Josh Keyes’s “Implosion” Up Next at Thinkspace Gallery

JOSH KEYES
IMPLOSION

August 5 – August 26, 2017

(Los Angeles) – Thinkspace is pleased to present Implosion, a solo exhibition featuring new works by Portland-based artist Josh Keyes. The artist’s first solo with Thinkspace gallery, and his first in Los Angeles in a decade, Implosion offers a fractured look at a dystopian and psychologically fraught post-human universe. This world, in which the remnants of an anthropomorphic past coexist uncomfortably alongside a displaced natural world, is immediately recognizable as Keyes’, a painter who has spent the last 15 years exploring civilization’s final frontier: a world dispossessed and in bleak transition.

Keyes’ unique type of “eco-surrealism” offers a cautionary swan song. In an ostensibly not so distant future, the natural world is caught in a fascinating, albeit tragically irrevocable, death spasm. Fallen, and taxed well beyond our current state of environmental depletion, this world is siphoned, its ecological exhaustion has led to inversion, dislocation, chaos, contradiction, and disjuncture. Water levels have surged, habitats are destroyed, unlikely species commingle, humans are gone, and the world has unraveled to a state of absurd disorder and irremediable loss.

Best known for his diorama style compositions, Keyes’ detailed paintings stage hyper-realistically rendered animals and objects against stark white backgrounds. This compositional device captures moments at a remove, as though they’re segments or cross-sections pulled from natural history museum models.  The animals appear in varying states of distress and deracination as nomadic wanderers in counterintuitive scenes. At times his specimens are on fire or submerged beneath water, at others they appear as partial skeletal remains or are erupting into butterflies, ever present in absentia, however, are the traces of human damage and intervention. There are never human subjects in his works, per se, but our deleterious presence resonates throughout in the form of street signage, urban relics, graffiti, dumpsters, cars, monuments..all of which feel tragicomic in the context of this post-apocalyptic wreckage.

Keyes has recently taken on filling the entire pictorial space, abandoning the white absence of the ground in favor of a more immersive take on his recurring themes and dystopian imagery. Rather than appearing as isolated fragments or decontextualized vignettes, the paintings present whole environments – a holistically reconstituted nightmare. Though he continues to create both types of work, each functions a bit differently – one at a conceptual remove through the use of the diorama device, and the other a fictional, though terrifyingly plausible, environment in its entirety – like a museum panorama or natural history exhibit. His quasi-taxonomies are poetic chronicles of disaster.

A personal psychic dimension also informs Josh Keyes’ surreal works. The recurrence of certain animal characters, for instance, take on cryptic personal significance in their reiteration. This visual mythology of intrusion and disenfranchisement also functions as an elaborate allegorical stage. Though clearly a requiem of sorts for an ecological doomsday, the estranged state of the human condition, not to mention its absurdity, is also at the forefront. Keyes taps into a poetics of loss and alienation through these extended animal metaphors; a space of longing and over saturation familiar to us all.

This implosive world is one in which the absurd reigns and the floodgates of order have collapsed in upon themselves. The laws of the natural world have eroded, and in the wake of this chaos are the traces of a manmade artificiality, tokens of the ruinous legacy left behind by its makers. Despite the clearly dystopian tone of this vision, something beautiful persists in the raw power of the natural world the artist depicts, the beauty of its harbingers, and the urgency of its, and our, vulnerability. Keyes’ intense psychological landscapes force us to reconsider the stability of the very ground we take for granted.

Ken Flewellyn’s “Stay Gold” Up Next at Thinkspace Gallery

KEN FLEWELLYN
STAY GOLD

August 5 – August 26, 2017

Concurrently on view in the Thinkspace project room is Stay Gold, featuring new works by Los Angeles-based artist, and Thinkspace family veteran, Ken Flewellyn. A realist painter fascinated by the intersection of diverse cultures, personal histories, and Hip Hop, Flewellyn creates portraits of women that challenge our assumptions about identity and cultural homogeneity.

Inspired by his lifelong love of Hip Hop and his coming of age as a boy during its golden age in the 80s, Flewellyn’s work has always been about music and its impact on his personal vantage point and outlook on the world. As a cultural form, Hip Hop emerged from a localized cultural moment only to evolve into a variegated and international form that would systemically embrace the freedom of appropriation, and the complexity of multiple voices. This idea of cultural heterogeneity has influenced recurring themes in his imagery and has shaped his belief in the positive power of cultural mash-up.

Borrowing motifs and inspiration from Japanese culture and aesthetics, a visual influence in his home since childhood, Flewellyn often depicts women in traditional Japanese garb, silks, and kimonos. The subjects, however, remain anonymous, visible only by hands, body, and gestures, seldom, if ever, are faces or individuals revealed in their entirety. The subject’s identity, as a result, is relayed by the presence of revelatory objects, tattoos,  and accessories – external clues that point to something beyond the seen and allow for the aesthetic to prevail over individuation or the distraction of specificity. That being said, however, Flewellyn depicts real women based on actual people – friends, and strangers – anchoring his imagery in reality rather than unrealistic idealizations.

The juxtaposition of formal cultural garb and pop cultural accouterments keeps the work fascinating. These tightly cropped compositions are always informed by the presence of Hip Hop imagery, whether in the form of boom boxes, tapes, gold chains or typography. Playful and energized with tactility and detail, they’re both sensual and contemporary – solemn and light. Each painting in Stay Golden is adorned with the sumptuousness of gold and includes hidden Hip Hop references to its golden age throughout, all as an ode to the genre that has never lost its sheen.

 

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.

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.

LAX / DTW : DETROIT HUSTLE II COUNTDOWN

We’re in the final countdown with only two days left until the opening of LAX / DTW: DETROIT HUSTLE II at Inner State Gallery. The artists and artwork have landed in Detroit to fill Motor City with their signature works.

Piece by Artist Dan Witz

Artist Dan Witz has put up pieces from his Is It Safe Sanctuary series around the city as a part of the exhibition, and the infamous Stickman left his mark in numerous places around Detroit too.

Piece by Artist Stickman

However, the excitement continues inside the walls of Inner State Gallery as installations and murals are underway.  Ghostbeard and Patchwhisky collaborate on a mural for LAX / DTW: DETROIT HUSTLE II, while Meggs constructs a massive installation with the help of Miya Tsukazaki.

Artists Ghostbeard and Patchwhiskey working on mural

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Join us this Friday, June 30th from 6 pm to 10 pm for the opening of LAX / DTW: DETROIT HUSTLE II with work from featured artist James Bullough, the completed interior mural from Ghostbeard & Patchwhisky, and installations from Drew Leshko and Meggs, in addition to a group exhibition showcasing the work of over 70 inspiring artists in the New Contemporary art movement.

And don’t forget to take your time while heading to Inner State Gallery too, you don’t want to miss the exterior installations around Detroit by Dan Witz and Skewville.

On view June 30 through July 21
Inner State Gallery
1410 Gratiot Avenue
Detroit, MI.

LAX / DTW: Detroit Hustle II – Coming Soon

Thinkspace Gallery owner Andrew Hosner is excited to get back to his home state of Michigan for the galleries second exhibition with our good friends at Inner State Gallery and 1xRun in Detroit, Michigan. This time around, we’ve upped the ante in a major way bringing in artists for interior and exterior murals along with interior and exterior installations.

This time we’ll have James Bullough as our featured artist and he’ll also be gifting the streets of Detroit with a brand new outdoor mural. We’ll also have an interior mural from our good buds Ghostbeard and Patch Whisky along with an installation in the gallery from Drew Leshko. If that wasn’t enough, we’re also bringing out Dan Witz and Skewville from NYC to leave their mark on the streets of Detroit. All this alongside one hell of a group exhibition featuring over 80 artists from around the globe, many of whom will be submitting 2-3 works each. This is going to be a massive show with close to 200 works of art on view and available for purchase PLUS we’re also working with the 1xRun crew to create a beautiful suite of prints to be available in tandem with this special exhibition throughout the run of the exhibition.
Opening Reception:
Friday, June 30 from 6-10PM