Voyage LA Interview with Jolene Lai

Thinkspace Family artist Jolene Lai was recently interviewed by Voyage LA. The online magazine’s piece on Lai is insightful, and for those unfamiliar with Lai’s work it will make you want to discover more. Join us for her solo exhibition in the main room opening at Thinkspace Gallery, February 4th, 2017.

“Call it weird, but I had a moment of ‘epiphany’. I realized I missed the feel of a paintbrush, the smell of oils and turps, and the excitement of creating short stories through them. But trying to take a detour at 30 seemed more challenging, even in my own perspective. I had to work on building enough courage and confidence to convince not just myself, but the people around me that a career as an artist is really what I am meant for.” – Jolene Lai for Voyage LA

New Cinta Vidal Interview in Juxtapoz Magazine

cinta-vidal-juxtapoz

Cinta Vidal was interviewed for the December 2016 issue of Juxtapoz magazine discussing her love of gravity and the details of her creative process. The issue is on newsstands now and the interview can be viewed on Juxtapoz.com.

Cinta Vidal‘s gravity defying work has been capturing the attention of the art world. She’s executed murals around the world from Long Beach to Tokyo, and her topsy-turvy pieces continue to be in demand. We’re excited to be showing new pieces from Cinta Vidal at Scope Miami this week, and for those interested in seeing new work from Vidal make sure to sign up for our mailing list to receive the preview.

How do you manage the accelerated pace of the demand for your work?
I am very happy to see that many people like what I do. I receive many proposals and I would like to accept all of them but I can’t. I am learning to manage this. It is not easy to say no, but I have to say it often. Sometimes it is frustrating, because I am forced to reject really interesting proposals. But I can’t complain. I paint what I really want to paint and I am able to earn a living with that. I know I am very fortunate. –  Cinta Vidal in Juxtapoz

 

Interview with Cinta Vidal for ‘Gravities’

Cinta Vidal Interview

Cinta Vidal’s fist US-based solo exhibition ‘Gravities’ opened at Thinkspace Gallery in the project room, Saturday, July 20th and is on view through August 13th. The exhibition is a collection of new works commenting on relationships and the various perspectives within one scene.  In our interview with Cinta Vidal for ‘Gravities’, we discuss her creative process and life as a painter.

SH: What motivated you to get an apprenticeship and work at the Castells Planes Scenography Atelier at 16? Do you think taking on that kind of responsibility at that age has shaped you as an artist now?
CV: It happened a little bit by coincidence, as the workshop is located in the same village where I live, and I have friends there. Since I have been working there I have learned many things and one of them is respect and responsibility at work.

Cinta Vidal Reading Club

SH: Your work has often been compared to MC Escher, but how much influence has his art actually played on your work (if any)?
CV: MC Escher’s work has always fascinated me. It’s an honor to be compared with him. However, he was not an inspiration for my artworks. He plays with optical illusions and I don’t. In some occasions our languages look similar but I think there is a big difference between us, since his approach is very mathematical and mine is rather human.

SH: What was the inspiration behind this latest exhibition?
CV: I always find inspiration in human relations (relations among humans and also between humans and their environment). I seek to talk about shared loneliness, setting people very close to each other but at the same time very far from a gravitational point of view. I also like to set my tiny characters in various environments, both architectural and natural, so that I can provoke several feelings from the viewer.

Cinta Vidal Holidays

SH: Your work features many different planes of activity, there is a central point, but it is not bound by the idea of up or down, how do the stories with in the work unfold and find direction? What is your creative process?
CV: My creative process always starts with a sketch made of vanishing lines. I try to attach importance to every point of view, and to create more than only one outstanding scene in each painting. All paintings can be turned around and have 2, 3 or 4 possible points of view. My goal is to let viewers interact with each painting. To let them explore a painting and decide which scene they like most.

SH: What does your idea day in the studio look like?
CV: Relaxing but active. I always begin with a coffee and the preparation of the paints. After having started I often lose track of time and I must be told once it is time to have lunch or dinner.

vinta vidal colorful

SH: How do you work through a creative blocks?
CV: It is a matter of not getting stressed. In my job there are uncreative tasks, like preparing wood, sanding or transferring images onto wood. When I don’t feel creative I focus on these rather mechanical tasks so that I can keep moving forward.

SH: Your entire life seems to be a commentary on scale and perspective, from working on the scenography to then the small details found within your paintings. Do these different artistic expressions feed off each other or are they two separate ideas in your life?
CV: They feed off each other. In fact, the only important difference is scale and that different technical procedures are required. I feel comfortable with both artistic expressions. Also, after having spent much time working in one of them I always need to switch to the other.

Cinta Vidal Escape to The Hills

SH: Favorite thing to do when not working?
CV: Relax. I like the pleasure of doing nothing.

SH: What elements of other artists work excites you? Are you looking forward to any upcoming exhibitions?
CV: I like many artists. I am passionate most of all about artists with a stroke that is free, and spontaneous. I pay much attention to details and it is hard for me to be like them, thus I admire pretty much these artworks where spontaneity can be perceived.

To view all available works from the exhibition please visit the Thinkspace Gallery website here:
http://thinkspacegallery.com/shows/cintavidal-2016/show-pieces/

Long Beach Post Interview with Cinta Vidal

Long Beach Post Cinta Vidal

The Long Beach Post interviewed artist Cinta Vidal to discuss her murals for Pow! Wow! Long Beach and ‘Vitality and Verve: In The Third Dimension‘ at the Long Beach Museum of Art. We are excited to be showing Cinta Vidal’s latest body of work at Thinkspace Gallery for Gravities in the Project Room opening this Saturday, July 23rd. Visit the Long Beach Post website for the full interview and insight into this perspective bending artist.

Cinta Vidal’s work may remind you of M.C. Escher’s mind-boggling staircase illusion, or even the movie Inception, where Parisian streets fold over unto themselves. However, these paintings are more about the distances between our varying perspectives and how, although we may live and breathe in close proximity to each other, we may also be living in completely different dimensions. – Long Beach Post

Matthew Grabelsky Interviewed on the PO SHO

Matthew Grabelsky

Last month’s project room artist, Matthew Grabelsky was recently interviewed on hybrid podcast/web series the PO SHO to discuss his work and other fun topics. View the full interview in the YouTube video below and check out available works from Grabelsky over on the Thinkspace website here.

Matthew Grabelsky Interview on PROHBTD

PROHBTD Grabelsky

Culture website PROHBTD interviewed artist Matthew Grabelsky to discuss his current exhibition “Underground” now on view in the Thinkspace Gallery project room. Please visit PROHBTD’s  website to read Grabelsky’s full interview.

Your characters are placed in everyday situations like riding the subway. Do the characters simply add surrealism, or do any of them reflect animal-like passengers you encountered on the subway?

My central concept is that everyone has a hidden aspect of their mind that can be revealed with an animal hybridization. However, there are certainly many times when I’ve been on the subway and have seen people who are practically fantastical creatures in their own right.  For anyone who has spent time on the subway in New York, the animal characters in my paintings are not that much of a jump from what you see there every day.

Don’t forget to check out our own interview with Matthew Grabelsky!

Interview with artist Ariel DeAndrea for ‘Chasing the Current’

Ariel DeAndrea in studio

An interview with artist Ariel DeAndrea for her upcoming show ‘Chasing the Current’ at Thinkspace Gallery. The opening reception for the show is Saturday, May 23, and run through June 13.

SH: What is your creative process?
AD: I love to travel and I never go anywhere without my camera, rolls of hand picked paper, scissors and fishing line. Anytime I see a body of water that inspires me, be it a puddle, a fountain, the ocean or a river, I stop, pull out the paper that fits the mood, start cutting and folding cranes and then I throw them in the water with some fishing line, so I can manipulate their angle and let the current of the water and the reflection of the environment off the water do the rest. After I take hundreds of photos, the editing process begins. I pick my favorite photos, build my canvases and begin the oil paintings, using the reference material.

SH: How long can it take you to finish a single piece?
AD: It really depends on the size, but I would say that my smallest paintings get at least 100 hours of effort at 10 inches by 10 inches, not including the time it takes to build the canvases.For those not already familiar, please explain the significance of the paper crane to you and how you first came to work with them.

SH: For those not already familiar, please explain the significance of the paper crane to you and how you first came to work with them.
AD: I recently found a drawing that I did in 4th grade (age 9) of little origami cranes flying around an old Japanese saying, “O flock of heavenly cranes, cover my child with your wings”. It gave me shivers down my spine when I found it. It crystallized for me how long my obsession with cranes has really been going on and I felt like everything in my life has been working towards this moment, as I have honed my own personal understanding of the crane to pay homage to it through my art.

Ariel DeAndrea Childhood Drawing

It resonated with me as a child, that if you folded 1,000 cranes, you could make a wish. Raised atheist, prayer did not come naturally to me, in fact, it was balked at in my household. I believe folding cranes became a sort of covert form of prayer for me. I turned to folding during trying times to soothe myself , for the wishes of good health and safety for my loved ones, when I knew not what else to do. It was, is and always will be the most purest, calming and comforting single object in the world to me, that can be made 1,000 times over and yet always have an individuality and unique beauty. This has been true, as I have folded over 4,000 cranes so far in my lifetime and still counting…

This form prayer became a real solace to me, when I was 13 and my mother, our best friend and I went to Indonesia. Our friend was hit by a car and in critical condition for 18 hours before we finally could evacuate her to Singapore. It was a harrowing experience fighting for her life all those hours and it left me scared, changed and feeling helpless once the immediate danger was over. I turned to folding cranes at her bedside in the hospital and found great comfort in it, as though I was actively helping when I could no longer help and it was now in the capable hands of the doctors. Next came my father’s life threatening brain injury, and then my mother’s battle with cancer. Each time, folding cranes was a way to cope and to find hope in dark days. This is how the fascination at age 9 turned to spiritual obsession in my adulthood.

SH: How do you select the color and patterns the cranes will have?
AD: I have collected papers from my trips to Japan and hunted for paper stores in the US and Europe that carry unique paper. Mostly I look for large sheets of hand printed Japanese washi papers. I want colorful paper with strong unique and careful design. I then carry many different sheets of paper with me at all times and pick the paper that fits the mood or color scheme of the place that has captured my attention.

SH: While painting do you feel like each crane takes on a different story?
AD: I absolutely feel the personality of each crane. My art practice with cranes originally was folding. I felt that each crane deserved to be carefully selected in size and color, folded, and loved. The point of folding 1,000 cranes is not to get to the end, but the meditative practice, the process, the conscious thought of your purpose for folding, repeated again and again, 1,000 times. This is what inspired me to paint them individually, to revere the singular. When they hit the water they take on so much life. Some dance about, others seem to glide with more serious purpose, some carefree, some reflective and contemplative and some almost sinister, like they are out on a hunt.

SH: What inspired your upcoming show, Chasing The Current?
AD: I am always chasing that next current to bring a crane to life in a new inspiring way and to bring attention to the movement and reflection in life all around us. Water possesses a unique spirit, ever moving and reflecting the world around it, it is powerful and never the same after even just a milliseconds passing. Once I started looking for it, I saw it everywhere. I try to capture it as best I can, but the photos are one stagnant moment that cannot hold the experience and journey of actually being with the crane, the sun, the water. It is in the process of painting that I feel I am able to better infuse and reinterpret that feeling of movement, complexity and beauty that the real world presents to me. I simply want to share the quiet turbulence of this one birds fight not to get pulled down and drown. They are resilient in the water as though they want to splash in the sun, like a child would. Each body of water has its own current, pull in different directions, some violent, some still, all like magic to me.

SH: Your bio states that Japanese Shinto inspires your work, explain what Shinto is and how does it play a part in your day to day life?
AD: Shinto is the indigenous religion of Japan. It focuses on the spiritual essence of all natural things, that a river or ocean might contain its own godlike divine spirit, making it animistic in more anthropological terms. I believe the cranes help bring out the spirit of the water they are in. They transform from a paper toy to vessel for the soul of the current, the spirit, the moment of the river or lake and so on. I have always felt that almost painful feeling of beauty and mystery that nature and especially water can hold, an energy that is unique to each place, that feeling that “god” is every rock, every stone, every river. I can almost hear the whisper of their soul if I can still myself enough. The cranes help me to find that stillness and hear that soul.

crane #22

SH: What are your favorite paints and colors to use? What’s your favorite brushes?
AD: I absolutely love Old Holland paint, hands down. They never have too much medium in them, so you can thin them yourself. Cobalt Blue, Cadmium Red Light, and Scheveningen Purple Brown are my greatest “out of the tube” obsessions. Cadmium mixed with Naples Yellow and Cremnitz white, can create one of the most beautiful, electric glowing colors of all time. I love mixing paint to see how they play together. It is forever fascinating and exciting to me.

Brushes, I use synthetic brushes of assorted sizes in filberts and rounds (mostly Robert Simmons Expressions or something similar) and squirrel hair wash brushes. All my brushes are quite small, so I am often buying relatively cheap rounds that have as fine a point as possible, so I can toss them once the point goes. Expensive brushes in size 000 don’t seem to keep their point any longer than the cheaper ones. I do spend my money on expensive wash brushes, so they don’t shed and good quality paint because the integrity of the color and body is worth it.

SH: When did you feel you had found your creative voice and style?
AD: Art for me has a strong relationship to discovery and experiment. I think the artist is always learning and yet I have found some truth to hold onto in my own art practice.

Most poignantly, when I found that fourth grade drawing…I was questioning the meaning of it all…you know, the artist dilemma in its largest most vast scape and was feeling overwhelmed. Then I found that drawing and snapped out of the macro of art and artists and all its history and into the micro, me as an artist as one piece in a larger puzzle. The best I can do is be true to myself. I thought, “the child in me would be delighted by the paintings and installation work I do with cranes today”, and that made me feel like I had arrived at something I have been searching for since childhood, something of sincere integrity. That’s when I knew, but the process of discovery has been ongoing. I revere and contemplate the master artist’s of old and still everyday strive to better honor their legacy and to affect in at least some small way the heart strings of the viewer.

Ariel DeAndrea photographing cranes

SH: As nature plays a part in your work, where is your favorite place to observe or be in nature?
AD: I have a special place in San Francisco, off the trail in Point Lobos. It is atop a cliff overlooking the ocean and the golden gate bridge. It is quiet and private and a little scary to climb over there, but I have been going there since my early teens and I think about that place often. I still go there when I am in town.

SH: Can you share with us something that scares you and something that makes you really happy?
AD: Crocodiles scare me. They are often in my nightmares. I feel like they are one of my spirit animals, alerting me of danger and playing off my fears. They are archaic, resilient and strong predators, built to adapt, survive and kill. Cranes make me happy, real ones and the paper ones. I have big white paper cranes hanging in my bedroom. Every morning I look at them dancing in the breeze from the window and feel a moment of weightlessness and delight. They are gentle, playful and vulnerable, the opposite of the crocodiles.

SH: What is something you know now, that you wish you would have known when first embarking on your artistic career?
AD: I remember hearing the famous illustrator Marshall Arisman give a talk after I had finished art school and he said something to the effect of, “paint what you know and love and you will never bore of the subject matter.” I think that as a young artist sometimes I tried to force ideas that were good ideas for someone else, but not so sincere to myself. I feel grateful to have arrived at content that resonates with me. This protects me from being too swayed by trends within the art world, allowing me to be comfortable with my work.

SH: If money were not an issue, what might your dream project entail?
AD: I know exactly what it would entail and once I get a lot of money, you shall see…

SH: Star Wars or Star Trek?
AD: Buffy the Vampire Slayer