Interview with James Bullough for “Breaking Point”

James Bullough Interview

Thinkspace Gallery is proud to present James Bullough’s solo exhibition Breaking Point, in the gallery’s project room. In anticipation for the show, we have an exclusive interview with James Bullough sharing with us his process of moving through creative blocks, moving to Berlin, and a dream dinner party.

SH: Artists explore many different styles before finding their voice, what inspired you to explore altered reality and what about it clicked as this was your voice?
JB: When I first started painting back in my early 20s and for probably the first 5 years or so I was painting entirely abstract works with no real direction or voice. These early paintings in retrospect were basically just studies and experimentations in composition and graphic layout. I soon realized that none of them ever felt like finished paintings and they were all missing a vital element. With some guidance from a local painter in Baltimore Matt Zoll, I basically taught myself how to use oils so I could add some elements of realism into my abstract paintings. Almost immediately I realized that the realism was the star of the show and became the main focus of the work but the abstraction never left. as my oil skills increased, I began concentrating on portraiture and that’s when it all started clicking for me. The mixture of realism and abstraction has been my thing ever since.

James Bullough Breaking Point

SH: What does a day in the studio look like, from morning to night?
JB: My work day is very different depending what stage of the process I’m in. Some days are spent with models and photographers doing photo shoots, others spent on the computer day after day manipulating photos and sketching out potential paintings. In the summers, I spend a lot of time outside painting walls, but in the studio with a brush in hand is where I like to focus most of my attention.

A typical studio day starts with a strong coffee and an hour or so at home on the computer getting any administrative stuff out of the way. I don’t have the internet at my studio which really helps with focus and attention; so once I get to the studio around noon it’s all business from then on. I’m a very slow painter and some days I might only paint a few square inches in an entire 8 hour work day… the hair, a face, a leg, exc.. It can be frustrating but it’s the only way I know how. I normally paint my backgrounds first and then sketch out my figures on top of that. Once the sketch is set in place, I do a quick and somewhat loose underpainting that normally takes a couple days. From there I meticulously paint the final image on top of the underpainting. For the most part, once I’ve put the second layer on any given spot, that section is finished and I move on to the next section. At 8 o’clock I go home and cook with my wife, have a late dinner and then up early the next morning to do it all over again.

SH: You really explore the human form in your work with your models showing extensions or collapse of form, do you take reference photos yourself or find the form elsewhere? Are your models’ dancers?
JB: With this current body of work I had a very clear idea for about a year that I wanted to create an entire series of figures floating in the air. I’ve worked with a few dancers in Berlin before on different projects and through them I met a few more and everyone was super keen to come work on the project with me so I assembled a team. I found a photographer in Hamburg named Florian Gobetz (www.graphic-to-go.de) who had done a series of photos with dancers jumping in the air and asked him to come to Berlin to work with me on the project. I am horrible with a camera but good with directing, so together with Flo’s photography skills and the incredible dancers who gave everything they had to get me the images I wanted we were able to get some amazing photos.

James Bullough Breaking Point

SH: How do you battle self-doubt or creative blocks?
JB: This is a great question and one of the most difficult parts of being an artist, especially one that works alone. It is not uncommon for me to go weeks in the studio without anyone seeing anything I’ve done. This can be jarring and the self-doubt can really start to fester. I normally get to a point with almost every painting where all I can see are the problems and mistakes, a point where another artist might move on to a different piece and come back later with fresh eyes after some time has passed. I on the other hand approach painting more like sport and each new piece as a battle, once I’ve started, there’s no turning back. Through years of painting this way I’ve learned that if I just plow through, eventually I’ll figure it out.

SH: What made you decide to move to Berlin? How do you think that has shaped you as an artist?
JB: In 2001 I was living in Australia and met a girl from Berlin (now my wife). In the five years that followed my visit to Berlin often to see her and it didn’t take long for me to fall in love with the city. It’s always been hard for me to put my finger on exactly what it was that I fell in love with but there is a sense of freedom and creativity in Berlin that I had never experienced anywhere else. At that time in my life, I needed a change and I knew that Berlin, because of it’s cheap living and creative vibe could provide me with what I needed to make the leap from being a gainfully employed middle school teacher to a basically unemployed full-time painter… and I was right.

In Berlin, I was able to live cheaply and get a studio and just experiment without the pressure of making money and getting a “real job” At the time I still hadn’t found my voice as a painter and I needed a couple of years of trying different things in order to find it. I spent a lot of time in the studio figuring things out and I began painting in the many abandoned spaces in and around Berlin and experimenting with painting on walls for the first time. Those first two or three years in Berlin were extremely important for me and In the end, I think the greatest gift Berlin ever gave to me was time.

James Bullough Breaking Point

SH: What’s been a WOW moment for you thus far in your career?
JB: In 2015 I was invited to paint a wall inside the Long Beach Museum of Art in California as part of the Vitality and Verve show put on by the LBMA, Thinkspace Gallery, and POW! WOW! Long Beach. The other participating artists were some of my biggest influences in the art world and people I had been admiring for years and years… legends like Craola, Audry Kawasaki, Tristan Eaton, Nychos, Jeff Soto and basically everyone involved. I felt like it was a mistake that I was even invited, that I didn’t belong in such a group, but I also saw it as an opportunity to show people what I could really do. I made it my mission to paint my best mural to that point and really go for broke. As I worked there throughout the week and built friendships with these people who meant so much to me, I also banged out a great painting that I was really proud of. There is no greater accomplishment in my opinion than gaining the respect of the people you so greatly admire, and that week I felt like I had done exactly that.

SH: What motivated you to do a podcast? What’s been your most favorite and least favorites part of that process?
JB: VantagePoint Radio was an idea I had after living in Berlin for a few years and meeting so many different and interesting artists. I found myself time and time again sitting in a bar or at a party with someone and because of my curious and chatty nature we often fell into deep conversations about their practices and how and why they do what they do. I found it really inspirational and informative. It just seemed logical that other people would be interested to hear these conversations so I set out to start a radio show. A friend of mine named Tom Phillipson (www.Auto64.com) had worked in radio before in Australia so I asked him to be my co-host and produce the show and it was that simple. Because Berlin is such a magnet for street artists and muralists, we were able to get some of the biggest names in the game and once the ball started rolling it never really stopped. I’m supra proud of what we’ve accomplished with VantagePoint. At this point, we’ve done over 60 interviews and thoroughly documented the scene in a way nobody else has done.

Visit www.VantagePointRadio.com to check out all of the past shows and videos.

James Bullough Breaking Point

SH: Where was your first mural? What was the prep and execution like?
JB: Oh man… my first mural was in Washington DC on the side of a bar back in 2004 or so. I painted it together with an artist named Andrea Wlodarczyk and we really didn’t know what we were doing. It was a super fun process but took us almost the entire summer, mostly because we painted during open hours and the drinks and food were free so we really didn’t try to rush things. Today I think I’d probably do that wall in an afternoon. It was kind of a cheesy beach scene with a crashing wave and all that but it wasn’t too bad. This was years before I would ever pick up a spray can so we did the whole thing with brushes and latex paint and it was kind of a nightmare. I recently passed by that wall for the first time in years and it’s still there and in pretty good condition. It wasn’t my best work, but I’m still proud of that wall

SH: If you through a dinner party for 5 people dead or alive, who would be on the guest list? What would be served? And what music is playing in the background?
JB: WOW! this is basically an impossible question but here goes…
Guest List: Moss Def, Adam Carolla, Conor Harrington, Erika Badu, and the 25-year-old version of my baby girl who will be born in September
Food: Maryland Blue crabs with tons of Old Bay seasoning and unlimited Natty Boh beer in a can on ice.
Music: The entire album ‘Circles’ by Adam F and a selection of Miles Davis, John Coltrane and Bob James.

James Bullough Breaking Point

SH: What do you think is the biggest misconception about being an artist and about your work in general?
JB: The work ethic! I think people have an impression of artists as relaxed maybe even somewhat lazy creatives. The fact is almost every successful artists I know is an extreme workaholic and a master of the hustle. Learning to paint and create an image from absolutely nothing is a skill and takes a lot of hard work, time, and focus, but the business side of the job is just as demanding. I don’t have an assistant or a manager or anything so every aspect of my business is done by me. Deciding what projects to take and which to turn down, who to work with or not, and knowing how many different projects you can handle at any given time is extremely important and can have massive consequences on your career now and in the future. I don’t think artists get enough credit for what they truly are, extremely driven, self-employed entrepreneurs who both produce and manage the product that their company and family live off of.

James Bullough Postcard

Please join us Saturday, May 28th for the opening reception of Breaking Point from 6-9pm. For additional information on Thinkspace Gallery and our upcoming exhibitions please visit the Thinkspace Gallery website.

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”

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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.

Upcoming at Thinkspace Gallery, Matthew Grabelsky’s Project Room Solo Exhibition “Underground”

Grabelsky Ad

Matthew Grabelsky: Underground
April 30, 2016 – May 21, 2016

Concurrently on view in the Thinkspace project room is Underground, featuring new oil paintings by Los Angeles-based artist Matthew Grabelsky. His works combine a hyperrealistic painting technique with a surreal penchant for unlikely juxtapositions. Raised in New York City, Grabelsky uses its subway’s underground world as the setting for his unlikely pairings.

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.

The appearance of the animal head feels distantly totemic, an archetype for something primordial, ancient, and psychologically motivated. Fascinated by the persistence of animal imagery in mythology and communal cultural imaginaries, Grabelsky superimposes its presence onto his depictions of the contemporary world. For the artist, the animal becomes a manifestation of the inner workings of the hidden subconscious, literally revealing the latent identities and motivations lurking beyond the composure of the human mask.

Technically inspired by 19th Century academic and naturalist painters, Grabelsky creates these unlikely, surreal scenes with a staggering degree of realistic detail. The contrast created between the visual verisimilitude of the works, and the surreal improbability of their content catches the viewer in a prolonged moment of convincingly suspended disbelief.

Matthew Grabelsky Postcard

Interview with KIKYZ1313 for “Progeny of Chaos”

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Thinkspace Gallery is proud to present artist KIKYZ1313’s debut solo exhibition with us, Progeny of Chaos. In anticipation of the show we have an exclusive interview with KIKYZ1313’s sharing with us her inspiration, fears, and creative process.

What was the inspiration behind this exhibition?
I am always inspired by the need to find certain explanation about human’s condition great contradictions such as the irrepressible violent and visceral urge against the limitless and vain pursue of modern man’s fulfillment in life.

I feel often unrelated and out of place from the usual way of modern life and I got frustrated most of time about the under-appreciation and misunderstanding of nature in man I see everyday. This is what makes me to be curious all the time to try to understand myself and consequently society, and leads me to observe and analyze human behavior, wether in the streets (when I manage to go out my tiny drawing world), personal experiences or through internet, with documental about disasters, wars, diseases, social issues etc. Those exceptional times where we show the duality of our existence: the iron beast and the crystal being.

‘The Progeny of Chaos’ is inspired by this feelings, very thin and spread in my head in the beginning, but after a drawing I entitled ‘The Disaster’s Heiress’ (which is a gloomy omen about Fukushima’s disasters) the idea become clear and I decided to make a series of chaotic drawings where will be shown the frailty and abhorrence of human nature.

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What were you scared of as a child? What scares you as an adult?
Oh boy.. there where a lot of things I was scared of as a child specially during night time! I was terrifyed by the idea of dying by spontaneous combustion, I couldn’t sleep well for several months for fear to be possessed by the devil (after watching the exorcist), I was afraid to stare to the night sky because of UFO sighting, big-eyed aliens, to be awaken when everybody was sleep, to see the witches’ green fire orbs rolling down the hills at night (after a tale my grandpa told me), dolls and teddy bears, and I could go on like this.
Guess I was a very innocent child and everything I heard seemed so real and possible to me.
Today some of those fears have stayed with me, but some others have grown in me with the age. And I think that the most scary thing that would happen to me would be to loose the love of my life and my artwork be forgotten.

Walk us through what a day in the studio looks like?
The studio is next to the bedroom, so as soon as I wake up , about 9:00 in the morning I like to go and check whatever I did last day in case my eyes where too tired and see if I messed it up in someway, relieved or worried I take a breakfast and start working in the drawing till 13:00 hrs approximately to do some grocery shopping for the day’s meal and go back home to cook. I like to take a little 20 or 30 min of rest and then I continue where I left the drawing. Around 19:00 hrs I take another half hour of spare time, play with the cat, social media, e-mails, etc. and go back to the drawing table for another couple more hours and finish the day with a nice cup of tea and movies. I usually do between 8 to 9 hours drawing, but when I’m in a rush for something I can even spend 12 hours drawing a day, and still it is hard for me to keep up with most of the artist out there, but really hope the effort stands out from every drawing.

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Aspects of your work are very light and inviting to the viewer, but the more detailed aspects of work are much darker; how did this balance develop in your work?
I think this is completely sub conscience, actually never thought about that before. I usually think very well everything before doing it, but with ‘The Progeny of Chaos’ the composition stage was a lot more organic and emotional, there are some key elements that leads the way into the meaning of each piece, but the other elements inside where picked solely by instinct and what I felt it would fit in that little new world. This series of work is a lot more emotional and true to my self.

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What were you listening to while creating this new body of work?
I listened to a lot of black metal, and drone doom but most of the time I found myself emerged into Ulver’s new album ‘ATGCLVLSSCAP’ and ‘Teachings in silence’
These albums where a huge inspiration for me to create my first silly musical experiment created for the show.

What’s your processes for conceptualizing a piece as it seems like you’re an observational sponge?
Haha, you could say that. Everything I see, hear or read that impresses me somehow I like to keep it. So I have a big collection of random images, sounds, and quotes in my computer that later turns into a title or an image. Most of time, the general concept of an artworks comes after something that I feel I need to talk about, or something that needs to be known and understand.
I have always believed that art must carry a social argument, as is the duty of the artist to show the flaws of its society in order to acknowledge them and maybe find a solution to them.

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Do different elements in your work hold symbolic meaning you’d like to elaborate on, for example the use of eyeballs in the center of flowers etc?
Definitely, it’s my goal to create a recognizable language trough symbols like that one. The symbolic meaning of the eye can be described as the indifferent but morbid curiosity of man towards the tragedy, the deformed and death.

If you hosted a dinner party, who would be on the guest list and what would be on the menu?
I’m a very wary and withdrawn person, so I would probably just invite a couple of close friends I feel comfortable with and make a barbecue in my house to talk about art, life and tell silly jokes.

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What advice has shaped you as an artist? What advice would you share with a young artist who admires your work?
The only advice someone has told me it’s been from my mother. Who advised me when I was 17 years old to spend the rest of my life doing something that I would do for free, after this I decided that drawing was the answer to this.
On the other hand, I would advice all the artists to think about what do they have to say to the world with their art, and if this something it’s relevant enough to transcend in history?

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The opening reception for KIKYZ1313 debut exhibition “Progeny of Chaos” is this Saturday, April 2nd. For more information on the exhibition please visit the Thinkspace Gallery website.

Thinkspace Presents KIKYZ1313 “The Progeny of Chaos”

KIKYZ1313

Thinkspace is pleased to present The Progeny of Chaos, a solo exhibition of work by KIKYZ1313 in the gallery’s project room. Laura Lucía Ferrer Zamudio was born in Querétaro, Mexico, and creates beautifully intricate ink, graphite, and watercolor works on paper. From beneath the initially alluring, and understated, first impression of the works, emerge unexpected oppositions and abject tensions. Studies in the afflicted wretchedness of humanity, her work is neither despondent nor obviously gory, but rather presents an aestheticized nightmare of sublime abhorrence; ambiguously gorgeous despite its agonizing discomfort.

With an obsessive attention to detail and figurative rendering, KIKYZ1313’s works are realistically executed and recall traditional techniques of late 19th-centurybook illustration and engraving. Her palettes are muted and tempered, understated with delicate washes of ink and watercolor, and her compositions are balanced and paced, posturing as romantic and idyllic scenes of placid children and animals. Seemingly innocent at first glance, the works gradually unfurl, revealing unexpected mutations, abject subversions, and a diseased world of horrors.

KIKYZ1313

Filled with children’s bodies in various states of decay, decomposition and malformation, her works challenge the viewers’ initial expectations of the imagery, while tapping into the basic human fear of the body’s disobedience – especially the dread of its dissolute boundaries. The children remain dreamily calm and picturesque despite their compromised states of disfigurement, trauma and accost. KIKYZ1313 intentionally creates these tensions, encouraging the viewer to approach the content critically and analytically, questioning the validity of their initial impressions. A sort of moral chaos presents itself, when faced with images of children in unexpected states of disturbance. Exquisite and repulsive, the conflict of viewing is inexpressibly complex.

KIKYZ1313 received a BFA from the Universidad Autónoma de Querétaro, and had her first solo exhibition at the Museo de la Ciudad de Querétaro. She has completed an artist residency at the Nordic Watercolor Museum in Skärhamn, Sweden.

Join us on Saturday, April 2nd from 6 – 9pm for the opening reception of “Progeny of Chaos” showing new works by KIKYZ1313. The exhibition will be on view through April 23rd.