Juxtapoz interview Ana Bagayan

Ana Bagayan 'Little Dinosaur' - 13x19 inches - oil on panel (2011)

Something that annoys or frustrates you about people?
That they’re not all dogs.

Check out the full Juxtapoz interview with Ana Bagayan here:
www.juxtapoz.com/Features/back-talk-a-conversation-with-ana-bagayan

Get ready for Ana Bagayan‘s 1st solo in LA in 3 years this Saturday at Thinkspace.

An interview with Liz Brizzi

Liz Brizzi at work in her downtown LA studio

A native of France, born of Italian parents, Liz Brizzi grew up in Los Angeles. Inspired by urban themes, she loves to portray the beauty she captures in the raw, desolate and industrial aspects of cities and their outskirts. Her unique mixed media technique begins with the manipulation of her original photography collaged onto acrylic painted wood panels, finally blended within layers of colorful acrylic washes. She began this series of works with landscape paintings of the streets and alleys of Downtown L.A. A city that is currently changing and developing rapidly, her artwork captured its authenticity and some of the disappearing traces of its History. Her more current work is less lifelike, as she utilizes various architectural details found in her photos to create more complex graphics, structures and imaginary landscapes, while using shapes reminiscent of street art found in the very same cities she photographs.

Liz graduated in 2002 from Otis Art Institute with a BFA in Illustration and now works as a graphic artist from her studio in Downtown Los Angeles.

Liz Brizzi 'Closing Act' - collaged photography and acrylic on wood panel

An interview with Liz Brizzi

Can you share a lil’ bit about your new body of work that will be on view this February?
I sure can! These new pieces have a lot of my usual cityscape elements and moods… but I did several paintings which I call the “night time series”. It’s something I had only done once before at a previous show; the setting for those is… you guessed it… night time. I just love the contrast and play in colors that it allowed me to play with. I am very fond of driving through downtown at night and love the atmosphere that is created by the dim security lights on the warehouses and buildings. So I tried to bring that into these new pieces. There is also another piece that brings newness to the show. It’s a piece I did on reclaimed wood from old palettes. I’m excited to introduce this concept into my body of work and really look forward to doing more.

Liz Brizzi 'Convergence' - collaged photography and acrylic on wood panel

What draws you to the desolate and derelict areas of our city?
I’ve tried to figure that out myself. At first it was inexplicable even to myself. Why am I so attracted to these old dirty alleys and buildings that are falling apart? The only explanation I can think of is this one… To me, there’s something really beautiful about things that are not “perfect”. I live in Los Angeles, where the city’s whole culture revolves around perfection. People want perfect faces, perfect bodies, perfect new houses, with perfect lawns and perfect weather. I’m not complaining. I love living here. I have perfect fun here. 🙂 But sometimes, it ends up looking very fake, and bland, and boring. And mostly… very new. I think, and maybe it’s because I’m European, I love it when I find something here that is old, and shows marks from the past… something that is somewhat imperfect. Stained, lived in, sometimes falling apart. That is why I started taking photographs of Downtown Los Angeles, which I completely rediscovered when I moved there. I love it. I feel like it’s the only place in LA that is old and historical. Just like its bridges over the LA river. I love them so much. I live right next to one. So, that fascination of mine evolved and I started exploring the outskirts of LA, where I found almost surreal places (see my “Hobart Station” or “Outskrts” paintings). I love those places. They’re like… my little secret. They’re so detached from the “Hollywood” world. They’re hiding. But they’re real, and I sometimes feel they are the City’s heart beat.

What fuels you to keep creating?
I think it’s just the most rewarding work you can do. I love “making stuff”. You start with a concept in your head, an image… a sudden idea you may get from seeing or hearing something that inspires you. Then you take that and bring it to life, building it from A to Z. Then you have something to show for your hard work. You made that. And when other people enjoy it too… well it’s just really rewarding. I also couldn’t see myself doing anything else. I will never go back to an office desk job. So I gotta keep up with creativity if I wanna to stay on its path.

Liz Brizzi 'Trespass' - collaged photography and acrylic on wood panel

Please describe your dream project if time and money were not issues.
I’d love to go around the world for a couple of years and paint scenes from all the big cities I would get to see. Get a studio space in each city, go out and shoot photographs for days, then create a few pieces inspired by them. Then on to the next city… Mostly, I want to do a Tokyo series so bad! That would be really amazing…

Favorite item in your studio?
My computer, my awesome new printer, and my inspiration board.

Liz Brizzi at work

Is there anyone in particular, artist or otherwise, that you’d like to give a shout out to here?
Oh yeah! I definitely wanna dedicate these few lines to your partner in crime L. Croskey. Aside from being an amazing artist and curator, LC has been a mentor to me (and many other artists!). I came to him with my first few pieces about 3 years ago, and he gave me the advice and constructive criticism that I needed to hear. He gave me my first show with Cannibal Flower, and then helped me grow as an artist as I went back to him for more words of wisdom. I owe him a lot and have a lot of respect for him as a mentor and fellow artist. So yeah… Thank you LC.

Any shows or special projects coming up after your exhibit with us here at Thinkspace you would like to mention?
I’m excited to have a feature in Blue Canvas Magazine #12 coming up in April I think. Then I should have a show at Curbside Gallery in Santa Ana this summer. And I’ve been in touch with a couple of galleries in Paris that are interested in showing my work, so hopefully I’ll be showing there around the end of the year.

Liz Brizzi 'Beyond The Tracks' - collaged photography and acrylic on wood panel

Take a sneak peek at Liz Brizzi’s new works here:
www.flickr.com/photos/thinkspace/sets/72157628506554335/

New works from Liz Brizzi

Reception with the artist: THIS Sat, Feb. 4th 5-8PM in our project room

On view Feb. 4th – Feb. 25th in our project room

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

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