Interview with Joanne Nam for “Hiatus”

Joanne Nam Hiatus

We (SH) interviewed Joanne Nam (JN) for her upcoming solo exhibition HIATUS on view in Thinkspace’s project room this October. Please join us during the opening reception this Saturday, October 10th from 6-9pm.

SH: What is your inspiration behind the work in your upcoming exhibition? Are there specific themes you were exploring?
JN: The paintings I prepared for the show represents my unconscious emotions that I would feel uncomfortable to show to the public. Personally, art has been a sort of a constant observation to the world outside and myself. I wanted to focus on the deep inside of my mind more than before and how it changes over time and situations. These emotions don’t appear on a person’s face easily, but it always shows in the air. That’s why I titled the exhibition Hiatus.

SH: It seems there has been a shift in your color palate from very light colors and highly render backgrounds that communicated a sense of frailty to a bolder palate and a looser background that is more defiant, does this shift in style reflect a shift in you as an artist as well?
JN: I spent lots of days this year thinking about my art and its direction. “Does my art represent myself?” has always been a big main question that I asked to myself constantly. The reason of the question was because of my painting’s identity. For this show Hiatus, I wanted to let things flow, and decided to represent a bit of my strong and unstable emotions such as fear, anger, and disappointment. Which was a new thing for me because I don’t really feel these emotions often from my usual days. I sometimes even had to make myself angry intentionally, just to hit the canvas with a brush in a right motion. Making myself angry was actually quite hard. I was surprised that I didn’t know how to do that at first. Also, it was interesting to watch how my mood changed the air around me. I wanted to focus on that more than anything. I wanted to focus on things that I cannot see but definitely exist.

Joanne Nam Red

SH: What is your favorite horror movie?
JN: A movie I can think of right now and want to watch again soon is an old Korean horror movie called Ol-Ga-Mi. The film was made in 1997 and it is about a crazy obsession of a mother. In the movie, a gorgeous looking single mother raises her son and they are happy together until her son gets married. When the mother’s ugly obsessions over her son goes out of a boundary, she numerously tries to kill her daughter in law because the mother thinks that her daughter in law is stealing her son away. It is a great movie that has illustrated the crooked emotions very well. I think complicated human minds are scarier than unknown phenomena.

SH: If you had a day with yourself as a child, what would you tell her and what would you two do together?
JN: If I had a day with myself as a child… I want to tell her I’ll live a very very interesting life with a very very confused mind. There wouldn’t be much to do together. When I was living in a forest, what I did was climbing up to the mountain, feeding fish at ponds, and collecting wild berries and vegetables to play and to eat. My grandma taught me what to collect in the forest. I used to like being outside. Nowadays, I realized I had a pretty funny childhood. I didn’t know it until I became an artist.

One thing I just remembered is that there was a sweet potato field that I made for my school project when I was in elementary school. After my 32 classmates came over and planted their own sweet potato vines in the field, somehow I was responsible to take care of them. It was hard work to a child, but I couldn’t stop working at the field because everyone asked me how’s their sweet potatoes doing every morning I went to school. I think I would help myself to stop being obsessed with the field and let the potatoes go because they died soon anyway.

Joanne Nam Lost Drawing

SH: What do you listen to while you’re painting?
JN: I listen to classic music, opera, and some sound effects that made for horror movies. Sometimes, I play random movies or documentaries next to my easel and listen. I love documentaries about nature, serial killers, anatomy, and healthy eating.

SH: Based on past interviews, you seem to be very acutely attuned to your emotions, either pulling them from the past or capturing them in a little bubble to be used for inspiration for your work, does using your emotions as inspiration for your pieces help you process them?
JN: If my emotions change too much when I work, I can’t concentrate. I would rather go to sleep without doing anything to my painting. One thing I realized throughout out my artist career is that my mood somehow shows up in my painting. If my emotion changes too much, my works would be looking like they have no subject and unplanned. Which I think it might be interesting to see, but I wouldn’t like that yet.

SH: Do you have a favorite plant or flower?
JN: I don’t have any specific plant I liked because I usually love all the plants and find them very interesting. I even love dried, dead, and rotten plants on a random street. However, I don’t really like bright shiny tasteful looking flowers because, personally, I feel like they are lying to me to get my attention. They crave for my love and I really hate that kind of attitude. Their bright colors yell at me and it hurts my eyes. I also hate their fragrances. I know those fancy flowers are also from nature just like wildflowers but they still feel so intentional and fake. I always want to tell those flowers to leave me alone.

Joanne Nam Paranoia

SH: Are any of the subjects in your work informed by you or, in a way, represent anyone you know?
JN: The people I painted are basically nobody to me. I don’t want to make them look like someone, but I want to make my audiences feel like they’ve met my characters sometimes at somewhere in their life before. I use myself or my friends as models to inform myself about a certain forms and shadows, but I characterize or even simplify figures too. My work never looks like my reference photos but somehow they are. I like to stay in between reality and surreality.

SH: If you were to throw a dinner party for a few people who inspired you the most, who would you invite, what would be on the menu, and what is one question you would ask them all?
JN: Lucien Freud is one of my all-time favorite artists. If he actually decides to show up to my dinner party… I wouldn’t be able to think of anything else when I see his face in front of my door. I would laugh and black out and then happily die knowing that I breathed the same air with him in a very same room…… Then he could grill my flesh after I’m gone.


“The Gilded Age” Opening Reception & VIP Viewing

the gilded age

‘The Gilded Age’ featuring new works from Aaron Horkey, Esao Andrews, and Joao Ruas is an exhibition designed around opulence. When Thinkspace Gallery director Andrew Hosner approached Horkey and asked to describe his ideal group exhibition, Horkey immediately suggested Esao Andrews and João Ruas as choice gallery companions. All three artists share an inexhaustible penchant for detail, a preference for all things ornate, and an antediluvian sensibility that tends towards allegory and myth.

We hosted a VIP night for the artists and then the following night was the opening reception, the following photos are a mixture and recap of both nights. The artist did not do wardrobe changes mid-reception.

horkey names

horkey names II

horkey by himself

horkey close up

siador ruas

ruas close up


gilded age I

gilded age 2

gilded age 5

gilded age 4

esao greg andrew

aaron nagel

karla 1

karla 2


ga room

ga 2

line 1

line 2

line 3

opening 1

crowd 2

esao 1

horkey 1

joao 2

the man in the suit

The Gilded Age Opening Reception featured on Arrested Motion

the gilded age arrested motion

As we are sorting through the hundreds of photos taken during the opening of The Gilded Age, Arrested Motion already has their 11 page spread up on their site. The Gilded Age featuring Esao Andrews, Aaron Horkey, and Joao Ruas is on view till October 3. Visit the Thinkspace Gallery website to see all the works in the show.

The Gilded Age featuring new works by Aaron Horkey, Esao Andrews, and João Ruas. Co-curated by Andrew Hosner of Thinkspace and Horkey himself, the duo set out to put together a “dream-team” exhibition, giving it a title that harkened back to the late 19th century and the industrial revolution.  Horkey ended up handpicking Andrews and Ruas to accompany him and the results are truly outstanding.


Details for the pre-sale process for ‘The Gilded Age’ editions

Gilded Age Horkey

‘The Gilded Age’
Aaron Horkey
Esao Andrews
Joao Ruas

Opening Reception:
Saturday, September 12th 6-9PM

Collector Previews for both shows will be shared on Wednesday, September 9th. NO additional details of any kind are available currently regarding original works.

Please note: Horkey and Ruas will each have nine new works and Esao will have eight. If you’d like to be added to the preview list, please sign up for our mailing list on the Thinkspace Gallery website.

Here are the details on how and when we will release ‘The Gilded Age’ editions:
We’re excited to share these details with everyone and can’t wait for you all to see the exhibition. There has been a slew of moving parts for this show to sort out, awaiting final invoices to come in, making sure all the production at various companies was on track, etc. before we felt confident in sharing everything with you all. So, here we go…

  • There will be a folio set in an edition of 250 featuring a 12.75×12.75 inch varnished giclee print from each artist in the exhibition, housed in a deluxe folio similar to the recent ‘Vacuum’ set. Three prints total, only available as a set.
  • Each artist will have an individual screen print, in an edition of 200. Each sold separately and of varying size.
  • There will be an enamel pin set featuring a deluxe soft enamel pin from each artist ranging in size from 1.25 to 1.5 inches. Available as an edition of 100 and only as a set of three.
  • Images and pricing for all of the above editions will be shared next week (we are just awaiting final images and a photograph of the completed folio set and enamel pins).

Out of respect to our neighboring businesses, we do not want anyone lining up overnight or before the day of the show. To make sure this does not happen and to avoid making anyone sleep overnight or sit all day in the heat, we will be passing out numbered tickets. The number you receive will correspond to the folio sets and/or individual screen prints, guaranteeing you first choice at those corresponding numbers.

The numbered tickets will be passed out in random order, so those showing earliest could get a higher number, making it a total in-person lottery system. We will, however, aim to give out 1-200 first, helping to alleviate any worry of showing early and being shut out of the individual screen printed editions.

We will aim to pop outside on the morning of the exhibition (Saturday, Sept. 12th) every 30 minutes from 9AM until 12 Noon (9 / 930 / 10 / 1030 / etc.) to hand out tickets to those awaiting us outside. Please do NOT show up before 8AM the morning of Sat., Sept. 12th. Anyone gathering before 8:30 am will be asked to leave and come back at 9:00 am. We’re serious in trying our best to be courteous to our neighbors, prevent lines, and be fair.

Prints will then be pre-sold that same afternoon (Saturday, Sept. 12th) from 1PM to 4PM to avoid a long line at the opening and to help ease the stress of the sale for everyone. The numbered ticket you receive will give you 1st dibs on anything corresponding to your number. Those that get a number higher than 100 will not have a chance at a button set unless someone that did get 1-100 passes. Those with numbers 200-250 are not guaranteed an individual screen print, but will get one of the folio sets being offered guaranteed. Odds are not everyone will pickup each edition, and thus the love will be spread. There is a strict limit of one per person on each edition, no matter the circumstances. Horkey’s individual screen print will have ONE variant, but please note now you are only allowed to purchase one of them (no one is allowed to purchase both editions, this from Aaron himself).

The opening reception then takes place from 6 to 9PM with all artists in attendance.

To help with the worry and wait of those with a number lower than yours, passing over an edition to open it up for someone with a later number, we feel that come 7PM during the opening reception, we will open up all editions for sale. If you received a number that morning, I would think it a good plan to come to the 1st window of sales or arrive 1st thing to the opening at 6PM. So, come 7PM, ALL editions will go wide for open sale. We are not calling numbers or such, so no need to worry about missing out, but after 7PM the tickets become null and void.

We went over many different scenarios and at the end of the day, this is the one we all agreed on and has been approved and given the thumbs up by all three artists and those that work closely with them. We hope this works for everyone, we know we will never be able to make everyone happy, but please know we put a good bit of thought into this and all is now set.

None of the editions are being held back for later on-line offering. If any remain come the end of the exhibition, we will share details at that time. For now, the editions will only be available for in-person purchase at our gallery during the run of ‘The Gilded Age’ exhibition.

Thank you and we look forward to all seeing the works for the 1st time in person. Each artist has delivered in such a huge way, being pushed by one another to deliver simply incredible new bodies of work.

– The Thinkspace team

Fernando Chamarelli ‘Secret Code’ and Carl Cashman ‘ An Edited Version of Life’ Opening Reception.

Fernando Chamarelli Secret Code

While making plans for the weekend, include a stop into our latest exhibition with Brazilian artist Fernando Chamarelli and London-based artist Carl Cashman. Our main room show with Fernando Chamarelli exhibits two large-scale pieces that are a must see and a fresh mural just for the show. In our project room is a full collection of new works by Carl Cashman that play with line, shape, and depth.

Fernando Chamarelli Secret Code

fernando chamarelli

Fernando Chamarelli Secret Code

Fernando Chamarelli Secret Code

Artist Fernando Chamarelli

Fernando Chamarelli Secret Code

Carl Cashman An Edited Version of Life

carl cashman

Carl Cashman An Edited Version of Life

Carl Cashman

For more information on the artists please visit the Thinkspace website.

Both exhibitions are on view through Saturday, September 5th.