Interview with Frank Gonzales for “Desert Discourse”

We’re excited to be showing new work by Pheonix-based artist Frank Gonzales in our project room for his solo exhibition Desert Discourse opening Saturday, March 2nd. Gonzales’s compostions showcase his love of botany and ornithology, combining both the organic and artificial, the natural and the contrived, to produce what the artist himself has aptly coined ‘artificial realism.’

In anticipation of Desert Discourse our interview with Frank Gonzales discusses the inspiration behind this latest body or work, and his love for prickly pear and John Coltrane.

SH: What was the inspiration behind this latest body of work? Were you exploring a specific theme or pushing yourself artistically in a certain way?

FG: I’m always trying to push myself artistically with each painting or body of work, at least I try.  The theme of my work is a continued exploration of the phenomena and sense of wonder I hold of the natural world. There’s been an introduction of aerosol in some of the works. Its been great To revisit my roots as a graff writer and play with the medium again. The quality of paint and options of colors offered these days are phenomenal. That kind of makes me sound old, haha. It’s just great to throw another medium in the mix and react to it. 

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.

FG: I really enjoyed painting Night Breed. It’s more specific imagery wise. Instead of stacking various elements I chose to illustrate a pollinating night scene of a Saguaro with Long Nosed Bats. There are so many different pollinators of the Saguaro, but a night scene with bats is just so badss. Its remarkable knowing a Saguaro doesn’t even produce flowers until its around 70 years old and can age well over 100 years old! Pollination of flowering cactus in the Sonoran Desert could be a whole series in itself. Who knows, that could be another venture to explore on the horizon!   

SH: How do you approach starting a new piece? Walk us through the process of a piece from conception to completion. 

FG: I’ll usually start by obsessing over a certain cactus or mineral or some sort of natural element as a jump-off point. Or I will just start putting down paint on a surface and react with shapes and colors, etc. Its a pretty organic process.

Once I have a surface I’m happy with I will start to research from books, pics I’ve documented, my desktop folder of images, or plants from my own collection. Once an element is chosen I’ll draw it on the surface and it grows from there. The painting will usually dictate what it needs. The hardest part is learning to step aside from yourself and let it happen without getting too heady about it.

The painting process is usually a blur of being in the moment. I love that the most. All sense of time is gone until you stop and back away. It’s an experience I think most artists can relate to. 

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

FG: It can be a love/hate relationship. Sometimes starting is the hardest part and also the most exciting. As mentioned above I think getting out of the way of yourself and moving with the process is exciting. There’s a sort of dialogue that happens I find enjoyable. 

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

FG: The times where you feel like you’ve run out of ideas or stopping yourself mentally before even starting. This is usually a sign that something needs to change. Find a different approach or just change the music. In the end the work will still be consistent, but its the mental chatter that can be a bit of a buzz kill. I definitely think the excitement and frustration balance each other out. You can’t have one without the other. 

SH: Is there a piece of knowledge or advice around being a working artist that you wish you knew 10 years ago? 

FG: Not really. Its an ongoing journey to be explored. 

SH: If your body of work inspired an ice cream flavor, what would it be called and what are the ingredients?

FG: Hmmm, maybe Prickly Pear fruit! I would have to be a Paleta and all natural. HA! 

SH: If you could collaborate with any other artist (dead or alive) in any art form, such as music, film, dance etc… what would be your dream collab and what would you create?

FG: At first my thoughts would be to do live art with John Coltrane, but I wouldn’t get anything done because I would probably just stand there in awe. I would probably have to go with producing some type of super sexy and sensual botanicals for a Prince album. HAHA. 

SH: What do you think the role of artists is in society? How does other artwork inform how you move through life?

FG: The role of artists in society is very vital. It’s how we communicate and express the unspeakable truths of natural phenomena. Language can only communicate so much. There are so many forms of art out there that inspire, inform and speak to me. It shows what it means to be human. It’s chaos, it’s ugly, it’s pretty, it’s functional, it’s useless, etc. It’s all out there. What matters is how we engage with it. It’s about what we choose to accept and not accept and to keep an open mind and heart regardless.

 SH: Favorite way to celebrate the completion of a project/body of work?

FG: a big sigh and some brews. ha!

Join us for the opening reception of Desert Discourse, Saturday March 2nd from 6 to 9 pm.

BOOK Signing + PRINT Release this Saturday from SCOTT LISTFIELD

ASTRONAUT
Paintings by Scott Listfield

BOOK-SIGNING EVENT this Saturday, December 15 from 4 to 6 PM

Book will be available at the event this Saturday for $45 plus tax

Scott will be on site from 4 to 6 PM signing copies of his new book (while supplies last) published by Paragon Books and Spoke Art. ‘ASTRONAUT’ is 232 pages packed full of every painting Listfield has created to date, over 350 of them, featuring his trademark lone astronaut exploring a not too distant future, filled with pop culture references galore. Featuring essays from Listfield along with Forwards from Danielle Krysa (The Jealous Curator) and Andrew Hosner (Thinkspace Projects).

PLUS we’re excited to publish a new limited edition fine art print of his iconic “It’s Like That” painting from our recent solo exhibition ‘1984’ with Listfield. Details are below.

Both the print and book will be available this Saturday from 4 to 6 PM at Thinkspace.

SCOTT LISTFIELD
It’s Like That
16×23 inches / 50.8x66cm
Edition of 60
Fine art print on 290gsm paper
Hand signed and numbered by the artist
$75

Printed by the good folks at Static Medium

AVAILABLE ONLINE IN EARLY JANUARY 2019
Details to follow. We are not shipping before the holidays, so we will set a day and time for the second week of January and share details soon. For now, this Saturday from 4 to 6 PM is your only chance to purchase this special edition from Listfield. No online or phone orders at this time. Thank you.

COMING UP ON SEPTEMBER 15th AT THINKSPACE CULVER CITY

CINTA VIDAL
Viewpoints
Our first major solo exhibition with Cinta Vidal out of Catalonia, following a smaller solo showing in our project room and art fair solo appearances with us at SCOPE in Miami and MONIKER in London.
BENJAMIN GARCIA
Panacea
Our debut solo exhibition with this exciting new talent out of Valenzuela.
– Additional details on both exhibitions shared next week –

NEW EDITIONS FROM BRIAN VIVEROS AVAILABLE NEXT FRIDAY – 8/24/18

Excited to share that we are publishing a new edition from Brian Viveros that will be available next week. ‘Queen of the Land’ is taken from his recent sold-out UK exhibition we held for him at the MONIKER International Art Fair in London, England this past October.

Photographed and printed by Static Medium and framed with Sherman Framing, from start to finish, the detail and care given to this amazing edition is second to none. Viveros’s largest scale special edition to date, complete with custom aqua blue core matte chosen by the artist that perfectly captures the hues in the Queen’s flower and mascara. First-time use of a new custom ‘V’ embossed stamp, with each receiving hand touching from Viveros. All housed in a beautiful custom red accented wood molding hand-picked by Brian.

This is Brian’s most limited, large-scale framed edition to date. Don’t miss out.

BRIAN VIVEROS
Queen of the Land (Deluxe Framed Edition)
Edition of 12
Includes a unique graphite sketch in the bottom border
Multiple hand touches via airbrush, ink, and pastel throughout the piece
Embossed with Viveros’s ‘V’ emblem
Professionally Custom Framed and Matted
Hand signed and numbered by the artist
Comes with a signed Certificate of Authenticity
20×29 (25.5×35 frame size)
$800
“For all my DirtyLAnd collectors out there, this special edition  ‘Queen of the Land’ will definitely be the print to get! For this print, I wanted to go BIG and give you guys something truly special and on a larger scale putting a lot of time and energy into each one of these prints. Along with the hand embellishing throughout the print, I wanted to include an original drawing around my first time embossed signature ‘V’ at the bottom of the print. My idea was to do a rendering that could work around the ‘V’ and compliment the print as a whole. The end result is AWESOME and I’m really happy and excited to offer this print to you guys! The added drawing on each makes it that much more specal from me to you. There’s only a dozen of these bad girls so BE READY!!!” – Viveros

Viveros adding hand touches with acrylic, adding a unique add’l blood drip to each

Viveros adding some hand touches to the Queen’s hair with pastels

Viveros adding some highlights to the hair via airbrush

Hand touching details with acrylic, including a bloody heart on each skull

Deluxe Framed Edition getting added love from Viveros, each slightly unique

The Deluxe Edition will be available NEXT FRIDAY, August 24 at 10AM Pacific at:
SPECIAL EDITION OF 40 WITH SKETCH AND EMBOSSED ‘V’ ON EACH

Special Edition prior to receiving the embossed ‘V’ and signature / sketch

Viveros signing his new Special Edition of ‘Queen of the Land’

Detail view of the new embossed ‘V’ symbol

Viveros sketching next to his signature, each piece receiving a slightly unique sketch

BRIAN VIVEROS
Queen of the Land (Special Edition)
Fine art print on 290gsm paper
Edition of 40
Embossed with Viveros’s ‘V’ emblem
Sketch of rose with bullets or cigarettes by each signature
Hand signed and numbered
17×24
$275

The Special Edition will be available NEXT FRIDAY, August 24 at 10AM Pacific at:
https://shop.thinkspaceprojects.com