‘Flourish’ & Brian Mashburn’s ‘Axiom’ Featured in American Art Collector

Last month, American Art Collector magazine covered two of our exhibitions, Flourish at the Mesa Contemporary Arts Museum and Brain Mashburn’s Axiom in the Thinkspace Gallery project room.  You can view the articles in more detail at the following link.

Opening Reception of Casey Weldon’s ‘Sentimental Deprivation’ and Kisung Koh ‘Long Live the Polar Treasure’

The opening reception of Casey Weldon’s ‘Sentimental Deprivation’ and Kisung Koh ‘Long Live the Polar Treasure’ landed on a night Los Angeles was pulsing with interesting art events, yet both artists still drew fans and art lovers to Culver City.

Many pieces from Casey Weldon‘s neon-wonderland sold before the opening, yet some stunning works are still available for interested collectors. KiSung Koh‘s also sold work the night of the opening and his nearly sold-out exhibition still has a few pieces available. Drop by the gallery while both exhibitions are on view now through June 24th.

Artist Casey Weldon next to ‘Apartmentalized’
Artist Kisung Koh
Artist Kisung Koh

Casey & Lilly

Interview with Casey Weldon for “Sentimental Deprivation”

Thinkspace is proud to present Casey Weldon’s latest body of work ‘Sentimental Deprivationin our main room. Casey Weldon’s paintings combine elements of humor, nostalgia, and the absurd; weaving pop culture and kitsch into the illuminated neon world. In anticipation of Weldon’s upcoming exhibition with us, we have an exclusive interview with Casey Weldon to discuss his inspiration, creative process, and dream collaboration.

Sentimental Deprivation‘s opening reception is this Saturday, June 3rd from 6 -9 pm in our project room.

SH: What is the inspiration behind this latest body of work?
CW: I was up way too late one night with my bestie artist pal Crystal Barbre, and she complimented me on some of my work that she deemed emotionally powerful. I laughed and reluctantly told her that everything is just based on a funny/weird idea and the color schemes are just colors I like. She puts a lot of herself into her work and is intimately connected to them, so she didn’t buy it. I was trying to persuade her that I, in fact, I was a robot devoid of emotion and have several ex-girlfriends that could testify to that. I went through a bit of rough time last year personally, and while working through that this has become an attempt of an emotionless person painting emotionally.

SH: You have a unique way of using colors that seem neon and creating a glowing illumination from within the work? What made you explore this style and develop the technique? Were you directly inspired by something to go in this direction?
CW: I’ve always had trouble keeping my work’s brightness on the level. Everything has always naturally skewed towards the darker side. To offset it, I started including small and super bright light sources. It’s a lot of fun inventing what the effects of a bright blue light will have under a setting red sun. I used to joke that my direct inspiration was Thomas Kincade, but now I’m beginning to wonder if that statement is 100% a joke.

SH: How have you grown as an artist in the last 5 years and how do you hope to grow in the following 5?
CW: Yes and yes. At least I hope. Usually, it works like we always feel the same despite those around us notice we are changing as people. I guess I’m hoping the opposite isn’t happening and I’m stuck in a rut I can’t even see.

SH: You’ve moved around a lot, do you feel your moves and various home-bases have influenced or informed your work?
CW: Yes, I think so, though it’s hard to point to any direct pieces and say why. I think it’s just more of a mindset. Like when I was in NY and depressed I painted a lot of funny pop art stuff. When I lived in the Las Vegas desert I painted a lot of lush nature. Here in gray Seattle, I paint a lot of bright colors. I guess I’m always looking for greener grass somewhere.

SH: What about another artists’ work excites or fascinates you? Who do you think everyone should look up?
CW: I get really excited anytime I feel like I don’t know what to expect from an artist. When their body works shifts often into new and unexpected directions it really inspires me to try and do the same. Although, on the other hand, I really admire artists that have developed a truly unique and identifiable voice, as often I feel like I struggle with that. Since moving to Seattle, I’ve had the pleasure of meeting some really fantastic new artists. Cassie Murphy is adorably batshit crazy, James Carpenter is a technical master, Jeremy Gregory is in a whole other world he has created, Angelita Martinez is always pushing experimentation and Abby Fields is somewhat green, but I am positive she will be a force to be reckoned with. I could name a 100 more because this town is full of them.

SH: What is your creative process? Can you walk us through a day in the studio?
CW: I wake up somewhere between 5-6am with a fire in my heart. “I’m going to get up and crush this day,” I say to myself. And then I eat a nutritionally questionable breakfast and go back to sleep. Around 10 am, I drag my ass to the drawing table and work till 6-7 or so. My process is 80% waiting for a decent idea or theme to start with, 10% gathering photo reference and shooting models, and 10% mad dash to finish painting by the deadline, which rarely ever happens. It’s a weird mix of wishful thinking and high anxiety.

SH: What do you think is the biggest misconception about being an artist?
CW: That we don’t work hard. That we are ‘lucky’ and are taking the easy road. Every artist is doing everything they can to sell a product there is absolutely no demand for, and they are betting on their own personal thoughts and emotions to sell it. They spend countless hours working with no guarantee of a paycheck, putting themselves out there and getting rejected, or taken advantage of over and over hoping to find some sort of communication with an audience. But your friend at the Dodge dealership says “get a real job”.

SH: What was playing in the background during the creation of this body of work? Does what you listen to inform the mood of the pieces or are they separate?
CW: I listen to a lot of podcasts and audiobooks and my local radio station KEXP (the best radio station ever). I’m deep into ’The First Law’ series by Joe Abercrombie, and thankfully the subject matters have kept to themselves.


SH: Who would you want to collaborate with, dead or alive? The person can be in any area of the arts; film, dance, music etc.
CW: Michel Gondry first comes to mind. It just seems like he has a boundless imagination and a DIY approach to realizing his ideas.

SH: If your artwork inspired a cocktail, what would it be made of and what would it taste like?
CW: Hmmm, how about a ‘Furball’ which is just a pint glass of Fireball with a rim dusted in cat hair? Or a ‘Glowey’, which is Ecto Hi-C and vodka with a glow stick in it? It may be obvious, but I’m not much of a cocktail guy.

SH: When not in the studio, what would an ideal day look like?
CW: Rock and roll all night, and sleep all day.

A post shared by Casey Weldon (@caseyweldon) on

Interview with Kisung Koh for “Long Live The Polar Treasure”

Thinkspace is proud to present Kisung Koh’s latest body of work ‘Long Live The Polar Treasurein our project room. Kisung Koh, a South Korean Toronto-based artist uses oil paints to capture beautiful and sometimes heavy reflections of the majestic polar bear, and it’s connection with human plight.  In anticipation of Koh’s upcoming exhibition with us, we have an exclusive interview with Kisung Koh to discuss his fascination with polar bears, a day in the studio, and his dream collaboration.

Long Live The Polar Treasure‘s opening reception is this Saturday, June 3rd from 6 -9 pm in our project room.

SH: What inspired this latest body of work? And what made you explore the theme?
KK: Most of my works are closely related to wildlife animals, and I do love and care all animals. In the past couple years, I found a very deep connection with Polar bears especially in many ways; I moved to Canada in 2006. To me, Canada is the place that I dreamed about but never thought about residing. Everything was new and unfamiliar. There were a lot of struggles and inner conflict, and loneliness.
At first, the idea of new and unfamiliar was interesting. However, as time goes by and feeling needed to fit in a new environment, I needed to do everything harder than others. Every moment was survival that I had to challenge myself to fit in a new environment, but unfortunately, I still feel that I can never fit in this world regardless family or friends. For these reasons, I saw myself in polar bears so wanted to capture the scene that the polar bear is resting in the environment where they are not supposed to be, in a dreamy way.

SH: Why did you choose to use Polar Bears as a symbol of the change and dislocation specifically, as due to global climate change and environmental threats many animals are facing challenges?
KK: There are many other endangered species due to environmental issues, poaching, habitat loss or political conflicts but the Polar bear is the one that you can think of the first when we talk about weather warming issue. In fact, they are among the most significantly affected species by temperature and sea ice level.

SH: What makes working with oil paints your medium of choice versus acrylic paints or other mediums?
KK: I used to use Acrylic, watercolor, and gouache paint at one point. I think I had used oil in the same technique as using other mediums but these days I really like using oil when making textures such as fur or other nature parts. In addition, using oil can create deeper emotions in my opinion when needed.

SH: How have you grown as an artist in the last 5 years and how do you hope to grow in the following 5?
KK: I was not satisfied with the level of ideas or concepts a few years ago and I noticed these days that it works better when I have related not only beauty of nature but everything happening in life to my works.

My answer might not be related, but I think it could be. I was not able to read books enough the past years, so next 5 years I’m reading more books, also experiencing more and spending more times with ‘humans’, trying to be more communal and social. As I mentioned earlier, I always feel alone no matter I have friends or family, so my hope is to be happy and to bring/share the happiness and sadness at the same time to others through my works.
I hope those I mentioned above will be seen more in my works in next 5years.
I want to be a better artist and better human being.

SH: What about another artists’ work excites or fascinates you? Who do you think everyone should look up?
KK: Sorry. Too many to list, and it changes every once in while but currently, my favorite painter is Aron Wiesenfeld.

 

SH: What is your creative process? Can you walk us through a day in the studio?
KK: I get inspirations or emotions from documentary videos, photos, and short animations. I’ve been listening podcast recently and I think it helps me too in some way. I just wish I were better in English words to understand them 100%.

It might sound weird, but when I try to get ideas or images, I close my eyes and draw overall image/ scene in my head first. Then I start doing small sketches roughly mixing with my visual image or emotions I get from my dreams (I can’t sleep well but I dream a lot, including something unnecessary. I sometimes get asked if I dream about animals. Sometimes yes (rarely) but the answer is No, at least not these days)

In addition to that, I find tons of reference photos for sketching.
I work at home, my living room with my dog ‘Dooly’.

SH: What do you think is the biggest misconception about being an artist?
KK: Well, I feel like I’m not in the position to say something because everyone has different opinions and I respect that. But here is my thought that I carefully say;

When people think of an artist, they tend to think artists have ‘free soul’; They do art because they love to do it, which is right. However, I don’t think art is not coming from just affection. The affection for art is a base coat. But it requires many processes of thinking, frustration, many experiences to create something that you would want to look at and feel deeply for a long time. You have to put your thoughts/message into your work and you need a reason at least to yourself. It is just not what you want to draw and paint yourself, obviously, depends on purpose and circumstance.

SH: Who would you want to collaborate with, dead or alive? The person can be in any area of the arts; film, dance, music etc.
KK: I’d like to dream big. Leonardo Dicaprio due to his environmental activism.

SH: If your artwork inspired a cocktail, what would it be made of and what would it taste like?
KK: I don’t really know about cocktails but I would say red wine + some sort of fruits. I actually drank so much wine while I was preparing this exhibition.

SH: When not in the studio, what would an ideal day look like?
KK: Spending time in nature and take photos of the scenes.

 

DULK Print Drop Tomorrow, May 26th

We’re excited to announce Thinkspace Gallery will be publishing our first fine art print from DULK. This special edition is of ‘The Threat’ that was featured in our recent ‘NEXUS‘ exhibition at the Brand Library & Art Center in Glendale, California. Printed by the good folks at Static Medium, this edition came out just beautifully and will be available this coming Friday morning.

DULK

‘The Threat’
Edition of 30
12×20 inches / 30.4×50.8cm
Signed and numbered by the artist
$100 each

Please note there are no pre-orders or holds available. Our web shop only accepts payment via PayPal currently, so please make sure your address is confirmed there. Prints will ship from our offsite warehouse, so please note in-person pickup is not an option. All prints will ship out within a week of being ordered and tracking will be shared to your PayPal account. Thank you.
Available at 10AM Pacific Time this coming Friday, May 26 at:

Casey Weldon’s “Sentimental Deprivation” Opening Saturday, June 3rd.

 

Casey Weldon
Sentimental Deprivation
June 3 – June 24, 2017

Thinkspace Gallery is pleased to present new works by Casey Weldon in Sentimental Deprivation. Born in Southern California, Weldon attended Art Center College of Design in Pasadena and is now based out of Washington, D.C. by way of Las Vegas, New York, and Portland. His surreal paintings combine elements of humor, nostalgia, and the absurd to stage open-ended narratives, and lush imaginary views, that border on the hyperchromatic edges of psychedelia. From optically disorienting four-eyed kittens and seemingly phosphorescent girls to giant disproportionately scaled Chihuahuas in desert canyon landscapes, nothing is too weirdly outré or unimaginable for Weldon’s visual fictions.
Unrestricted by the prohibitive constraints of probability, Weldon’s imagination playfully borrows imagery and kitsch from popular culture – past and present – and recombines its familiar fragments into beautifully strange reconstitutions.

Weldon gambols with the manipulation of scale and contrast to create otherworldly scenes, as though pulled from the cavities of the unconscious and its latent thread-like associations. The works alternate between moments of intense darkness and incandescent light, figuratively and literally. Saturated with lush color and detail, they are stylized by idiosyncratic palette choices that capture a range of brightness and atmosphere, from the intensity of neon to the lambent of dusk and the recesses of twilight obscurity. The unexpected is always at play in the subject matter, as unlikely pairings, exaggerated spatial relationships, and incongruous contexts offer infinite possible realities and suggestive collusions. The world, delivered through the lens of Weldon’s imagination, is distorted on a hyperbolic visual plane, where the mythic proportions of incidental symbolism are laid open to the willing. Weldon creates works with hooks rather than imperatives, providing an openness to interpretation for the viewer rather than a prescriptive demand to be read.

Inspired by the early twentieth century surrealists André Breton and Giorgio de Chirico, Weldon uses similar creative strategies like juxtaposition and stream of consciousness, filtered through a contemporary sensibility, to defamiliarize the familiar and problematize the seemingly innocuous elements of the day to day. Charged with a range of affect that taps into everything from the playful and irreverent to the uncanny and melancholic, his works are beautifully disruptive and galvanized by the unpredictable. Technically, the paintings, though illustrative in style, combine moments of highly-detailed representational realism offset by stylistically surreal interjections. Recurring themes include the exploration of humankind’s tenuous interaction with and coexistence within nature – especially impactful in our era of environmental depletion – and the generative possibilities of extreme displacement and exaggerated context.

Kisung Koh’s ‘Long Live the Polar Treasure’ Opening Saturday, June 3rd.

Kisung Koh
Long Live the Polar Treasure
June 3 – June 24, 2017

Concurrently on view in the Thinkspace project room is Long Live the Polar Treasure, featuring new works by South Korean, Toronto-based artist Kisung Koh. Koh’s first solo exhibition with the gallery is dedicated entirely to the majestic and endangered polar bear. The artist’s fascination and love for wildlife are evident in much of his practice. Exploring the spiritual potential of the wild and its stoic inhabitants, Koh draws analogous connections between animal and human plights.

With its Arctic habitat seriously depleted and at risk given the onslaught of global warming and climate change, the polar bear’s existence and longevity as a species are no longer secure. Koh has used this body of work as an ode to the ongoing displacement and compromise due to the destruction of the bear’s environment. Drawing personal parallels with his own life, Koh identifies with the difficulties of deracination and the pangs of dislocated belonging.

Working in oil on panel, Koh creates beautifully detailed works, dreamlike in their atmospheric execution and dramatic in their contrasts between light and dark. Hyperreal depictions of these animals seem to emerge from soft hazy atmospheres or blackened darkness. Depicted in varying states of rest, in verdant landscapes to which they don’t belong, the works are beautiful but heavy with an ominous suggestion of sadness.