Interview with Michael Reeder

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 Reeder on behalf of his mini solo at Scope.

Was this your first time at Scope? We know you couldn’t make it down due to family obligations, but anything you saw online that really spoke to you, while watching on social media out in California?

Yes, it was my first time showing at Scope, and I thank you for the opportunity! In addition to the work, I had on display at the Thinkspace booth I was stoked to have a recent commission for the National Institute of Urban Art on display as well. It’s my largest studio piece to date, and I’m glad so many people got the chance to see it in person! While watching from afar, I must say I was very impressed with the work Jonni Cheatwood had on display at Mika Gallery from Tel Aviv. Really wish I could’ve checked it all out in person!!

How has the body of work you exhibited at Scope continued to explore the ideas around identity?

I would say that the subject of identity is more of a blanket theme rather than a specific focus. Although my paintings depict figures and representational elements, they’re not specifically intended to illustrate a meaning or a theme. For me, if I set out to make work that is centered around conveying a particular idea or meaning, the work would be very different than my work that already exists. With all of that said, the works on display at Scope represented a range of themes, subjects, and concepts; emotion, gender, ascension, and the internal and external self – which all fall within the subject of identity.

I would like to add that my process from start to finish is very open. I pull from a wide range of themes and motifs that allow me to build the paintings as fluidly as possible. This opens space to create the freshest and most uncontrived image I can, all the while holding onto my “style”. So, to be completely honest, I typically don’t know what a painting is about until it’s pretty much finished. I try to approach everything with a collaborative mentality where the paint, surface, process and myself work together to invent something new. Starting out with an intended final goal not only stagnates the true creative process but also kills the adventure before the journey begins.

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

UK based painter Andrew Salgado has been a huge inspiration for me for quite some time. His work ethic in the studio is incredible, to say the least. He’s always creating huge, beastly yet elegant museum-quality paintings and is constantly raising the bar higher every single show. His work consistently possesses high levels of surface, color, and form and the integration of them all is masterful. Not to mention he is very humble about his success, and I look up to that quality.

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?

A cram day in the studio pretty much requires that I have everything I need to stay locked in until I’m reaching an almost unsafe level of delirium. This requires many pre-made sandwiches, snacks, water, beer, etc. – all stocked and accessible. I actually only drink coffee in the morning and I add in adaptogenic herbs to help me power through. I’ve found that drinking it in the afternoon or evening is just asking for a crash and that’s obviously the last thing I’m wanting to have happen. I’m jamming music constantly! I probably wouldn’t make art without it. I definitely listen to a wide range of music from Monolord, to The Mars Volta, Sun Kil Moon, Black Milk, Wu-Tang, MF Doom, to Godspeed You! Black Emperor etc. etc. etc.

I didn’t necessarily cram for Scope, thankfully. However, I did utilize nearly every waking hour leading up to the deadline – but I didn’t feel overly pressured. I was mainly trying to focus on cohesiveness amongst the works and that sort of adds an additional layer of complexity to the process. With that said, I’m pleased with the way it all turned out!

What’s coming up next for you?
I am finishing up some upgrades to my studio space (which is very much needed and amazing to have time for), and I’m about to get going on my Project Room solo show with you guys this coming April. I also have a rad collaborative project with Specialized Bicycles that I’ve been working on that will launch in the next few months. 2018 is packed to the brim, and I’m ready!

We look forward to showing more from Michael Reeder in the coming year, especially with his upcoming solo exhibition at Thinkspace Projects coming April 2018.

You can view all available work from him here.

 

Instagram Round Up : Scope Art Miami 2017 Edition

Our flights are booked, a crate has been shipped, and we’re headed out to Miami for Scope Art and the Juxtapoz Clubhouse. We will be presenting mini- solos showing new work from Michael Reeder and James Bullough, mini-profiles with new pieces from DotDotDot, Lauren Brevner, Sergio Garcia, & Wiley Wallace, in addition to forty plus twelve by twelve pieces from the Thinkspace Family.

Our mission continues to be to expose and introduce the New Contemporary Art movement to art lovers and show the vast burgeoning talent within the movement. Follow a few of the talented artist who we will be showing at Scope Art Miami on Instagram for a “behind the scene” look into their studios, works in progress, and life as an artist – they might even share their Miami antics on their InstaStory.

Follow Michael Reeder at @reederone on Instagram

Follow James Bullough at @james_bullough on Instagram

Detail of ‘Dust’. Another of the pieces I’ll be showing in Miami next week at Scope with @thinkspace_art

A post shared by James Bullough (@james_bullough) on

Follow DotDotDot at @dotdotdot on Instagram

…drying up!

A post shared by DOT DOT DOT (@dotdotdot) on

Follow Lauren Brevner at @laurenbrevner on Instagram

Follow Wiley Wallace at @WileyWallace on Instagram

A post shared by Wiley Wallace (@wileywallace) on

Follow Sergio Garcia at @_SergioGarcia_ on Instagram

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

Opening Reception of SWANK at Thinkspace Gallery

The opening reception of Swank on September 2nd debuted nine artists from the gallery’s roster, whose work and recognition are on the rise. Each brings their own unique stylistic and technical approach to their practice, and though they share loose affinities, the grouping demonstrates the diversity and latitude of the New Contemporary Movement. Michael Reeder, David Rice, Tran Nguyen, Wiley Wallace, Molly Gruninger, Alex Garant, Sean Norvet, Christopher Konecki, and Lauren Brevner were curated by the gallery for this exhibition as promising new voices to watch on their ascent.

 Please visit the Thinkspace Gallery website to view available work from SWANK,

Next Up at Thinkspace Gallery – “Swank” September 2 – 23, 2017

SWANK
GROUP SHOW
September 2 – September 23, 2017

Thinkspace is pleased to present Swank, a group show dedicated to showcasing nine artists from the gallery’s roster, whose work and recognition are on the rise. Each brings their own unique stylistic and technical approach to their practice, and though they share loose affinities, the grouping demonstrates the diversity and latitude of the New Contemporary Movement. Michael Reeder, David Rice, Tran Nguyen, Wiley Wallace, Molly Gruninger, Alex Garant, Sean Norvet, Christopher Konecki, and Lauren Brevner were curated by the gallery for this exhibition as promising new voices to watch on their ascent. Michael Reeder

Michael Reeder
Dallas-based painter Michael Reeder graduated with a BFA in painting from the School of Visual Arts in New York and works as both a fine artist and freelance graphic artist. Reeder combines figurative references with abstract motifs, graphic patterns, negative space, and an illustrative style to create concise and impactful compositions. Exploring the shifting of identities and the instability of the self as central themes, Reeder uses the portraiture element in his work as an armature around which visual signifiers are hung. The paintings begin with the same reference image of a stranger, rather than a particular individual, to emphasize the general universality of the themes, and to stress the alterable and transfiguring aspects of the human in flux. Reeder taps into a feeling of dislocation and absence as a trope for the volatility of the individual caught in the incoherence and discontinuity of the modern day. Psychologically provocative, Reeder’s paintings are thoughtful deconstructions of the fragmented self.

David Rice
David Rice is a Portland-based artist, illustrator, and designer. Having grown up in rural Colorado, Rice is deeply inspired by nature and its wildlife. The natural world figures prominently as a recurring theme in his detailed works, as he combines the human with the animal in playful and unexpected encounters. By individuating his animals as personified subjects rather than undifferentiated specimens, they take on new symbolic and narrative value as extended metaphors. Geometric patterns and graphic motifs are drawn from textiles and other decorative elements to tie his compositions together. These elements punctuate his works with moments of abstraction while also referencing contained, domestic human spaces in stark contrast to the limitlessness of the wild.

Tran Nguyen
Born in Vietnam, Tran Nguyen emigrated to the US with her family at the age of three. She completed a BFA at the Savannah College of Art and Design in Georgia. Interested in exploring the psychologically evocative potential of the surreal, she channels visual dreamscapes as a therapeutic means of investigating the mind’s potential to heal through imagery. Her practice is drawing-based with graphite and pencil figuring prominently in her works on panel as well as on paper. Delicate and softly diffused, highly detailed figurative elements in the works are set against expanses of vaguely defined space. Playing with shifts in scale and context, Nguyen allows her powers of free association to shape and turn her shadowy worlds.

Wiley Wallace
Wiley Wallace completed a BFA in intermedia arts at Arizona State University and an MFA from University of California, Santa Barbara. A painter with a metaphysical interest in surreal worlds and pseudo-science fiction themes, Wallace often depicts his own children as protagonists on the edge of unknown universes. At times eerie and even grotesque and others understated and subtle, his works combine a dizzying array of visual devices to denote suspension, transition, or immersion in alternate realities. At times realistic depictions deliquesce into abstract blurs of bright colors, while at others subtle apparitions make their way into otherwise unassuming everyday scenes. His ambiguous depictions feel like personal meditations on mortality, the existence, and dissolution of boundaries, and the presence, whether literal or philosophical, of worlds beyond.

Molly Gruninger
A graduate of Ball State University, Los Angeles-based Molly Gruninger is interested in exploring themes like camouflage, the contemporary role of technology in our society, identity, and the shifting nature of perception. At first glance, excessively smooth and dimensionally ambiguous, her figurative works appear to be digitally generated. Upon closer inspection, however, they are in fact highly detailed oil paintings on canvas. Exploring the idea of self-ornamentation, and by proxy the excessive nature of materialism and consumption in contemporary society, Gruninger pushes the artificiality of self-adornment to a literal point of complete synthetic conversion. In a compelling inversion of process, Gruninger creates photorealistic depictions of a seemingly digitally generated form, creating a subject that exists in some strange hyper-real limbo.

Alex Garant
Toronto-based artist Alex Garant creates portrait paintings with a combination of hyper-realistic painting techniques and a graphic aesthetic. Garant intends to overwhelm and saturate the viewer’s senses with an optical distortion, creating subjects that seem captured through multiple exposures. Using an alla prima technique in which layers of wet oil paint are applied over top wet under layers and executed in a single sitting, Garant creates hauntingly beautiful figures that seem to actually reverberate with frenetic energy and life, somehow caught off register between temporal dimensions or physical layers of reality.

Sean Norvet
Los Angeles-based artist Sean Norvet attended Pasadena’s Art Center College of Design, graduating with a BFA in 2013. His unique take on portraiture relays a chaotic and satirical mash-up of cultural references. Distorting the human anatomy of his subjects to the point of total obliteration, his portraits become grotesque, clever and playful amalgams of skin, random objects, food, detritus, type, and cartoons, all parodying the more abhorrent and absurd aspects of American life. Norvet’s subjects become literal and observational reflections of their context and periphery. It’s as though the person’s face, identity, and corporeality are engulfed and consumed by the culture in which they’re immersed. Combining a photo-realistic painting technique with an excessively cartoonish and hyperbolic artificiality, Norvet seizes the viewer in a hallucinogenic distortion of portraiture.

Christopher Konecki
Sand Diego-based Christopher Konecki is a self-taught painter, muralist, sculptor, and installation artist. Drawing inspiration from his surrounding environment and an experimental penchant for the creation of new forms, Konecki creates works that harness a feeling of stylistic chaos and strategic balance. Interested in the reuse of found materials, he revitalizes public spaces and castaway objects to elevate them aesthetically and change the perception of their value. Natural imagery figures prominently in Konecki’s work as he explores the intersection of urban manmade spaces and architectures and the ubiquitous prevalence of technology alongside disproportionately scaled wildlife elements. This juxtaposition of worlds highlights their conflicted coexistence in the modern city and the absurdity of their tangential relationships. His palettes are often cool and subdued, an understated stylistic choice that refocuses attention on the dynamic interaction of the compositions’ disparate facets, and synergy of its parts.

Lauren Brevner
Vancouver-based artist Lauren Brevner explores the feminine in her mixed media portraiture. Using oil, acrylic, and resin, she incorporates Japanese chiyogami, yuzen, and washi papers through collage as well as gold and silver leafing, both traditional Japanese techniques, as an homage to her roots. In 2009, she moved to Osaka, Japan, to reconnect with her cultural heritage and ancestry, and this immersion has had a significant impact on her artwork. Inspired by 19th-century Japanese art, as well as Western European Art Nouveau and Symbolist painting of the same period, and modern abstraction of the early 20th century, Brevner’s work feels both contemporary and historically referential. Her use of flattened graphic space is offset by the detail of her delicately rendered portraits. Striving to re-appropriate the vantage point of the “gaze,” her work seeks to counter the objectification of the feminine, empowering her subjects as sensual and self-possessed entities.

New Michael Reeder Mural at Sherman Gallery

Thinkspace Family member, Michael Reeder executed a new mural in Marina Del Rey on the side of our favorite frame shop in Los Angeles, the Sherman Gallery. The mural was produced by Thinkspace Gallery with special thanks to Graphaid for the hook up on supplies.  To view more work by Michael Reed visit the Thinkspace Gallery website.

Michael Reeder featured on Creators

New to the Thinkspace Family, Los Angeles-based artist Michael Reeder was recently featured on Creators. The piece highlights Reeder’s work and it’s birth from the repetition of painting the same portrait to developing into the creation of different personas.  View the full article on the Creators website.

Essentially he’s a chemist, blending between cultural touch-points, religious iconography, and contemporary visual stylings.  – The Creators

We’re excited to be working with Michael Reeder on a new mural in LA, upcoming museum shows, and his solo in Miami December 2017.