Seth Armstrong Featured on the Huffington Post

Thinkspace Family member Seth Armstrong was recently featured on the Huffington Post in an article highlighting work from the exhibition “Pretty Deep Shit.”  Art critic, Shana Nys Dambolt explores the use of the magic hour and city lights in Armstrong’s voyeuristic compositions.  Read the full piece on Huffington Post’s website.

We’re excited to continue showing new works from Seth Armstrong until the end of 2017, with pieces currently one view at LAX/ JFK and more coming up in December when we head to Miami.

To see all available work from Seth Armstrong, please visit the Thinkspace Gallery website.

ICY AND SOT’s ‘Human (Nature)’ Opens Next Saturday, November 4th.

ICY and SOT
‘Human (Nature)’
Opening Reception: Saturday, November 4 from 6-9PM
On view November 4 – November 25

Thinkspace is pleased to present Human (Nature), its first solo exhibition and full gallery takeover by internationally acclaimed Iranian, Brooklyn-based artist-activist duo, ICY and SOT. The brothers, born in the northwestern Iranian city of Tabriz, started their legacy as street artists by producing simple, single layer stencils and wheat pasted stickers in 2006. Throwing them up covertly, and as quickly as possible, wherever they could throughout the city’s less-traveled recesses, ICY and SOT were genuinely tapped into the impermanence of street art as a medium given their interventions would last no more than 24 hours in the highly regulated and censored Islamic political regime. Isolated by the political oppression steadily in place since the Islamic Revolution of the late ’70s, the brothers, and their art grew and thrived under severely impeded circumstances.

All public exhibits and expressions of art in Iran are subject to intense scrutiny and suppression, forced to submit to government approval before any kind of dissemination. This is the unlikely political climate under which ICY and SOT found their voice. Every act of creativity under said circumstances becomes an act of protest and countercultural dissent, not to mention one of great risk and uncertainty. The brothers are no strangers to reprimand in a country where the political stranglehold demands imprisonment for minor acts of transgression. Their earliest imagery grew from this place of profound longing, driven by a desire to express compassion, truth, hope, and connect with the silenced cities and its inhabitants. Some of their first intercessions into the Iranian streets were recurring representations of children, specifically of a little boy with downcast stance walking forward. In their minds, the clearest and most direct expression of innocence and resilience they could invoke in a world of adult subjugation and violence.

One of the more remarkable aspects of the brothers’ work is that it evolved in a near cultural vacuum, emerging from anonymity and under the most restrictive circumstances to international recognition and acclaim. Though there were punk and skater countercultures that emerged in Iran in spite of the prevailing political climate, the brothers had no access to other manifestations of “street art” as an international genre with historical antecedents. It wasn’t until they were able to access internet sites beyond Iran’s firewall that they came into contact with other examples of the medium and its emergence as a “legitimate” art form, owing in significant part to New York’s vibrant 70’s and 80’s city culture. It was also through social media and image-based sites like Flickr that they were finally able to circulate photographic evidence of their work, the only extant and surviving record of their highly temporary intercessions in the streets of Iran, and were able to amass a following, connecting them with other artists and exponents of street-based art.

Finally, in 2012 they were granted travel Visas to attend a solo exhibition of their work in New York City, traveling to the US and leaving Iran for the first time. They took the opportunity to immigrate, settling in Brooklyn with mounting legal tensions surrounding their freedom of expression at home, and have since established themselves as thriving, generous, and active members of the artist community there. They have now created work all over the world, delivering poignant and humbling expressions of human pathos and compassion worldwide. Their output is immediately recognizable for its clean graphic aesthetic, reminiscent of print media, their use of elaborate multi-layer stencils, and now photo-based and sculptural works.
Increasing in sophistication and diversity of messaging, the brothers have tackled topics such as poverty, homelessness, women’s rights, gun control, immigration, and climate change, converting the same terse and impactful language they had cultivated as political acts of protest in their home country to gestures of activism worldwide. Their work has richly evolved into several tangential and intersecting adjuncts as they continue to experiment with not only murals and walls, but gallery-based artworks, public interventions, like their advertising takeover series, and site-specific sculptural installations. All executed in the same minimal graphic language, sparse color, through clean impactful compositions.
In Human (Nature) ICY and SOT return to one of the most fundamental and widely disavowed plights that face us, globally and universally as humankind – the necessity of nurturing the environment we have steadily marauded and violated beyond repair. Invoking the peaceful balance of nature as a counterpoint to the deleterious effects of human consumption and waste, ICY and SOT want to inspire us all to see the planet’s vulnerability and to make small strides towards productive change and personal accountability.
The brothers continue their inspiring pursuit of truth and personal expression, reminding us with every public emission and imprint left on the world of the real power of art, imagery, and public activism in a world of discouraging desensitization. Now, more than ever, the active cultivation of freedom, mutual respect, and compassion through art is the cultural lifeline we’d all do well to support.

 

“Northern Delights” from Dulk

A new epic mural from Thinkspace Family artists Dulk, “Northern Delights” is delighting Finland. Dulk will be a featured artist in Thinkspace Gallery’s 8 booth takeover at Moniker International Art Fair October 5th through October 8th.
Visit www.monikerartfair.com for full details and tickets.

Opening Reception of SWANK at Thinkspace Gallery

The opening reception of Swank on September 2nd debuted nine artists from the gallery’s roster, whose work and recognition are on the rise. Each brings their own unique stylistic and technical approach to their practice, and though they share loose affinities, the grouping demonstrates the diversity and latitude of the New Contemporary Movement. Michael Reeder, David Rice, Tran Nguyen, Wiley Wallace, Molly Gruninger, Alex Garant, Sean Norvet, Christopher Konecki, and Lauren Brevner were curated by the gallery for this exhibition as promising new voices to watch on their ascent.

 Please visit the Thinkspace Gallery website to view available work from SWANK,

Opening Reception of Josh Keyes’s “Implosion”, Ken Flewellyn’s “Stay Gold”, and Terry Arena’s “Swarm” exhibitions.

The opening reception of Josh Keyes’s Implosion, Ken Flewellyn’s Stay Gold, and Terry Arena’s Swarm exhibitions on Saturday, August 5th was one of the most vibrant openings of the year. Josh Keyes’s sold out exhibition drew in fans to examine his dystopian and psychologically fraught post- human universe in further detail. The works express Keyes’s fear and anxiety over the current political climate, in addition to his love of dancing horses and sunken ships.

Thinkspace veteran, Ken Flewellyn, debuted his first solo exhibition Stay Gold in the Thinkspace Gallery project room. At doors, half of the show was sold, and by the end of the night, the show was sold out. Each new red dot leading to an uproar of joyous cheer from those congregating in the project room.

Terry Arena’s “Swarm” delighted people as they held up magnifying glasses to her hyper realistic and detailed graphite drawings. The hung works very pattern itself a part of a larger narrative around swarming.

All three exhibitions are on view now through August 26th at Thinkspace Gallery, Tuesday through Saturday noon to 6 pm.

 

Interview with Josh Keyes for ‘Implosion”

Thinkspace is proud to present Josh Key’s first Los Angeles exhibition in a decade, Implosion in the galleries main room. The sold out exhibition explores the fears around our current political climate in Keye’s familiar dystopian future. Last year, our detailed interview with Josh Keyes covered his creative process and artistic career. For Implosion, we had a bit more fun discussing favorite colors and dinner parties. Implosion is on view now through August 26th at Thinkspace Gallery, Tuesday through Saturday from noon to 6 pm.

SH: What is the inspiration behind this latest body of work?
JK: This body of work emerged from the fear and anxiety surrounding this presidency, and the possible impact it could have on the future of the world. I also like dancing horses and sunken ships.

SH: This is the first time you’ve shown in Los Angeles in about a decade and your first solo with Thinkspace Gallery, do you have any specific thoughts or feelings about showing in LA again?
JK: LA is a mysterious city, like New York, Los Angeles is a state of being, with less grinding cogs like New York, LA is fueled by plastic dreams. I think my work should feel at home in this land of fractured nightmares and dreams.

SH: To those who would argue against the importance of art in society, how would you explain what art is and the artist’s role in society?
JK: Art is like a fart, or a fragrant flower, both are necessary to express the human condition. I fail to see anything, object, app, clothing that is devoid of some aesthetic element. We breath, live, eat , and see he world in terms of design. The major change, there is no hierarchy anymore, the gods, critics, and authorities of what is good and bad taste are dead, all is and everything is equal in this ocean of static. The artist dreams, creating a hybrid of personal experience with cultural mythology, resulting in the highest form of emoji.

SH: Do you remember the first time you showed your work in public? What was the piece, and where were you?
JK: I was arrested, oh wait, my work not my privates. I was in high school, and I entered an art show with a small painting, it was a copy of one of Rembrandt’s self-portraits, over Rembrandt’s shoulder was Disney’s Goofy giving a silly smile. It won first prize.

In our interview with you last year, you shared a lot about your creative process, education, and artistic growth; so our questions this time around will be a little more fun…

SH: What pop-culture item; music, movies, tv, incident etc.. that has shaped you creatively?
JK: I’m a sci-fi film junky, and soundtrack addict. Since I was a kid that genre has inspired my imagery and painting compositions. I grew up watching Harryhausen films like the original Clash of the Titans, and John Carpenter’s The Thing, and also films like Brazil and The Cook the Thief His Wife and Her Lover. They left a significant imprint on my aesthetic sensibility, ever since I have been drawn to things that slightly disturbing and also beautiful, like my wife.

 

SH: If you were reincarnated as an animal, what do you think you’d come back as and why? Is that the same as what you would want to be reincarnated as?
JK: My students said I reminded them of a meerkat from a Disney film, manic and twitchy. Naturally, of course, I would come back as a mighty lion.

SH: What was your favorite color as a kid? What is your favorite color as an adult? What is your daughter’s favorite color at the moment?
JK: Silver was my favorite color. It wasn’t really a color but the reflective quality, it held all colors. I suppose my favorite color now is bluish green, maybe subconsciously because that is what color my toddler presents me with in her diapers. Her favorite color is YELLOW and in paint form, it must be applied to every surface of both house and body.

SH: If you were to host a dinner party for five people dead or alive, who would you invite? What’s on the menu? And what would you ask them?
JK: Trump, Bob Ross, Jane Austen, James Brown, and Herman Munster.
Menu: A conveyor belt of moving food plated by Willie Wonka and the Oompa Loompas.
1. What is man?
2. What is truth?
3. What is man’s responsibility to truth?

New Nosego Mural for Pow! Wow! Long Beach

Our current main room exhibiting artist Noségo just completed an awesome mural for Pow! Wow! Long Beach.  He used a touch of his panache for mural work for his exhibit “Ingress” as well; make sure to see the exhibition before it closes this Saturday, July 29th.

Thinkspace Gallery hours are Tuesday through Saturday noon to 6 pm.

Visit the Thinkspace Gallery website to view all available works from Ingress.