Interview with James Bullough

Scope is a great way for us to close out the year, and 2017 didn’t disappoint. We want to thank everyone that came to the booth and a big round of applause to the entire staff of Scope. Also, major kudos to both James Bullough and Michael Reeder who sold out their solo shows during the fair. Below is our interview with Jame Bullough on behalf of his mini solo at Scope.

Was this your first time at Scope?  If not, what is your favorite thing about Scope? Any good stories from this year to share?

2017 was my third year in a row showing at Scope, each time with Thinkspace Gallery.  My first two years, however, I only showed one or two pieces versus the 7 that I showed this year.  Maybe because it takes place in December but I see Scope and the whole Miami Basel week as a culmination of the years work for everyone in the industry.  It’s a place where you can come and see a good percentage of the active people in the scene all in one place and see how their work has progressed since the last year (or not) and who is showing with who.  It’s kind of like a “state of the union” for the art world.  Add on top of that that many of the artists make the trip to Miami so it’s also kind of a family reunion of sorts for everyone to catch up and party and let loose to celebrate the end of another successful year.

Every day and especially every night is an adventure with that many friends in town.  There were a couple epic nights this year, the stories of which I should probably keep to myself, but one that stands out was definitely the night of the Secret Walls battle which I participated in followed by a secret birthday party for my man Alexis Diaz… that was a HEAVY night.

What did you want to push and explore whether in technique or theme in your body of work for Scope?

Showing 7 paintings at Scope allowed me to showcase a few different techniques and styles that I’ve been playing with over the past couple years.  Seeing my work online and in person are two very different experiences and I knew that more actual people would see my work in person at Scope than any other exhibition so I took the opportunity to really push each painting and show the world what I can do.  I showed 5 of my more traditional “fractured” paintings but with each of them, I pushed them further than I normally had in the past.  I added more complex backgrounds and use more complex clothing on my models and I also fractured the figures more than I normally would to really blow peoples minds.  I also worked with one model for two of my paintings who has a very intricate full sleeve tattoo which I highlighted to emphasize the technical quality of my work.  On the final two paintings, I showed a new technique I’ve been slowly incorporating into my work where it appears that the painting is peeling off of the canvas (or wood panel in my case).  When done correctly the effect is really grabbing and I enjoy watching people walk up to the painting to see if it is really peeling off or just painted to look like it is.  My work has always been about distorting or disrupting the traditional idea of portraiture so, in a way, the peeling paintings are actually no different from the fractured paintings, it’s just a different way to break up and disrupt the portrait.

Who has been a major artistic influence in your life? Not influencing your style of art, but influencing your approach to art.

There are two very different worlds that have influenced my work heavily, both in style but also approach… Graffiti and street artists, and traditional ‘Old Mastery’ type oil painters.  The two couldn’t be more opposite in many ways.  The technique, style, approach, desired outcome, target market… almost every aspect poses the two worlds against each other.  But perhaps that’s exactly why I look to both of them for my inspiration.  From the traditional oil painting worlds I take the discipline and passion for technique and detail as well as the ability to spend weeks or months on one piece until it’s absolutely just right, but if I lived only in that world all the time I would go absolutely mad.  Luckily for me, I also paint murals and am influenced by the street art world as well which is more about collaboration and working within restrictions such as time and physical limits.  When I’m working on the streets I’ve got to be much freer and more open to making adjustments on the fly.  It’s also a more physical work where I’m moving around a lot and climbing up on scaffolding or using huge machinery, versus the hours on end I sit in my studio at my easel not moving more than a few inches for an entire day.  I need both situations in my life to feel whole.

What does a cram day in the studio look like? What are you eating? How much coffee are you drinking? What are you listening to? – Did you cram to finish pieces for Scope?

Cram DAY???  more like cram month(s).  I paint slowly so I am methodical about planning things out and setting goals for finishing paintings and starting the next one.  It took me roughly 6 months to paint the 7 pieces for Scope and I was working on the last one, one-week before the show opened in Miami.  I take on average about three weeks per painting and I know if I go beyond those three weeks I’m eating into the time for the next painting so I get stressed out about every three weeks as one piece comes to an end.  In all honesty though, I’m a pretty hard worker and my studio days weather stressed or not are mostly the same.

I get in around noon after spending the morning do administrative work or going to the gym.  Then from around noon until 7 or 8 pm I’m painting solid without many brakes at all.  I try not to drink too much coffee or beer (which is extremely difficult) so i’ve switched to Yogi Tea which I’m not sure is any better and I snack on terrible cheap german snacks from the corner shop throughout the whole day, just to ensure that any work I did at the gym that morning was completely nullified.  As for what I listen to, it’s mostly NPR, and science and comedy podcasts, including the best podcast ever… VantagePoint!

What’s coming up next for you?

This year I’ll be quietly working away on a new body of work for my big solo show at Thinkspace in 2019.  I’ll also be traveling around painting murals from time to time starting off with a mural in Hawaii for Pow Wow in February followed by a few big projects I have in the works for the spring and summer.  Other than that I’ll be doing my best impersonation of a good dad and hopefully go on a family vacation for the first time in a couple years with my very supportive and patient wife.

We can’t wait to be showing more of Bullough’s work throughout the year and his solo coming in 2019!

THINKSPACE PROJECTS IN MIAMI THIS DECEMBER

Look for Thinkspace to return to the sands of Miami Beach this coming December in Florida during Art Basel week. This will be our 8th trip down to Miami and we’re excited at the stellar lineup we’ve put together for you all to enjoy.

Look for us at SCOPE Miami Beach at booth F05 near the fair’s main entrance.

Mini-solo shows from:
Michael Reeder & James Bullough

New works from:
Wiley Wallace, Sergio Garcia, DotDotDot & Lauren Brevner

Plus our wall of over 40 12×12 inch works from our international family of artists.

Tickets and full details at:
www.scope-art.com

Honored to share that Thinkspace will be taking part once again in the JuxtapozClubhouse during Art Basel week in Miami. This second iteration is being presented in tandem with Adidas Skateboarding.

A 3-Story building in downtown Miami will be packed with art & installations from Conor Harrington, Jean Jullien, Faith 47, Lucy Sparrow, Laurence Vallieres and many more.

Thinkspace will have James Bullough and Jaune on site leaving their unmistakable marks. We will share more details on our participation shortly.
Very excited to be included again this year.

Find us in downtown Miami at:

JUXTAPOZ Clubhouse
200 East Flagler Street
Downtown Miami, FL.

Opening Reception:
Wed., December 6th from 6-10PM

Open daily from December 7-10 (details to follow soon)

Support from Mana Urban Arts Projects

LAX / DTW: Detroit Hustle II – Coming Soon

Thinkspace Gallery owner Andrew Hosner is excited to get back to his home state of Michigan for the galleries second exhibition with our good friends at Inner State Gallery and 1xRun in Detroit, Michigan. This time around, we’ve upped the ante in a major way bringing in artists for interior and exterior murals along with interior and exterior installations.

This time we’ll have James Bullough as our featured artist and he’ll also be gifting the streets of Detroit with a brand new outdoor mural. We’ll also have an interior mural from our good buds Ghostbeard and Patch Whisky along with an installation in the gallery from Drew Leshko. If that wasn’t enough, we’re also bringing out Dan Witz and Skewville from NYC to leave their mark on the streets of Detroit. All this alongside one hell of a group exhibition featuring over 80 artists from around the globe, many of whom will be submitting 2-3 works each. This is going to be a massive show with close to 200 works of art on view and available for purchase PLUS we’re also working with the 1xRun crew to create a beautiful suite of prints to be available in tandem with this special exhibition throughout the run of the exhibition.
Opening Reception:
Friday, June 30 from 6-10PM

New Mural from James Bullough ‘Pania of the Reef’

Thinkspace Family artist, James Bullough just completed a beautiful mural ‘Pania of the Reef’ in Napier, New Zealand as a part of the Pangeaseed Foundation’s Sea Walls project. The mural was inspired by local Maori folklore depicting Pania a fierce protector of the waters off the coast of Napier.  Read about James’s experience painting the mural in his own words below,

“I had the great honor of meeting with some of Pania’s direct descendants in the city of Napier and other local Maori historians and speak with them about the best way to depict Pania and tell her story through my mural.  In working with Pangeaseed Foundation and the Sea Walls project on this mural, it was also my honor to highlight a pressing ocean conservation issue for which I chose to speak about, the acidification of our oceans.  Due to man-made climate concerns, specifically, the rising CO2 levels in our atmosphere, the acidity levels of our oceans have risen and continue to rise at alarming rates killing our reefs and the delicate ecosystems around them worldwide.  To illustrate this I have depicted Pania floating defiant and hopeful over her reef despite the fact that it is void of all life and she herself is dissolving from the dangerously high acid levels.”

We’re always amazed by the gorgeous work Bullough creates and can’t wait to have him as a featured artist in our upcoming return to Detroit for Inner State ‘LAX/DTW: Part II’ opening June 30th.

View more works from James Bullough here.

Photo credit: Tre @pangeaseed

James Bullough Featured on Artist A Day

Thinkspace Family artist James Bullough was recently featured on Artist A Day. Bullough’s distinctive style has graced found materials, canvases, and massive walls. We have big things coming up this year with James Bullough including an artist spot in ‘LAX / DTW: Detroit Hustle II’ opening June 30th at Inner State Gallery/ 1xRun.

All available work from James Bullough can be viewed on Thinkspace Gallery website, and make sure to sign up for the Thinkspace Gallery newsletter for updates on Bullough.

Jump over to Artist A Day to view James Bullough’s feature. 

Juxtapoz Says You Should See “Breaking Point” by James Bullough

James Bullough in Juxtapoz

We are in the final days of “Breaking Point” featuring new work by James Bullough in Thinkspace Gallery’s project room. Juxtapoz says you should see “Breaking Point” before the show comes down. Your last day to view “Breaking Point” and Curiot’s mesmerizing “Act 1: Warped Passage” is Saturday, June 18th from noon to 6pm. You have been informed.

“James has been on our radar, and seeing a new series of his paintings, like the ones in Breaking Point, reinforce the talent he has and his ability to capture motion and movement in a refreshing way. We highly recommend checking the show out before it comes down on June 18, 2016.” – Juxtapoz

 

Opening Reception for “Act 1: Warped Passage”, “Breaking Point”, & “Destroy’ed and Rebuilt”

Act 1 : Warped Passages, Breaking Point,

The problem with hyperbole is when you abuse it and then actually need to describe something, but the word you’ve abused, like transform now means nothing. I’ve stated Thinkspace Gallery’s main room has been transformed by our artists, and in one respect they have setting the tone for the gallery’s atmosphere with their latest body of work. But Curiot truly has transformed the space and has made our gallery unrecognizable, complete with a fur room, pink room, and purple floors. Last, Saturday, May 28th the gallery opened with a line and a small delay to doors as we prepared for the drop of two prints; one from Curiot and the second from our project room artist James Bullough.

Opening Line

Print Signing Curiot and James Bullough

The entire night was vibrating with an electric energy fueled by the vision of Curiot’s world, James Bullough’s work celebrating the body in motion , and UR New York’s resourceful work manipulating found pieces into fine art. Curiot’s Act 1: Warped Passage, James’s Bullough’s Breaking Point, and UR New York’s Destroy’ed and Rebuilt are on view till June 18th.  If you are in a 2 hour drive time radius of Culver City and have an inkling to see this exhibition, know that you will regret missing it if you don’t come in.  Also, please wear socks, no shoes on the fur.

Warped Passage

Curiot Warped Passage

Curiot Warped Passage

Curiot Warped Passage

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Curiot Warped Passage

Curiot Warped Passage

Curiot Warped Passage

Curiot Warped Passage

Curiot Warped Passage

Curiot Warped Passage

Curiot Warped Passage

Curiot Warped Passage

Curiot Warped Passage

Curiot Warped Passage

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Curiot Warped Passage

Curiot Warped Passage

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Curiot Warped Passage

James Bullough

James Bullough

James Bullough

James Bullough

James Bullough

James Bullough

James Bullough

James Bullough

UR New York

UR New York

UR New York

UR New York

UR New York

Curiot Warped Passage

Opening reception photos courtesy of Birdman