Interview with Alvaro Naddeo for “Discarded”

Alvaro Naddeo

We’re excited to be showing the work of artist Alvaro Naddeo this month in the Thinkspace Gallery office. The subject matter of his work is inspired by waste, overconsumption and social inequality. Our interview with Alvaro Naddeo covers his creative process and we’re excited to learn more about our latest member of the Thinkspace family. Owner and curator Andrew Hosner was blown away by his work, and we hope you are all equally excited by his detailed composition.

The opening of Alvaro Naddeo’s “Discarded” is Saturday, March 4th from 6- 9 pm.

SH: What is the inspiration behind your latest body of work?
AN: The inspiration behind my latest body of work could be separated into two parts, one esthetical and one political.

On the aesthetic level, I’m inspired by everyday marginalized, urban, quotidian objects, and inspired by trying to find an angle or a composition where those uninteresting objects obtain a new and compelling beauty. I’m also fascinated by the natural decay of those elements, observing how everything loses its original color, shape, and texture, how sunlight, heat, rain, humidity wind and time add an organic and particular texture to them.

On a political level, I’m inspired by the opportunity to share my point of view of the world and to connect with people who think alike. It’s very interesting to me to use art as an instrument for criticizing the things I see and disagree, like overconsumption, social inequality, programmed obsolescence and the
consequence they have over the exploited third world countries, nature and planet as a whole. I’m compelled to criticize the insatiable greed at the expense of people who didn’t have the same opportunities as the lucky ones. I try to use the little attention that I can get with my work to try and provoke a conversation about those uncomfortable issues that we usually try to avoid.

SH: What made you leave advertising? Or do you still work in advertising and your art is a form of rebellion?
AN: I still work in advertising, I have been for the last 20 years. I have two young kids and can’t afford to quit at least until they grow up some more. I also don’t want to burden my art with the responsibility of providing for my family. I would rather have my art independent and free, without the need or worry of selling at all costs. I’m afraid that if I have to sell a lot and fast, I may involuntarily or unconsciously shift my themes towards what sells more, instead of keeping as it is, which is just what I really want to say and paint. I believe not all brands
are evil, not all of them are trying to sell us things we don’t need. Some of them are indeed providing good and useful products at a fair price and entertaining advertising. There is a middle ground between over consumption and total absence of it.

SH: How have the various environments you’ve lived influenced your work?
AN: The various environments I’ve lived have a huge influence on my work, I consider it to be very auto-biographical. My daily observations influence my work in a very unconscious manner and as I moved from city to city I noticed that my visual vocabulary grew and incorporated new elements from those places. It’s interesting to combine what is universal with the very local. I have a lot of pleasure mixing the particulars, for example, you could find on my paintings a container that I saw on top of a truck on the Interstate 405 and inside of it, find a Duane Reade’s bag from NY, next to a sign that says “proibido estacionar” from São Paulo.

 

SH: How long have you’ve been developing this particular composition/narrative? What are your favorite brushes and paints?
AN: I’ve been developing this particular composition narrative since 2010, when I started to draw and paint just for fun, very unpretentiously, painting just what I wanted, what pleased me to see on the paper, never worrying about an audience. After a couple of years, I was able to look back and rationalize in words the meaning behind what I was doing and communicating. I experimented a lot with different brushes sizes and shapes, and now I have found what works best for me. My favorite brushes are pretty simple, they are a generic brand from an art supply store, I paint 80% of the time with two script brushes sizes 5/0 and 1. My paints are from Winsor and Newton, I started with a small 14 pan set, then added the 45 pan set and now I’m buying Winsor and Newton tubes when refilling for the colors I use the most.

SH: What is your creative process? Walk us through a day in the studio?
AN: My studio is at home, in my garage to be more specific. My day at the studio begins after my work day is over and after I’ve spent some time with my kids, so usually it is at night on weekdays for about one or two hours. I average about three or four hours on each day of the weekend.

Before each session, there are three imprescriptible things that I make sure to have at the studio: coffee, podcast and a chronometer. My creative process begins drawing very loose ideas, rough sketches on the closest available piece of paper, I don’t have a sketchbook and I usually collect future ideas while painting something else, I don’t work on the new ideas immediately, I only go back to them a couple days or weeks later, (I do believe in letting ideas mature) then I start studying slightly different possibilities or compositions on tracing paper.

After having the composition more or less figured out, I use Photoshop or Illustrator to get a clean block of the overall shape, with more accurate perspective and correct proportions/scale among the objects, then transfer this base drawing to my watercolor paper. When painting the objects in my composition I either draw it from memory or have it in front of me as a model or work with a picture that I took. It depends on the object and how close I want it to be to reality.

SH: What do you enjoy doing when not painting?
AN: When not painting, my favorite thing are spending time with my family, consuming art, watching movies, reading and I am ashamed to confess, playing video games for a lot more hours than I should.

SH: What excites you about another artist’s work?
AN: The thing that excites me the most about other artist’s work whose art I like is learning more about their creative process, trajectory, and background. When beside the finished piece you also have access to all the circumstances that surround that creation, having the tools to understand what lead the artist to do that, it amplifies my enjoyment so much and I connect a lot more.

I’m attracted to works that have a narrative, pieces that tell stories and that reward you more when you spend more time with them. Very good examples of that are Edward Hopper and Norman Rockwell’s work. I’m also attracted to artists who use brands, logos, icons and typography on their art, like Andy Warhol, Jasper Johns, Claes Oldenburg and Ed Ruscha. I enjoy the contrast and color combination from Robert Indiana and Stuart Davis, the organic nature of Egon Schiele’s watercolor and I also need to mention Paul Cadmus, Charles Sheeler, Charles Demuth and Lee Bontecou. And finally from my design and advertising background I love Milton Glaser, Saul Bass and Paul Rand.

SH: If and when you experience creative blocks or self-doubt, what do you do to re -inspire you?
It may sound unusual, but I haven’t really experienced creative blocks. Probably because I paint for so little hours a day, and because I have all the time of my non-painting hours to have ideas so it doesn’t feel like I’m having a creative block. I’m sure that if I was painting at least 40 hours a week I would experience that.

Tory Lovegates Featured in the March Issue of Juxtapoz Magazine

Thinkspace family artist Troy Lovegates is featured in the March issues of Juxtapoz magazine. The issue is available on newsstands now and you can get a taste of the interview over on Juxtapoz.com. We love Troy’s unique way of translating his street art style into a gallery aesthetic with drawings, paintings, and sculptures. All available artwork from Troy Lovegates can be viewed on the Thinkspace Gallery website.

With murals scattered around the globe, what do you enjoy most about painting large scale, and is there any one piece that you took the most pleasure in doing?
A lot of days I start heading to my studio to work and don’t want to go inside. Instead, I end up just wandering all day. I hate being indoors. Studios are lonely boxes. Being an artist is one lonely ass thing to become. Being outside painting is a marriage of painting and fresh air. I love it. The last mural I painted in Toronto was 13 pillars with 13 locals painted on them. I took images of people who passed through the park and painted them. I really enjoyed how the community embraced the wall. People would come by with food and drinks just to talk for hours. That just doesn’t happen at my studio.

 

Wide Walls Interview with Laurence Vallieres

Wide Walls published an interview with artists Laurence Vallieres. We’re excited to have Vallieres as a featured installation artist at the Fort Wayne Museum of Art’s upcoming exhibition Juxtapozed. The exhibition is co-curated by Thinkspace Gallery, Gary Pressman of Copro Gallery, and Adjunct Curator of the Fort Wayne Museum of Art, Josef Zimmerman.

The exhibition is, “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.”

Visit Wide Wall’s website for the full interview with Laurence Vallieres.

Juxtapozed and Robert Williams: SLANG Aesthetics Opening at the Fort Wayne Museum of Art April 2017

Opening April 21, 2017, at the Fort Wayne Museum of Art are Juxtapozed and Robert Williams: SLANG Aesthetics!, 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. The second installment of exhibitions Los Angeles’ Thinkspace Gallery has brought to the Museum to date, following the success of Invisible College from 2015, both showcase 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.

The New Contemporary Art Movement has been largely self-sustained through a network of alternative cultural platforms, primarily outside of the mainstream and institutionally vetted art markets, including social media, blogs, zines, underground collectives, galleries, and urban and alternative spaces. Copro and Thinkspace galleries in Los Angeles are two of the movement’s most visible and active proponents, taking the work to art fairs, collaborating with galleries internationally, and opening institutional channels for its exhibition and appreciation. Boasting 400,000 followers through its various social media outlets, Thinkspace has helped to bring the work to a wider international audience. As the movement continues to expand on a global scale, its diversity, inclusivity, and vitality set it apart from more exclusionary art world models.

Co-founder and Curator of Thinkspace Gallery, Andrew Hosner, says, “Our plan is to continue to knock on the door of the establishment until more listen, more take notice, more start to add these artists to their permanent collections, and start to give the movement the attention it has earned and deserved.”

Juxtapozed, a show title drawn from the magazine of the same name in the imperative tense, celebrates the legacy made possible by Juxtapoz. The access the publication has facilitated since the early 90s to a widely cast variety of media and expressions, has shaped the movement itself and preserved its continued relevance. Founded in San Francisco in 1994 by Robert Williams, Craig Stecyk, Greg Escalante, Eric Swenson and Fausto Vitello, Juxtapoz evolved from the intent to foster and support the art and culture of the underground. The magazine provided an alternative voice and narrative as a counterpart to the dominant New York-centric discourse of contemporary art and featured artists who straddled the boundaries between “high” and “low” culture. Aligning itself with the aesthetics of contemporary street culture, figurative art, California car culture, gig posters, tattoos, graphics, psychedelia, and comics, the publication became a conduit and forum for an entirely new generation of artists who were latching on to a populist visual vernacular.

Juxtapozed features an installation by Laurence Vallieres and murals by Cinta Vidal & Bumblebeelovesyou. The group exhibition features individual works by 48 New Contemporary artists, including 1010, Aaron Nagel, Alex Garant, Allison Sommers, Amy Sol, Bec Winnel, Benjamin Garcia, Brian M. Viveros, Chris Mars, Cinta Vidal, Craig ‘Skibs’ Barker, Daniel Bilodeau, David Rice, Derek Gores, Dulk, Erik Siador, Erika Sanada, Fernando Chamarelli, Frank Gonzales, Fuco Ueda, Ian Francis, Jeff Gilette, Joe Sorren, Joel, Daniel Phillips, Jolene Lai, Jon Swihart, Josh Keyes, Juan Travieso, Kazu, Kelly Vivanco, Kikyz1313, Lauren Brevner, Liz Brizzi, Mark Ryden, Martin Whatson, Martin Wittfooth, Mary Iverson, Mike
Davis, Meggs, Ron English, Sepe, Sergio Garcia, Shag, Shepard Fairey, Stephanie Buer, Telmo Miel, Travis Louie, Wiley Wallace, and Yosuke Ueno.

‘JUXTAPOZED’
Curated by Andrew and Shawn Hosner with Gary Pressman & Josef Zimmerman

Opening Reception:
Friday, April 21st 7-10PM

On View: April 22nd – July 9th, 2017

Taking Place At:
Fort Wayne Museum of Art
311 E. Main Street
Fort Wayne, IN 46802

Featuring murals and installations from:
Bumblebeelovesyou – Cinta Vidal – Icy and Sot – Laurence Vallieres

Alongside a group show featuring works from:
1010
Aaron Nagel
Alex Garant
Allison Sommers
Amy Sol
Bec Winnel
Benjamin Garcia
Brian Viveros
Chris Mars
Cinta Vidal
Craig ‘Skibs’ Barker
Daniel Bilodeau
David Rice
Derek Gores
Dulk
Erik Siador
Erika Sanada
Fernando Chamarelli
Frank Gonzales
Fuco Ueda
Ian Francis
Jason Seife
Jeff Gillette
Joe Sorren
Joel Daniel Phillips
Jolene Lai
Jon Swihart
Josh Keyes
Juan Travieso
Kazu
Kelly VIvanco
Kikyz1313
Lauren Brevner
Liz Brizzi
Mark Ryden
Martin Whatson
Martin Wittfooth
Mary Iverson
Meggs
Mike Davis
Ron English
Scott Listfield
Sepe
Sergio Garcia
Shag
Shepard Fairey
Stephanie Buer
Telmo Miel
Travis Louie
Wiley Wallace
Yosuke Ueno

Thinkspace Gallery
www.thinkspacegallery.com
IG icon @thinkspace_art

Copro Gallery
www.coprogallery.com
IG icon @coprogallery

FWMoA
www.fwmoa.org
IG icon @fwmoa

Interview with Marco Mazzoni for “Dear Collapse”

Thinkspace is proud to present Marco Mazzoni’s latest body of work ‘Dear Collapse’ which will include a complete Moleskin sketchbook in our main room coming this Saturday, March 4th. This will be Italian artist Mazzoni’s second solo exhibition with us showing his phenomenal pencil drawings that have the dense opacity and immersive depth of paintings. In anticipation of Mazzoni’s upcoming exhibition with us, we have an exclusive interview with Marco Mazzoni to discuss his technique, source of inspiration, and an inspired cocktail recipe.

Join us for the opening of “Dear Collapse” Saturday, March 4th from 6 -9pm. 

SH: What ideas and themes were you exploring in this latest body of work?
MM: First of all, the title of this show is inspired by a chat I had with the famous Italian songwriter Vasco Brondi, best known as “Le Luci della Centrale Elettrica” (who spent with me some of his precious time although he is currently very busy with the release of his new album) !!

“Dear Collapse” comes from a few health problems I have been dealing with throughout this year. Such situation allowed me to reconsider many aspects of my relationship with society. This theme is clearly shown by many of the drawings titles (“Regret”, “Insecurity”, “Compassion”, “A Secret”) and by the Moleskine sketchbook on show, which has been my faithful companion throughout all the waiting times.

SH: Your technique with colored pencils has been able to translate the density of paint and yet a texture like velvet. There are many trials and errors throughout an artist’s journey, but how did you develop this unique artistic style? Did you have a mentor? Formal training with pencils?
MM: The use of colored pencils actually depends on my incapacity to use with effectiveness liquid materials such as acrylics or oils.
For sure my love for such medium has its roots from my encounter with the artist Gianluigi Rocca, a draughtsman (and shepherd!) who dedicated all of his life to drawings of Still Life mainly with graphite.
In order to achieve a velvet-like quality in my drawings, I studied the 16th-century technique of chiaroscuro (to be clear, the same technique used by Ribera and Rembrandt). The final result consists in multiple glazes of pencils, in layers.

SH: What do you feel can be achieved with pencils, that is limited in paint?
MM: Surely a blunter quality of mark and a sensation of overall uniformity due to the specific size of the tip of the pencils.

SH: What was the most challenging piece in the current body of work? Which piece is most personal to you?
MM: If we don’t consider the Moleskine sketchbook (which is definitely the most personal and time-demanding work I have ever done), I would say that the most challenging and representative piece in the current body of work is “Madre” (in English “Mother”), one of my very few drawings featuring an entire face. In this piece, you can see that the tear from the eye of the subject actually becomes the subject’s viscera. This is to say that the Mother is the one who gives birth to an organism, thus forming a bond with her creature that will last until the end of her life.

SH: If your body of work inspired a cocktail? What would it be made out of and taste like?
MM: It would be definitely inspired by an Italian cocktail named “Sbagliato”, 1/3 sparkling wine, 1/3 Campari, 1/3 Vermouth. Sweet and nice to look at, but heavy on your stomach!

SH: In this exhibition complete sketchbooks will be available for collectors, what made you decide to release your sketchbooks?
MM: The making of this sketchbook went hand in hand with the preparation of the show. Inside it, you can see how I studied palettes and ideas. Most of the portraits included, feature people I have seen throughout this year while traveling in the underground or outside the studio, people I know (my mother, my father, my fiancèe, friends), and two writers (Don DeLillo and Paul Auster) whose books I have been re-reading during the preparation of the show.
I chose to release this sketchbook in order to make the show more complete. In fact, whereas the other pieces have been thought and finished inside the studio, the sketchbook has been made mainly outside the studio. Finally, my idea was that of putting together an exhibition capable of showing both sides of the overall work.

SH: What is your creative process? Can you walk us through a day in the studio?
MM: The idea for a piece usually comes from books or from something that hits me about important artists of the past. Some of the works in this show are inspired by my latest passion for sculptors (Medardo Rosso and Adolfo Wildt for example).
My typical day in the studio can be resumed in a few simple steps: wake up, coffee, draw, eat, draw, cook, eat, sleep.

SH: How do you push through moments of creative dry spells? What is the best advice you’ve received as an artist?
MM: Each time I have a dry-spell I usually take a walk outside with my fiancée as she is the one to sense when I am having a block and drags me out of the studio first.
It’s quite hard for me to accept advice from others because I tend to take the whole responsibility on my shoulders for whatever I am doing so that I can be the only one to blame if something goes wrong (or to praise if something goes right).

SH: What elements in other artists’ work inspire you? Who are a few of your favorite artists right now?
MM: Some of the artists of the past I love the most are the aforementioned sculptors Medardo Rosso and Adolfo Wildt, and the Italian draughtsman Renzo Vespignani.
The contemporary artists I admire the most are Audrey Kawasaki, Aaron Horkey, Yoshitomo Nara, Esao Andrews, Federico Solmi, my friend Agostino Arrivabene, Anton Vill and many more I surely love but at the moment I can’t remember.
Although what really really got me deeply touched is a dance by Nosego I had the lucky chance to see on his Instagram a little while ago!

SH: What are three of your favorite places in Milan?
MM: The house of my friends Stefano and Chiara, where my fiancèe and I have the chance to eat something new and exotic every time!
“Fondazione Prada,” a contemporary art museum, a few step away from my studio.
“Circolo Magnolia”, a place where I often go to see concerts of my favorite bands.

Coming to the Thinkspace Gallery Office this March – Alvaro Naddeo

We’re excited to announce artist Alvaro Naddeo will be showing his work in the Thinkspace Gallery ‘office’ coming this March.

Alvaro Naddeo is from São Paulo, Brazil and 15 years ago he started to move around as he searched for his path in life. First he found himself living in Lima, Peru then making the big move to New York City, followed by a short stint in Tampa, ultimately landing in Los Angeles where he currently lives and creates. All of these varying urban environments helped to shape his memory and inform his work. From an early age he fell in love with painting, watching his father who is a renowned illustrator work. Due to a lack of self-confidence, Naddeo pushed his brush aside and pursued a career in advertising as an Art Director. Twenty years later, while living in New York City and being exposed to its many contrasts, his desire to pick up his brushes was rejuvenated and he came back to painting with a focused intensity and a newfound confidence. The subject matter of his work is waste, overconsumption and social inequality. The brands, logos and packaging depicted in his work are objects with an inherent duality, both desirable and despicable, a clear byproduct of having worked in consumer advertising for all those years. We here at Thinkspace are excited to see where his work takes him and to be able to help give it an audience.

Scott Listfield Interviewed in Art Maze Mag

Thinkspace Family artist Scott Listfield was recently interviewed in Art Maze Mag discussing astronauts, isolation, and his artistic wisdom.  We still have a few pieces from Scott Listfield’s well-received solo presentation in the Vault Gallery at the Lancaster Museum of Art and History that are available on the  Thinkspace Gallery website.

Jump over to Art Maze Mag’s website for the full interview.

AMM: What influences outside the visual arts inspire and impact your approach to making work?

SL: Oh lots of things. I think there’s a ton of amazing art happening right now, but I’d say that most of my influences come from elsewhere. Books and movies, particularly science fiction. Cartoons, both contemporary and the ones I watched growing up. I listen to a lot of music in the studio which sometimes sets the tone for what I’m working on. I also like to get out and walk around when I can, especially places far from home. Seeing new things gets me back in the mind set of my astronaut.