struggle to get it to something that felt correct and good. It’s a piece that has been on top of my closet for some time and I just didn’t get to finish it. The shape was a burden but after finishing other works I got more inspiration on which way to go. The work has induced both a laughter and a tear for me. It shows emotion which grabs me. Also, the different structures and changes in this clock are pretty cool to me.

SH: Where do you source inspiration?
TT: Clocks in general. But of course, also the old cuckoo clocks the most. On top of a cuckoo clock is very often a deer. That’s where the idea came from to put antlers on my clocks. I have always had a big fascination for squeaky toys from the 60’s and also my collection of designer toys. They can be very colorful and often a bit absurd. I love the crazy and chaotic. You can find that in my work too. Making art is a way to escape and not go crazy. In the past, I have felt down at times and making art helped me to get to inner myself. Creating new pieces and hanging them in the city helps me get going. Itś a way to process my emotions.

SH: How do you capture ideas for pieces: do you have a sketchbook on hand or is it just a note to yourself in your phone?
TT: I’ve got lots of different sketchbooks. and loose papers laying around my house, atelier, car etc. I just draw on everything actually. Im very chaotic and tend to loose everything. I also use my phone for notes or pictures. Or I send a message to my wife about new ideas. Who by the way gets crazy over all my stuff I leave everywhere around the house.

SH: How do you plan out your compositions?
TT: See first question and answer

SH: What excite you about your work/creative proces?
TT: The interaction between my work and people in the street. The high amount of time I put in my work which is mostly very contemporary is something people appreciate. That appreciation is what drives me. Thats why I keep looking for new ways to create this interaction. As an example, I just made a clock that whistles as people pass by.

In the past I used to do graffiti. That’s where I got my kick from. The tension of doing illegal things, doing what your not supposed to do, setting off against society – is the same kick I experience now in doing my street art. When I get back home early in the morning from working nights, it fuels me for the coming weeks

SH: What frustrates you about your work/creative proces?
TT: It frustrates me when I have worked long on a piece and it gets removed soon, broken, or stolen. It’s a pity but comes with leaving your work in the streets. Especially when I put my work in a difficult spot. It can be a bummer. But the streets will always be my gallery.

When it comes to my gallery work the arrow of the clock hand can be frustrating. It can be very laborious to get them the shape I want. There is a lot of swearing involved.

The most frustrating to me is my lack of time. It’s all done in the spare minutes and hours I find at evening/night. I would kill for a month with only time for creation.

SH: What is an aspect of other’s artwork that really excites you, what are you draw to?
TT: I can really enjoy still life painting. The perfection in these paintings can make me look at them for hours.

SH: Who is an artist: musician, director, any art dorm who would be a dream collaboration for you and what would you create?
TT: Dran, he’s a draftsman and graffiti artist. His work is really catchy. Funny, simple but really good thought out drawing. In a blink, you can see what his work means. I would love to combine a figure of him in 3D in a clock.
Also, I would like to make bigger spatial objects. In stead of a big mural, create big 3D clocks that’s movement is generated by wind.

SH: Has there been someone or some event that has made a significant imact on you that lead you to where you are now?
TT: As a kid, I was always challenging myself. Always creating, drawing, painting, sculpting etc. At first, my parents wouldn’t let me go to art school. I had to do a “real” profession. Later on, I did go to art school but dropped out in the first year. It wasn’t for me. There was not enough freedom in doing work. I wanted to do my own thing. So I proceeded in doing street work and painting canvasses. I have many different styles but the clocks and arrows ar always coming back. Like a red line in my life.

Since my daughter was born I started making the 3D clocks. I didn’t want to take the risk of getting caught for graffiti. So I had to find something else. Although this also is not completely legal. The streets just keep calling me.

Alex Garant Featured in Live Fast Magazine

Online fashion and lifestyle magazine Live Fast featured our August exhibiting artist Alex Garant earlier this year. The pieces highlight Garant’s artistic journey and hypnotizing work.

To immerse yourself in Garant’s ethereal work is to notice the luminous way she drenches her subjects in light, her otherworldly washes of color, how her women look directly at you with a powerful combination of vulnerability and quiet strength, but it is also to feel trapped inside an optical illusion, fighting the message from your brain that your eyes are playing tricks on you. – Live Fast

Visit Live Fast Magazine to read  I Only Have Eyes for You: The Mesmerizing Double Vision of Alex Garant and come to the opening of Alex Garant’s “Voyage of the Insomniac” showing her latest body of work August 4th at Thinkspace in Culver City.

Interview with Juan Travieso for “Entropy”

Thinkspace is proud to present Cuban-born painter Juan Travieso latest body of work Entropy alongside Wiley Wallace in the gallery’s main room. Travieso creates visually complex worlds suspended in a state of fracture, combining a realist painting technique with surreal juxtapositions, spatial splicing, bright palettes, and geometric abstraction. Our interview with Juan Travieso discusses the inspiration behind Entropy, his creative process, and Batman.

The exhibition is on view now til July 21st at Thinkspace Projects in Culver City.

SH: Tell us about this show. What is the inspiration? What were you exploring in the work?

JT: The show is titled Entropy. What inspired me through the course of a year has been my surroundings. I am interested in our potential collapse. I feel like humanity is always playing with this idea. That’s the basis of the show.

SH: Where do you source inspiration?

JT: My inspiration comes from a variety of sources. Media, newspapers, documentaries, everyday life, etc. Practically whatever I encounter that strikes a chord I just run with it because that’s usually a sign that it’s something that matters to me. I have to have an emotional connection to the subjects that I deal with. This way I get totally invested and so I pursue visual solutions to whatever the problems are.

SH: How do you capture those ideas for pieces; do you have a sketchbook on hand or is it just a note to yourself in your phone?

JT: I do have a sketchbook, however, what helps me capture the ideas are notes I make not sketches. The sketches normally happen in my head.

SH: How do you plan out your compositions?

JT: Lately, I have been using photoshop exclusively.

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

JT: I love painting. I love using acrylic and oil and exploring their strengths. I still feel like I am a novice in the potentials of the painting practice. In addition

I feel like my work takes me to so many new subjects because I do research as much as I can about what I am interested in talking about.

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

JT: The most frustrating thing about my work is not being able to do it fast enough. Painting realistically has great gratification but it takes forever. Also, I would love it if I would achieve a higher level of control with paint. More preciseness and fewer color adjustments. I want to master paint. But I have a long ways to go.

SH: If you could be a character in any movie for a day; who would you be in what film and why?

JT: If I could be a character I think I would choose Batman. Not because he’s rich, Handsome and a badass. But because he tries his best to help solve some of his worlds biggest problems.

SH: How do you approach developing work for an exhibition?

JT: I think of the work as if it was an album. Every track has to flow and that’s how I approach a body of work. There has to be a message and a cohesiveness to it.

SH: Do you immediately jump into work on it, or are you more of a procrastinator?

JT: I work really hard all the time. I’m a workaholic. My work requires crazy amounts of attention and detail. I don’t procrastinate at all.

SH: What is your Meyers-Briggs or Zodiac Sign? Does it influence your work / artistic process?

JT: I’m a Taurus. I’m not sure if it influences my artistic process.

SH: Can you explain what it feels likes to anticipate the opening of your exhibition, the opening night, and the day after – using food items as a representation of real emotions?

JT: The opening of the exhibition feels like staring at a storefront full of luscious chocolates. The opening night is asking questions about the chocolate, what flavors etc. The day after your sick of chocolates and its time to move on to pastries.

SH: Has there been an artistic catalyst in your life?

JT: Music and ideas keep me in a solid state of mind. They help me get through shit.

SH: Something, someone, some event that made a significant impact on you that has lead you to where you are now.

JT: My friends and family have made the most significant impact on my life. They play such an important role as to why I am able to do what I do.

View all available work from Entropy here

Interview with Jana & Js for “Fragments of Memories” at Fullerton Museum Center

This Summer, Thinkspace Projects, is proud to present Jana & Js at the Fullerton Museum Center in Fullerton, CA. Their latest body of work Fragments of Memories will be on view from June 30th to August 19th.  Below is our interview with Jana & Js to discuss the inspiration behind Fragments of Memories, their creative process, and the artistic catalyst that lead them to where they are today.

Fragments of Memories opens at the Fullerton Museum Center June 30th.

SH: Tell us about your new works on view at the Fullerton Museum Center this summer. What is the inspiration? What were you exploring in the work?

J&J: “Memories” are the main inspiration for this body of work. All the images that we painted were inspired by our memories, or feelings induced by past moments. The objects we painted on are carrying history and memories from others. All the pieces we’re presenting for this show are painted on found objects, assemblages of wood fragments that we found in abandoned houses or factories.
These objects had a previous life, all the objects have accompanied people in their everyday life or in their work. We love to think about all the history they possess and use it to mark time passing in our work.

SH: Where do you source inspiration? How do you capture those ideas for pieces; do either of you have a sketchbook on hand or is it just notes to yourselves in your phone?

J&J: We don’t really have a sketchbook, for that kind of work. It’s more of a notebook where we are writing ideas, phrases, lyrics…Our camera would be our sketchbook. The basis of our stencil work is our photographic work. We take a lot of pictures…and some of them will be transferred into paintings.

SH: How do you plan out your compositions? Is there a clear break in who does what between you?

J&J: At the very beginning there was a real separation, Jana used to paint all the portraits, and JS the architectural part of our works. After a while, we completely merged our work. We take the pictures together, cut the stencils together and we are even painting on the canvases at the same time.

A couple of years ago when our first kid was born we started to do some parts of our process more separately. But we still do the basis together: photos, stencils, deciding the background and the composition of a painting.

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

J&J: We never get bored of what we are doing. We love our “job” and living something special like that together is the most exciting thing for us.
Being able to be creative, travel, discover new environments, meet new people together is amazing. And being able to perpetually share ideas and build our work is thrilling.

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

J&J: Right now, what frustrates us the most is not having enough time to experiment more.

SH: How do you approach developing work for an exhibition? Do you immediately jump into work on it, or do you find yourselves procrastinating some?

J&J: When we start to work on a show we usually won’t go to the studio and start to paint immediately. We have a pretty long period of reflexion, exchanging ideas, looking for images and materials… it will take a while before all the elements that will compose a new body of work will find their right place. And when it does, we will start to build the pieces and paint them.

SH: Has there been an artistic catalyst in your lives? Something, someone, some event that made a significant impact on either of you that has lead you to where you both are now.

J&J: What lead us to where we are now is definitely the fact that we met 15 years ago in Madrid, Spain. Before that, we weren’t planning on becoming artists, and since then everything seems so natural that we couldn’t imagine doing something else. If we would name someone, the French artist, Artiste-Ouvrier definitely had a determinant role in the development of our work: both on technical and ethical levels.

The Timeline of Jana & Js:

1981 JS – birth in Paris, France
1985 Jana – birth in Salzburg Austria
2003 Jana and Js meet each other in Madrid, Spain and
live there for a year
2004 Js starts to work with stencils
2005 back in Paris, Js develops the stencil technics with Artiste-Ouvrier
2005 foundation of the collective WCA (Working Class Artists)
2005 Jana studies Art History at the University of Vienna, Austria
2006 Jana comes to live in Paris, Jana & Js are starting
to work together as a duo
2007 first show with the name as Jana & Js
2008 Jana & Js move to Salzburg, Austria.
Jana studies Multimedia Art at the University of
applied sciences in Salzburg 2012 birth of their son
2014 birth of their daughter

Austrian and French street artists Jana & Js are painting together since 2006. The pair creates polychromed stencil murals widely ranging in size. Based primarily on their personal photographic work, the stencils seem to respond and interact with their surroundings. Mostly inspired by the city and people living in, their paintings merge urban landscape or architecture details with portrait, questioning the place of human being in the modern cities. Inspired by the place where they put their work they now focus on nostalgia, melancholy.

After spending some time in Madrid, Spain where they met and living a couple of years in Paris, Jana & Js are now settled in Salzburg – Austria. To display their works, they choose old materials that are showcasing the passing of physical time and history. They have made their art in unexpected spaces by printing stencils on public infrastructure or on the semi-finished/dismantled products/spaces such as the train tracks, old buildings, poles, pieces of concrete, old trucks, wood piles…

They are deeply inspired by every place they travel to, deciphering the social meaning in unforeseen aspects of urban landscapes. But what is the most striking part in their works are not panoramas themselves, but people with their existential uneasiness. They have the unique way of relating people, their emotions, desires, and concerns with their environment. Their urban interventions merge their subjects with the environment, provoking thoughts and engaging the viewers in an artistic dialogue.


Interview with Alvaro Naddeo for “AmeriCan’t”

Thinkspace is proud to present our third exhibition AmeriCan’t with Brazillian born and Los Angeles-based artist Alvaro Naddeo in the project room. Naddeo’s watercolors combine textures and edges in compositional amalgams. His interest in the life of the unassuming object extends to billboards and signage, cast away containers and boxes, and domestic and industrial spaces, conjoined and superimposed in unexpected mashups, or cultural relics that speak of use and disposal in the contemporary city.  In anticipation of AmeriCan’t, our interview with Alvaro Naddeo discusses the shows inspiration, his creative process, and what it feels like leading up to the opening reception.

Join us for the opening of “AmeriCan’t”, Saturday, June 30th from 6 to 9 pm.

SH: Tell us about this show. What is the inspiration? What were you exploring in the work?

AN: The inspiration for this show comes from my desire to create something where I’m able to mix memories with textures of the places I’ve been while at the same time making a social and political commentary on our society. AmeriCan’t is about the marginalized, the minorities, those who can see and smell everything good that America has but never allowed to get there.

SH: Where do you source inspiration? How do you capture those ideas for pieces; do you have a sketchbook on hand or is it just a note to yourself in your phone?

AN: Ideas appear at random times, and usually is just a piece of an idea, only one of the elements that I want to use not the whole painting. I don’t have a sketchbook, so I usually make some really rough sketches on post-it notes. Later, when I’m ready to start a new painting, I go through the small rough notes and combine a few of them.

SH: How do you plan out your compositions?

AN: My compositions are the result of many back and forths between some rudimentary 3D shapes, Photoshop, Illustrator and rough sketches. I may start with a pencil sketch, scan it, get a shape on 3D, draw over it, then move it to Photoshop and Illustrator where I make sure the perspectives and proportion of the elements are as good as I can have them, by this point I’m able to move to the paper and start painting. Only at that stage is when I create textures and also when I add light and shadows.

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

AN: The part that I enjoy the most is painting, pushing the watercolor on paper. It is a mix of a lot of freedom, letting it randomly and organically move and settle, while at the same time trying to control it and make it exactly what I would like it to do.

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

AN: Usually, nothing, sometimes the fact that watercolor doesn’t allow to fix most mistakes.

SH: If you could be a character in any movie for a day; who would you be in what film and why?

AN: I would like to be Ferris Bueller and take a day off.

SH: How do you approach developing work for an exhibition? Do you immediately jump into work on it, or are you more of a procrastinator?

AN: My production is more or less constant, independent if I have shows scheduled or not. Obviously having a deadline for a show scares me with the idea of not having enough to show, so I push my productivity a little more. I may be a little slower if I don’t have a deadline but I’m never not doing or thinking of a painting, I’m constantly producing something.

SH: What is your Meyers-Briggs or Zodiac Sign? Does it influence your work / artistic process?

AN: My Myers-Briggs, if I remember correctly was: Introvert, Thinking, but the other two letters were not well defined I was pretty much in the middle between them. I’m a Gemini and neither of those things has any influence over my work.

SH: Can you explain what it feels likes to anticipate the opening of your exhibition, the opening night?

AN: It’s really exciting, it’s an amazing feeling to have all your work hanging on those walls and having people looking and talking to you about them. The production part is very lonely, so the show is a rare opportunity to get feedback. Also when I’m done with a painting I just store it, so when a show is up is also a chance for me to look again at work that I’ve done a few months before and that I may have forgotten about them a bit. It is a good opportunity to have a fresh look at them, almost like looking at something I didn’t paint myself.

SH: Has there been an artistic catalyst in your life? Something, someone, some event that made a significant impact on you that has lead you to where you are now.

AN: Yes, quitting a job in an advertising agency in 2009 was an accidental catalyst. I quit the job at that agency, even before getting a new one because I believed I wasn’t being paid fairly. While I looked for a new job in another advertising agency, I focused on not being too lazy, so I created a few tasks to keep myself creatively busy, for example, I started drawing anything every day. Soon I got a new job but I kept drawing, Those unpretentious drawings slowly progressed and became my watercolor paintings a couple of years later.