An interview with Esao Andrews

Esao Andrews "Untitled (with veil)" - 12x18 inches - oil on panel (2011)

The new series of paintings comprising “Nowhere” continue Esao’s haunted and lonely landscapes, portraits and scenes that merge surrealism with real world emotion along with inanimate objects and anthropomorphized animals that constitute their own sense of will and purpose. Many of these paintings are meant to stand alone, but they all suggest a changing of seasons and the anticipation of new beginnings. “Nowhere” refers to a desolate place that stands as a seemingly bleak starting point where time has been passing by unnoticed. These images show signs of hope; that fleeting moment where the subjects have resolved their wait and emerge for their first steps towards a new life. A silent film also plays showcasing time-lapsed details of the work being created and strengthens how they relate to one another.

Esao Andrews "Homesteader" - 8x11 inches - oil on panel (2011)

An interview with Esao Andrews

Can you share a lil’ bit about your new body of work for ‘Nowhere”?
In the past when I’ve built a body of work for a show, I’ve always treated each piece like its own contained story. Kinda like a song from an album, where a few songs may have a reprise, but each song in general stands alone. There are several that are in their own and some a continuation of anthropomorphizing inanimate objects, but most of the paintings in this show touch on fragile moments between lost hope and starting a new life.

What fuels you to keep creating?
I’m not sure. Everyone needs to be challenged in some form as a way to feel purpose and grow. Creating art is just a form of challenging yourself and as everyone you’ve admired gets older and better and new inspirations emerge, the personal challenge gets renewed. Like anybody, I feel satisfaction to successfully interest someone with an image, to get a message across. Creating more work is an attempt to keep their audience. I’ll create art in my sketchbook that I spend a lot of time on but necessarily don’t want people to see, so the reason I do it is not as clear. Maybe all of it is just practicing.

Please describe your dream project if time and money were not issues.
As long as I can remember, I’ve always wanted to make a giant hedge or walled labyrinth park and would like to make giant stone fountains hidden throughout.

Esao Andrews "Persian" - 12x18 inches - oil on panel (2011)

Favorite item in your studio?
Definitely it’s this dog named Soybean.

Is there anyone in particular, artist or otherwise, that you’d like to give a shout out to here?
As part of my New Years Resolution, I’m going to personally contact everyone I’ve been neglecting to give a shout out to.

Any shows or special projects coming up after your exhibit with us here at Thinkspace you would like to mention?
Aside from participating in a few group shows the next coming months I have some big thaumatrope like paintings on the drawing board. I really want to do more drawing, some screen printed pieces are in the works too.

Esao Andrews "Halfway Away" - 24x24 inches - oil on panel (2011)

Esao Andrews ’Nowhere’

Reception with the artist:
Sat, Jan. 7th 5-8PM

Check out the works in ‘Nowhere‘ here:
www.thinkspacegallery.com/2012/01/works-NoWh.php

Thinkspace / 6009 Washington Blvd. in Culver City, CA / www.thinkspacegallery.com

An interview with Allison Sommers

Allison Sommers inside her studio in New York

Can you share a lil’ bit about your new body of work for ‘Potter’s Field‘?
Potter’s Field is a delightful little cabaret of war, wartime, warpeople, and war fatigue. An opera for all and none.

What fuels you to keep creating?
Well, I’m rather fidgety….

Please describe your dream project if time and money were not issues.
There are a thousand of them. Recently I’ve been fantasizing about immersive paintings, as a small room, or a pod sort of thing – where discomfort and perhaps the fear of the viewer alter the meaning of the painting before them.

Favorite item in your studio?
Perhaps my Steiff Mecki. Or my taxidermied fox, Horace.

Is there anyone in particular, artist or otherwise, that you’d like to give a shout out to here?
The work of Brecht was very influential for Potter’s Field, as was that of Dix and Kollwitz, all both aesthetically and politically.

Any shows or special projects coming up after your exhibit with us here at Thinkspace you would like to mention?
2012 will have gobs of good things! Folks’ll have to stay tuned. 🙂

Allison Sommers "Mutter Courage" - gouache on illustration board - 15x17 inches (2011)

Allison Sommers “Potter’s Field”

Reception with the artist:
Sat, Jan. 7th 5-8PM

Check out the works in “Potter’s Field” here:
www.thinkspacegallery.com/2012/01/project/works-AlPotTr.php

Thinkspace / 6009 Washington Blvd. in Culver City, CA / www.thinkspacegallery.com

Juxtapoz interview Esao Andrews

Esao Andrews "Sea Villa" - 12x12 inches - oil on panel (2011)

Something that concerns you?
Birds falling out of the sky. Toddlers in Tiara’s. Pizza sauce being considered a veggie serving. My dog Soybean dragging his butt on the carpet.

Check out the full Juxtapoz interview with Esao here:
www.juxtapoz.com/Current/back-talk-a-conversation-with-esao-andrews

Esao Andrews ‘Nowhere’

Reception with the artist:
Sat, Jan. 7th 5-8PM

Thinkspace / 6009 Washington Blvd. in Culver City, CA / www.thinkspacegallery.com

An interview with Leontine Greenberg

Leontine at work in her NY studio

Leontine Greenberg grew up in Tucson, Arizona, and now lives in Jackson Heights, Queens with her husband, daughter and two cats. Her favorite cities are Barcelona, Hong Kong, and New York. Her favorite foods are Pad Thai and mayonnaise sandwiches. She does not always eat her vegetables. She is inspired by other people’s photographs, old boats, city rooftops, the coming environmental apocalypse and Beatrix Potter.

Leontine Greenberg 'Devourer' - watercolor, gouache and pencil on paper (2011)

Can you share a lil’ bit about the themes behind your new body of work for ‘Specimens’?

The first drawings I did for Specimens were the ones of the birds dressed up in ridiculous giant paper mache heads. They’re obviously trying to be something they’re not, but I don’t know who they think they’re fooling. I’d just gotten back to NYC from Los Angeles when I started drawing them, so I suspect I was reacting to the general aura of artifice and theatricality that permeates your town. (And that’s a good thing! Artifice and theatricality are awesome.)

The other works in the show are based on ideas about technology and nature that I’ve touched on in a lot of my previous work.

Work in progress for 'Specimens'

What does the crow / black bird symbolize to you in your works?

The birds are meant to be the viewpoint character, the everyman. You’re the bird; I’m the bird…and whatever’s going on in the world, there are probably some little birds watching it happen. Next time you’re outside, look around. You’ll probably find a bird within 20 seconds.

What fuels you to keep creating?

I can’t help it, basically. If I go too long without making something, I start arranging the crumbs on the table into pictures.

Leontine Greenberg 'Her' - watercolor, gouache, and pencil on paper (2011)

Please describe your dream project if time and money were not issues.

More paintings! Bigger paintings! A children’s book and a comic book. If I had infinite time, infinite money and an army of helpful clones, I’d make an animated film.

Favorite item in your studio?

My studio is my apartment, so my favorite thing in it is my family. When they’re not around, it’s my Zebra .5mm mechanical pencil and HB leads. Or my cats.

Work in progress for 'Specimens'

Is there anyone in particular, artist or otherwise, that you’d like to give a shout out to here?

My friend Ahn Behrens who ran Cooper Gallery in Jersey City–the first gallery I ever showed at–and who died in 2007. I wish she could see what’s happening now in the lowbrow art world, particularly the great work that’s being shown by female artists. She’d love it.

Any shows or special projects coming up after your exhibit with us here at Thinkspace you would like to mention?

I have a show with Lou Pimentel coming up at myplasticheart in New York and another solo with Gallery1988 in LA.

Leontine Greenberg 'Incognito' - watercolor, gouache, and pencil on paper (2011)

Artist website: http://leontinegreenberg.tumblr.com/

Take a ‘Sneak Peek’ at the works for ’Specimens’ coming together here:
www.flickr.com/photos/thinkspace/sets/72157627754757683/

Reception with the artist: Sat, December 10th 5-8PM in our project room

Exhibit on view: December 10th through December 30th, 2011

Thinkspace / 6009 Washington Blvd. in Culver City, CA / www.thinkspacegallery.com

An interview with Andrea Offermann

Andrea Offermann at the opening of "Here Be Dragons" at Thinkspace

An interview with Andrea Offermann

Please tell us a lil’ bit about yourself and what you hope to communicate through your work.

I was born and raised in Germany and, after first trying two years of med school, came to the US to study illustration at Art Center College of Design.

Med school influenced me in my work in that I tend to bring a scientific part to my concepts, and often have an analytical approach to the themes I choose. But in my work I focus on more intuitive solutions, I want to give the viewer the freedom to wander to new interesting possibilities, always keeping in mind that science has boundaries which the imagination doesn’t have.

Studying illustration shaped my way of thinking in that I always tend to tell stories and want the viewer to go on a journey when he looks at my paintings. I also found my love for linework during printmaking courses at the school.

I am now back in Germany, living in Hamburg and working as an illustrator as well as a fine artist.

Andrea Offermann 'Skin Deep' - Pen and ink, watercolor, oil glazes - 9 7/8 x 7 3/4" (2011)

Can you share a lil’ bit about the themes behind your new body of work for ‘Here Be Dragons‘.

On medieval maps people would mark unknown territory by writing “here be dragons” or drawing a dragon or a sea serpent in that spot. In my new body of work I focused on the experience of people reaching an unknown land and trying to make it their home. They do not really understand the “creature” they are walking upon, and are shying away from everything strange while relating to things they recognize and can identify with, like their own likeness. They bring their understanding of the world to this strange place and try to apply it there, not noticing the changes and also destruction they are forcing onto this new place. With this body of work I wanted to comment on the mix of curiosity and fear of the unknown that drives the human mind.

When did you know you wanted to follow the path of being a full-time artist?

I decided to try it while I was still studying Medicine, but found myself relating a lot of the things I learned with art. I was interested in being able to express my own point of view and have the freedom to analyze and work with what I saw not only scientifically.

Andrea Offermann 'Their Lot' - Pen and ink, watercolor, oil glazes - 21 x 5.5" (2011)

What fuels you to keep creating?

A continuous urge to express experiences, pose questions, offer intuitive solutions or imaginative ideas relating to a question

Favorite item in your studio?

Right now my orchid. It was all withered up and I thought it was dead when all of a sudden there was a small green bud. Now its blooming again. Such an interesting plant…

Andrea Offermann 'Bricks' - Pen and ink, watercolor, oil glazes - 5 1/8 x 12 3/4" (2011)

Any shows or special projects coming up after your exhibit with us here at Thinkspace you would like to mention?

I have a few YA novels coming out next year but after this show I will take some time off before I start again with a new series of fine art. I want to have something to talk about first before I start a new body of work.

Check out the works from Andrea Offermann’s recent show at our gallery here:
www.thinkspacegallery.com/2011/11/project/works-offdrag.php