Thinkspace Projects Presents James Marshall (aka DALEK) “SPACE MONKEY 20th ANNIVERSARY”

December 2 – December 23, 2017

(Los Angeles, CA) – Thinkspace is pleased to present The Space Monkey Returns featuring new works by North Carolina-based artist James Marshall. Also known by his mutant cyborg epithet “Dalek,” an ode to the classic sci-fi British series Doctor Who, Marshall is most widely known for his iconic character “Space Monkey,” who first appeared in his early graffiti work in 1995 and was to become a mainstay of the artist’s imagery.

This maniacally unhinged looking ball-shaped cartoon mouse, often seen wielding a blood dappled cleaver, is equal parts avatar, alter ego, and geometric abstraction. The figure became an emblem of sorts for the artist and a recurring protagonist used to convey themes in which he was interested. Space Monkey was a stand-in for the idea of the individual caught in a frenetic landscape of technology and misinformation, an obsequious reliance on tech “progress” Marshall felt would, presciently, it should be noted, reduce us all to “button pushers.” Inspired by Marshall’s affinity for Japanese pop, street art, and punk culture, Space Monkey became a vehicle for the exploration of a variety of ideas and themes.

Marshall’s practice has since evolved into a highly detailed form of neo-geo, or geometric abstraction, expertly executed with hard-edging and endless gradations of color. Each time-consuming panel can take upwards of 150 hours to paint and attests to the meticulous technical facility needed to create them. At times the Space Monkey has reappeared, or at least the kaleidoscopically dissembled suggestion of his parts, but he has been enjoying a prolonged sabbatical, until now, that is. Marshall’s critically acclaimed paintings, murals, and site-specific public projects have also found new expression in recent installation-based works, pushing his aesthetic into exciting, and transformative, new dimensional contexts.

Currently based in Raleigh, North Carolina, Marshall had an itinerant youth and adolescence, displaced geographically every couple of years as the child of a Navy nuclear submarine captain. Having grown up throughout several different cities in the United States, he moved to Japan at the age of 16 and later to Hawaii and Virginia. A constant for the artist amidst all of this dislocation was the sense of community and personal identity he found in the punk and skateboarding countercultures so interconnected in the 80s and 90s. His early style and imagery evolved out of the aesthetics of these subcultures and eventually came to technical fruition after 2001, benefitting from Takashi Murakami’s tutelage while working as his studio assistant.

In 2006, Marshall felt constrained by the iconic avatar that had put him on the map and began moving away from the illustrative Space Monkey character towards more complex and abstract geometric works. He has perfected the subtle transition and graded succession of every imaginable hue, creating at times upwards of 40 tonal variations on a single color, all mixed by the man himself. These fine-spun moments of visual transition contribute to the phenomenal level of depth and optical illusion the artist is able to achieve within a simple set of converging hard-edge forms and planes. The works shift imperceptibly as their dynamic surfaces push and pull, flatten and swell, recede and advance; these tectonic planes feel as though they contain physical light, emitting psychedelic halos of electric color. Marshall’s duality resides in the fact that the work is simultaneously planate and intermittent, like something flat that’s strangely self-animated from within.

Dedicated to the Space Monkey’s unexpected reprieve from a decade-long hibernation, this special exhibition features old, new, and rare works, revisiting the deranged rodent and the extraterrestrial mutant handler namesake that started it all.

Opening Reception of ICY and SOT’s HUMAN (NATURE)

Icy and Sot’s first solo exhibition with Thinkspace Projects, Human (Nature) was a complete space takeover. The exhibition included a fish tank installation and a wide arrange of work showing the breadth of the duo’s talents. The intricate stencils on canvas are hypnotizing portraits that play optical illusions on the viewer.  The internationally acclaimed Iranian artists, now based in Brooklyn use art as a form of activism and address the heartbreaking damage inflicted on the planet. A cry to us all to take responsibility and fight on behalf of the defenseless creatures and life that encompass what we define as nature.

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.

Phoenix New Times Interviews Robert Williams

Robert William’s ‘SLANG Aesthetics!‘ currently on view in Mesa, Arizona at the Mesa Contemporary Arts Museum, grabbed the attention of the Phoenix New Times who connected with Williams for a ten question interview. Read the full interview on the Phoenix New Times website.

Are you part of a specific art movement?
I belong to an arts movement that’s kind of undefinable. It’s kind of a feral art movement of realists that have been scourged and put themselves back together over the past 30 years. It’s been difficult to be a realist since World War II, because abstract expressionism has cramped realism, and pushed it towards illustration.

When I was an art student in the early ‘60s, you were either an abstract realist or you weren’t anything. But a lot of mangy characters have come back to realism through surfer art, hot rod culture, skateboard art, and tattoos. The art world put its foot on the neck of those things, and I’m an evil product of that.

I’m considered the father of lowbrow art, although it’s not a great term. A lot of young artists prefer the term pop surrealism, but that’s not applicable to me. I’m just left in the bushes, in the wilderness on my own.



a 40+ artist group show curated by Thinkspace
Opening Reception: November 11th, 6 – 9pm
On view: November 11th – 26th, 2017

SPOKE NYC is pleased to present LAX/JFK, a group exhibition curated by Los Angeles-based gallery, Thinkspace. This comprehensive exhibition is Thinkspace’s eleventh iteration of its widely respected traveling series, which will bring Thinkspace’s unique focus on the New Contemporary Art Movement to New York City.

Featuring over forty artists, LAX/JFK will include a mini solo exhibition by Matthew Grabelsky, comprised of 8 new oil paintings from his subway series as well as a new limited edition print. The exhibition will showcase over 50 new works from some of the top artists working in the New Contemporary Movement.

“With roots firmly planted in illustration, pop culture, comics, street art and graffiti, put quite simply the New Contemporary Art Movement is art for the people,” Thinkspace co-founder Andrew Hosner has stated.

Please join us Saturday, November 11th from 6 – 9 pm for the opening reception of LAX/JFK. Complimentary beverages will be served and some of the artists will be in attendance. For more information or additional images, please email us at

Participating Artists Include:
Abigail Goldman | Alvaro Naddeo | Anthony Ausgang | Ben Frost
Bob Dob (collaboration with Greg ‘Craola’ Simkins | Carl Cashman | Carlos Ramirez
Christopher Konecki | Collin van der Slujis | Derek Gores | Drew Merritt | Ekundayo
Erica Rose Levine | Evoca | Frank Gonzales | Jacub Gagnon | Jason Seife | Jaune
Joram Roukes | Jose Mertz | Joseph Martinez | Juan Travieso | Kaili Smith | Ken Flewellyn Kisung Koh | Mari Inukai | Martin Whatson | Matthew Crumpton | Matthew Grabelsky
Mwanel Pierre-Louis | Nosego | OakOak | Oneq | Sean Mahan | Sebastian Wahl
Seth Armstrong | Slinkachu | Snik | Stikman | Super A | Syd Bee


WHAT : LAX/JFK – a 40+ artist group show curated by Thinkspace Gallery

WHEN : Opening Reception: November 11th, 6 – 9 pm / On view: November 11th – 26th, 2017

WHERE : SPOKE NYC – 210 Rivington Street NYC 10002


SPOKE is an art space specializing in new contemporary painting, sculpture and illustration with an emphasis in accessible programming. Started in 2010, the gallery now houses two locations, one in San Francisco’s Lower Nob Hill neighborhood and one in New York City’s Lower East Side. Each space rotates monthly exhibits that feature a wide variety of solo and group shows, many of which feature an international roster of represented artists.


Founded in Los Angeles in 2005, and located in the Culver City art district since 2009, Thinkspace was established with a commitment to the promotion and dissemination of young and emerging art. The gallery is a catalytic conduit for the emerging New Contemporary art scene, and is dedicated to the exposure of its tenets and its artists. As a haven for talent, and a venue founded in passion, conviction, and community, the gallery’s mandate is rooted in projections for its future longevity.




Interview with Icy and Sot for “Human (Nature)”

Icy and Sot’s Human (Nature) is the first solo exhibition and full gallery takeover by the internationally acclaimed Iranian, Brooklyn-based artist-activist duo. A collection of work ranging from sculptures to stencils, the duos breadth of talent shows in Human (Nature).   Below is our interview with the artists discussing the inspiration behind the exhibition, the role of art in society, and what it’s like to work and create alongside one’s brother.

Make sure to check out Human (Nature) on view now through November 25th.

SH: What is the inspiration behind this latest body of work?
I & S: The inspiration comes from the nature where we always find peace and inspiration for our work, its so sad to see the planet crying now, with all these natural disasters happening every other week recently its trying to say something. We need to listen and respect it more than ever now, we have destroyed so much of it already that we can’t repair or even stop it. But we can give the planet a longer life, by caring more about it and by doing something, the impact can be small but if all of us try we will have [a better] chance.

We only recycle 1 of every 5 water bottles. We all should try to use less and less plastic in our life. Every single piece of plastic that has ever been created since the 19th century its still somewhere on our planet. Plastic is killing the planet and our health, there is just too much plastic floating around in rivers, seas and oceans; our usage of plastic ends up in our food chain and back again on our plates, when eating fish and sea food.

SH: There is clearly a higher risk involved in creating street art in Iran versus America or Europe, how has that risk-informed your art?
I & S: Yes in some ways. Graffiti and Street art is illegal in Iran and America or Europe, the main difference is that there is no legal form of street art in Iran like mural festivals or legal walls, its been always underground and illegal, other difference is if you get caught they could label you as political activist even if your work is not politically charged.

All the works we did in Iran were usually painted over less than a week sometimes overnight, that made us to be even more active and start to make work about censorship and other issues in the country, that kinda activism remain in us, although we are based in country with more freedom, but there are so many issues that need to be spoken!

SH: Tell us what you feel is your brother’s artistic strength and how he helps you be a better artist (a reply from each would be great here).
I & S: We started working together, don’t think we could have continued if we didn’t have each other,
we always supported each other from the very beginning, working in Iran and Migrating to a new country.
We learned faster, we worked faster, its great to brainstorm about ideas together, we start with a simple idea, and we can build it up, its so much easier to make dissection together, we have the same thoughts, interests, we are basically one artist together.

SH: What is your collaborative process like with gallery pieces versus murals?
I & S: They are both the same, we start with the idea, and we both work on it until we complete it.

SH: Since you’re a collaborative team, how do you resolve conflicts or come together on a piece when the other person is resistant or doesn’t like the direction.
I & S: We have a drink and try to find a way that we both think is better

SH: Can you walk us through a day in the studio?
I & S: We don’t have big studio, we start work from home with catching up with emails and planing our day in the studio, we usually walk or bike to the studio and start working on whatever project we have coming up, always listing to music while working , the creative time is usually at night when we brainstorm together and work on ideas

SH: In Iran, to leave the country, you must serve in the military. You both were studying at University before deciding to join the military in order to travel and work. Was that an easy decision to make? Can you elaborate on how having to make a decision like that motivates the art and work you do?
 I & S: Yes that was a very easy decision to make, since our passion was what we were doing, and it was hard to continue and work as an artist in Iran, the hard decision was when we wanted to get asylum and stay in NY knowing that we can’t go back home, we making decision like that we proved ourself that we can always continue what we love to do and never stop.

SH: What do you think the role of the artists in society is? Why are you both artists?
I & S: Art can definitely contribute to change in society, especially public art because it has more and diverse viewers, We try to give the audience the opportunity to imagine a better world. The impact a piece has on the course of someone’s day may be small, but it’s still an impact. 
We believe the role of the artist is to advocate for the freedom and the hope of the general public and raise awareness about the issues happening in their time.

We didn’t start as an artist; we didn’t know we will be doing this for our whole life and get where we are now, so it was kinda natural.

SH: What is one of your most memorable pieces to date?
I & S: “Let Her be Free”

SH: When not in the studio, what would an ideal day look like?
I & S: Either going to hiking and camping in nature or hanging out / parting with friends.

Moniker Art Fair 2017 Official Video

A quick two-minute tour of the Moniker International Art Fair with flashes of Audrey Kawasaki, Cinta Vidal, Dulk, Kevin Peterson, Telmo Miel and more.

Visit the Thinkspace Gallery website to view available pieces from the Moniker International Art Fair.