SPOKE NYC & THINKSPACE GALLERY PRESENT LAX/JFK

 

LAX/JFK
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 nyc@spoke-art.com.

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

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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
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ABOUT THE GALLERY | SPOKE NYC + SF

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.
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ABOUT THE GALLERY | THINKSPACE

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.
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FB EVENT PAGE :

SPOKE ART : http://www.spoke-art.com/

THINKSPACE : http://thinkspacegallery.com/

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.

New Print from Matthew Grabelsky’s Underground Exhibition

Matthew Grabelsky’s Underground exhibition received a great response and we’re thrilled to release our first print with the artist. This foxy print 18 x18 inch print “Franklin Street” is now available on thinkspaceprints.com as an edition of 30. Each giclee print is on archival cotton rag paper and signed by the artist. Unfortunately, if you were not able to make it the opening and view Grabelskys full body of work please visit our recap of the opening reception and the Thinkspace Gallery website.

Matthew Grabelsky Print

Grabelsky’s works depict couples on subways, often nonchalantly reading magazines or newspapers, but the male figures in these dyads are strange, quasi-mythological human hybrids with animal heads. Deer, bears, elephants, tigers, and everything in between, make a suited appearance in rush hour. By contrasting the platitudes of the day-to-day with the presence of the extraordinary and unlikely, Grabelsky stages the unexpected within the most unassuming of circumstances.

 

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!

Kwon Kyung-yup “Melancholia” and Matthew Grabelsky “Underground” Opening Reception Recap

Kwon Opening Reception

New York meets Korea in our latest exhibition with artists Kwon Kyung-yup and Matthew Grabelsky.  Kwon’s “Melancholia” took over Thinkspace Gallery’s main room creating a beautiful stillness to absorb and take in her latest body of work. In the project room Grabelsky’s “Underground” brought the bustling stories that exist within (what at times is) the most mundane moments, riding public transit. Both exhibitions are on view through May 21st, the juxtaposition of their stories to be experienced in person. Please visit the Thinkspace Gallery website to view all available works from Underground and Melancholia.

Kwon Kyung-yup "Melancholia" Opening Reception

Matthew Grabelsky "Underground" Opening Reception

Kwon Kyung-yup "Melancholia" Opening Reception

Kwon Kyung-yup "Melancholia" Opening Reception Kwon Kyung-yup "Melancholia" Opening Reception

Kwon Kyung-yup "Melancholia" Opening Reception

comp-3873  Kwon Kyung-yup "Melancholia" Opening Reception

Kwon Kyung-yup "Melancholia" Opening Reception

Kwon Kyung-yup "Melancholia" Opening Reception

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Matthew Grabelsky "Underground" Opening Reception

Matthew Grabelsky "Underground" Opening Reception

Matthew Grabelsky "Underground" Opening Reception

Matthew Grabelsky "Underground" Opening Reception

Matthew Grabelsky "Underground" Opening Reception

Matthew Grabelsky "Underground" Opening Reception

Matthew Grabelsky "Underground" Opening Reception

Matthew Grabelsky "Underground" Opening Reception

Matthew Grabelsky "Underground" Opening Reception

Matthew Grabelsky "Underground" Opening Reception

Matthew Grabelsky "Underground" Opening Reception

Matthew Grabelsky "Underground" Opening Reception

Matthew Grabelsky "Underground" Opening Reception

Matthew Grabelsky "Underground" Opening Reception

Matthew Grabelsky "Underground" Opening Reception

Matthew Grabelsky "Underground" Opening Reception

Kwon Kyung-yup "Melancholia" Opening Reception

Kwon Kyung-yup "Melancholia" Opening Reception

Kwon Kyung-yup "Melancholia" Opening Reception

Kwon Kyung-yup "Melancholia" Opening Reception

Kwon Kyung-yup "Melancholia" Opening Reception

Kwon Kyung-yup "Melancholia" Opening Reception

Kwon Kyung-yup "Melancholia" Opening Reception

Opening reception photos courtesy of Bryan “Birdman” Mier.

 

 

NOTCOT covers Matthew Grabelsky’s “Underground”

Notcot Grabelsky Feature

Design and lifestyle site NotCot.com featured Matthew Grabelsky’s “Underground” as an exhibit one must see. Grabelsky’s solo exhibition in the Thinkspace Gallery project room is on view until May 21st, Tuesday through Saturday noon to 6pm.

View the full write up on their website.

“His surreal/realistic oil paintings of NYC subway riders reading magazines (and kid’s books) are stunning with a twist… all males are animals! If only they had prints of some of these paintings, the whole show is too stunning to pick from, though Canal Street (tiger reading Car and Driver) is my current favorite…” -NotCot.com

Interview with Matthew Grabelsky for “Underground”

matt grabelsky banner

Thinkspace Gallery is proud to present Matthew Grabelsky’s first solo exhibition with us, Underground, in the gallery’s project room. In anticipation of the show we have an exclusive interview with Matthew Grabelsky sharing with us insight into the anthropomorphic nature of his work, the special place a subway holds in society, and his artistic influences.

Please tell us a lil’ bit about your background?
I come from an artistic family (Father – film and television producer; Mother – dancer), so I’ve been making art for as long as I can remember. I was fortunate that my parents always encouraged and supported me in it. In college, I studied both art and science, and I graduated with a BS in Astrophysics and a BA in Art & Art History. Although I chose to pursue an artistic career, I have found that my scientific background has influenced my work significantly. My paintings are highly technical, and I often employ a scientific, analytical approach (knowledge of light, perspective, physics, etc.) in creating my images, both in terms of conception and execution. After graduating from college, I moved to Florence, Italy, where I spent four years studying representational painting. Afterward, I lived in Paris for several years, where I continued to paint and studied from the vast troves of art in the Paris museums. I currently reside in Los Angeles.

Matthew Grabelsky Franklin Street

Why the representational use of animal heads in your work?
I’ve always loved animals and mythology, as a result of being exposed extensively to both as a child. My parents were always taking me to the zoo and spent tons of time reading all kinds of stories to me. As I grew older, I became enthralled with the ways in which mythologies from different cultures make use of animal and animal-human hybrid characters to symbolize the mysterious nature of the subconscious.

These creatures in my paintings serve to inject an element of surrealism into one of the most commonplace experiences of life and of New York (e.g., public transportation). The characters are symbolic of the kinds of thoughts that lie under the surface of people’s minds, and they reveal that the most extraordinary can exist in the most ordinary of everyday settings. This theme is communicated through the juxtaposition of these ostensibly irrational images with otherwise completely mundane scenes. My idea is that my creatures are not original but are ultimately part of a much larger cultural continuum. My paintings are not intended to be explicit fantasy; rather, they are representations of the subconscious on which viewers are invited to form their own interpretations.

Couples seem to play an important role in your work. Care to elaborate?
In an image of a pair of people, the body language and the relationship of a couple are momentarily frozen. I am fascinated by the story-telling possibilities that spring from this moment.

WIP Matthew Grabelsky Underground

Any significance to the fact your subjects are often times found reading?
I like to have my subjects reading (magazines, newspapers, books, smart phones) because that provides a vivid and detailed point of interest in the painting, from which I create an entrance into the narrative that is taking place between the couple. Sometimes I’ll choose more serious fare like The New Yorker or The New York Times, and sometimes I’ll choose something from contemporary pop culture, like Cosmopolitan or GQ; the choice depends on the subject matter. I love to juxtapose the medium of a very polished and refined oil painting with the momentary, disposable pop culture that is represented by the reading material. The result is a fascinating mixture of high-brow and low-brow.

The magazines, in particular, are kind of amazing from a very base psychological standpoint; even if you think they are ridiculous, the covers are vividly designed with color, images, and text that grab your attention. You can’t not look at them at the check-out counter at the supermarket. In a sense, they similarly utilize the heightened visual language that I use in creating paintings that attempt to grab viewers and bring them into the world of my paintings.

Why do only the men have animal heads in your paintings?
My paintings are very personal. Therefore, I enter them through the perspective of a man, and I imagine scenes through a man’s eyes. The male figure is my avatar, while I view the female figure externally. The female figures are representative of the different women in my life. People have asked if I am saying that all men are animals. That is not my intention. If you look into world mythologies, you will discover that it is almost always the male who has an animal head. Two examples that come to mind are the bull-headed minotaur in Greek mythology and Ganesh, with an elephant head, in Indian mythology. Thus, I believe that representing the male with an animal head furthers my goal of tying my paintings into the larger continuum of world mythology.

Matthew Grabelsky Houston Street. Underground

How do you choose your models?
My models are all friends and family members. I really enjoy working with people I know well, because that helps me to capture a sense of realism in my characters. Using actual couples provides a kind of dynamism, which comes from the manners in which the couples pose. Generally, I’ll give them some instructions on what I want them to be doing, but the real spark comes from how they react to each other and their particular body language.

How do you choose the animal that you’ll feature?
I have my models pose in my studio, and I shoot a bunch of reference photos. Then, I review the photos and pick the most interesting ones. Sometimes I’ll have had a particular idea in mind for the painting, along with which animal I want to use. Other times, a certain pose, expression, look, gesture, or item of clothing will suggest a specific animal. There are times during which I’ll try several different animals, and then one will just pop.

Matthew Grabelsky Subway WIP

Why have you chosen the subway as your setting?
The subway is the circulatory system of New York. It’s a place where everyone comes together. No matter who you are, you will be on the subway at some point during the day. It is iconic and instantly recognizable. I grew up in New York, and I spent countless hours riding the subway. Although I live in Los Angeles now, my imagination puts me back on those trains whenever I think of my past. I often visit New York, but I find that painting these scenes while I am away from there gives me a form of clarity and allows me to reflect on that inspiration and organize it into my subway scenes. Memory is essential to my process; as an artist, I take different elements from my memory and combine them in an image.

Any major influences you care to share?
I draw a great deal of influence from painters and filmmakers who mix surrealism with realism. A few painters that have an outsize influence in my work are Arnold Böcklin and John William Waterhouse – both 19th-century artists – particularly because of the naturalism (rather than an allegorical approach) with which they paint mythological subjects. As for filmmakers, my absolute favorites are Terry Gilliam (12 Monkeys), Guillermo del Toro (Pan’s Labyrinth), and David Lynch (Mulholland Drive).

Additionally, I am always looking at imagery wherever I go (ads, billboards, magazines, film, etc.), and I draw ideas from everything I see.

Matthew Grabelsky Lincoln Center Underground

Care to elaborate any more on your style and technique?
My technique is highly realistic and heavily influenced by my studies of 19th-century academic and naturalist painters. These methods appeal to me, because of their rigorous approaches to accurately capturing visual appearances. Using those paintings as a jumping-off point, I’ve developed a visual language that allows me to create personal contemporary compositions. While people often describe my work as hyperrealist, my goal is to portray light, form, and texture very realistically but not to the level of microscopic detail, such as the pores of the skin.

I chose this technique because I want to depict my surrealistic elements in a manner that is so realistic that you feel like you are actually sitting on the subway with these creatures; even though they are fantastical, the realism and candor with which they are painted makes you forget that fact. At the same time, I arrange the figures, backgrounds, and colors in specific ways, in order to provide the sense of a heightened moment. It is like a snapshot that just happens to capture the moment when everything lines up perfectly. My paintings are executed in oil and currently I paint on panels.

Matthew Grabelsky WIP 3 Underground

Please join us this Saturday, April 30th from 6-9pm for the opening reception of Matthew Grabelsky’s, “Underground.” All additional information on the exhibition can be found on the Thinkspace Gallery website.