|JOSIE MORWAY |
Advance Collector Preview will be shared on Wednesday, January 29
Opening Reception: Saturday, February 1 from 6-9 pm
Josie Morway is a painter and designer living and working in Providence, Rhode Island. Her works have shown widely, from the DeCordova Museum in Massachusetts to the streets of Juarez, Mexico.
Moway’s paintings are fragmented narratives, inspired by everyday words and phrases that bombard us – old signage, broken billboards, overheard conversations. Morway is of the opinion that omissions tell half the story.
Substituting animals for human characters in her visual narratives, she explores gestures, postures, and expressions that are familiar and universal but at the same time ambiguous.
|TELMO MIEL |
Advance Collector Preview will be shared on Wednesday, January 29
Opening Reception: Saturday, February 1 from 6-9 pm
A muralist and image-making duo from the Netherlands, Telmo Miel is Telmo Pieper and Miel Krutzmann. They have worked together since meeting at the Willem de Kooning Academy in Rotterdam in 2007, officially becoming Telmo Miel in 2012.
The duo’s murals are both surreal and realistically rendered, with a tremendous amount of detail and vibrant color. Able to work fairly seamlessly, their styles have combined to such an extent that they’re able to execute multiple areas in tandem, exchanging places and completing each other’s work.
With a respect for both visions, they found that ‘perspective’ is one of the most important & interesting aspects of art. The perspective of the maker compared to the viewer, the difference in intend, meaning and interpretation. Perspectives on concept, colors and composition and so forth. This idea of ‘multiple viewing points’ and opinions is an ongoing discovery in their work.
They often execute their pieces on a monumental scale, creating huge architecturally sized spray-paint paintings on building façades. Combining multiple elements in a single composition, they layer references to the human and animal worlds to create complex creatures and fantastic scenarios. With positivity, humor and a touch of the romantic, their work is arresting and epic.
Recent paintings contain playfulness in abstraction of reality, attempting to make the viewer see subjects with a different eye; They grew into using multiple images, layered over one another. By cutting away a top layer, another comes forward to complete the design. This provides a convenient abstraction, but the intend is more so to create a sort of marriage between figurative parts. Pieces that weren’t normally seen as one, but now complete each other in weird and beautiful ways.
Wow. What a turnout this past Saturday. So many faces we’ve not seen in years… so many members of our artist family on hand… so many new faces. Friends flying in from all over. Humbling and uplifting in so many ways. So many cries of “15 more years”… we will keep it going as long as you all keep coming out to show love!!! What a night.
Thank you all for coming out to support. Thank you to all who shared their memories across social media. Our hearts are full and we are fueled for the new year ahead. We are indeed just getting started. Get ready for another epic year ahead.
15 Years of Thinkspace will remain on view through January 25 and showcases new work from 70 of our family members from around the globe all created on custom 16.5 x 16.5 inch (42×42 cm) wood panels (image area of 15×15 inches / 38×38 cm) courtesy of Trekell.
Thinkspace is pleased to present Tougher Than Leather our fifth solo-exhibition with Brian M. Viveros. The dynamic show will present some of Viveros’s largest and most accomplished paintings to date. His phenomenally detailed and hyper-realistic paintings create a world that is a complete universe unto itself.
In anticipation of Tougher Than Leather, our interview with Brian M. Viveros discusses his new body of work, best place to get tacos, and some solid life advise.
SH: We have some solid interviews with you for past exhibitions, Matador and Dirtyland, but for those that are not familiar with you and your work, can you give us a brief look at your artistic background and zodiac sign?
BV: Sure, my name is Brian M. Viveros. My art is rooted in a world introduced to me by my father, who was always drawing, he showed me Frazetta, fantasy art, Conan the Barbarian comics and took me to wrestling and boxing matches as a kid. Pretty much everything he introduced me to would later play out in my paintings, becoming aesthetic components for the ‘Dirtyland’ world I’ve created today. I have no formal art training, I didn’t go to art school, but all of these components from my childhood have shaped me as an artist – my childhood fixations, my open mindedness to fantasy, and my Hispanic upbringing. When I decided to pursue the fine art thing with paintings of these kick-ass Woman of Power, using all of these elements that I surrounded myself and grew up with, things just came together.
My Zodiac killer sign is SCORPIO.
SH: What is the inspiration and themes you explored for this body of work?
BM: The show is titled ‘Tougher Than Leather,’ featuring a new body of work that is very personal to me. I’d been through a lot these past couple years losing my father, my grandmother and my dog. I wanted to do something that was dedicated to the fighter in all of us, inspired by those that are fighting for their lives, fighting inner demons and fighting cancer. This new body of work took me into new directions with themes of battle, new warriors and it’s my first time presenting elements from my world as their’ own piece like ‘Sacred Gloves’ which is a detailed rendering of boxing gloves that form an anatomical heart wrapped in rose thorns.
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.
BV: I think I’m gonna have to say the most challenging piece is the large-scale bullfighting piece entitled ‘Tame The Beast’ which features my iconic matador in battle with a raging bull. I’m very proud of this piece on so many levels because it has pushed me beyond the normal portraiture format I’m used to, it allowed me to create this full epic scene I’ve had in mind for some time now. I’m proud to see this piece come to life.
SH: Who are some of your favorite artists in the scene, or in a different medium altogether?
BV: I dig what Michael Reeder’s doing and his use of color and shapes. I dig what my homie Dan Quintana is doing, he’s always inspiring to me and I’m diggin’ Ken Flewellyn’s new set of work for this show, he KILLED IT!
SH: A Netflix movie is being made about your life, who would be cast to play you and what kind of movie would it be? Try to describe it with similar movies.
BV: Hmmm, I can’t see a real person playing me but I like this question. I like the idea of a film about me being a stop motion animation in the style of the Brothers Quay films, mixed with a touch of some live action. It would be a super surreal visual journey of a little kid exploring his artistic life and mind, going through different doors in his head; a combination of Alejandro Jodorowsky’s ‘The Holy Mountain’ and Pink Floyd’s ‘The Wall’ on acid HA!
SH: What is the best technical advice you’ve received in regards to painting / being an artist? What is the best philosophical advice you’ve received?
BV: My father always told me to work hard for what you want and believe in what you’re doing. Even when others doubt you and don’t believe in you, you must always believe in yourself. He would also say “create your own worlds” and I always liked that. I also love this advice from Andy Warhol, “Don’t think about making art, just get it done. Let everyone else decide if it’s good or bad, whether they love it or hate it. While they are deciding, make even more art.” That always drives me to just focus and not worry about what’s going on out in the real world.
SH: Are you a podcast, tv/ movie streaming service, or music in the background type of painter? What were you listening to during the development of this show that you would recommend to others?
BV: Both! I like to play movies and music at the same time. I like sounds, I like noise, I like things turned on. While working on this show I was listening to a lot of the new Tool album, some old DJ Shadow stuff, the first Interpol album, The Cactus Channel, some Ravel, classical and some weird underground sounds my friend sent to me. Podcasts I’ve been digging are Joe Rogan, The Lonely Palette, Chet Zar’s Dark Art Society, and Grilling JR that’s a wrestling one HA!
SH: What do you think the role of artists in society? How does other artwork inform how you move through life?
BV: Through art we are connected and united, through art we are free and not alone. Through the experience of being an artist, inspiration comes from everything and other artists all the time. It’s like a constant need or an addiction to create and want more and see more. It helps you to grow and keeps me inspired.
SH: What is the coolest or most exciting thing to happen to you thus far in life and is it because of or connected to your work?
BV: The most exciting thing to happen thus far is connected to my art, it happened after my first solo exhibition in Switzerland back in 2005. It will always be and remain, the most surreal magical day of my life, being invited to spend the day with my favorite artist H.R. Giger in his home in Zurich. To this day I still can’t believe that happened. He was so nice, we traded prints and I got to sit in the alien chair and see everything in person that I had only seen in books as a kid. It will always be something very special to me and a day I will never forget.
SH: Fun Hypothetical: A world-renowned chef wants to make a dish inspired by your artwork and favorite food. What would be the dishes ingredients and what is it similar too?
BV: HA! That’s a good one! Probably would have to be a taco, everyone knows my deep love for tacos so here it is ‘The DirtyTaco.’ It would be simple and tasty carnitas because I love me some good carnitas and you don’t need a lot for a good taco. It would taste like the tacos from SALUD! in San Diego, made with homemade tortillas. As a variation, we could serve a taco salad, with a crispy taco shell helmet like in my paintings. HA! I think I just jumped the shark with that one HAHA!!
Join us for the opening of Tougher Than Leather Saturday, October 12th from 6 – 9 pm.
On view concurrently in the Thinkspace project room is Shine, 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 featured in Shine 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 shine.
Opening Reception: Saturday, October 12th 6-9 PM
On view: October 12, 2019 – November 2, 2019