Opening Reception of Sarah Joncas & Kelly Vivanco’s “Betwixt and Between” and Scott Listfield’s “1984” Recap

Thank you to all those who made it out to the opening reception of Sarah Joncas and Kelly Vivanco’s latest body of work Betwixt and Between and Scott Listfied’s solo exhibition 1984 in the project room. The gallery was filled throughout the evening with fans, friends, and family all excited for Thinkspace Projects first show of 2018. There are still a few pieces available from each artist, but not many, so check them out soon!

The exhibitions are on view now through January 27th.

 

Interview with Sarah Joncas for “Betwixt and Between”

Thinkspace Projects is pleased to present Betwixt and Between featuring new works new works by Canadian artist Sarah Joncas and Southern Californian artist Kelly Vivanco. Both artists are known for their narrative-based works that embrace the imaginative potential of the subconscious and creatively play with elements of the surreal drawings on feelings of nostalgia whether it be hopeful or melancholy.  In anticipation of the exhibition opening, Saturday, January 6th, our interview with Sarah Joncas shares her love for the anti-hero, dream collaboration, and favorite fable.

Opening reception, Saturday, January 6th from 6 pm to 9 pm. 

SH: How long have you been working on this latest body of work? What themes were you exploring?
SJ: I started working on the pieces for this show last winter. I like two-person shows because I don’t necessarily focus on one specific theme for the body, but feel out ideas as they come, connecting things here or there, but also just welcoming works to being their own thing entirely. I was exploring more of an aesthetic with this work through – more subtle, dreamy backgrounds that further push the graphic elements I’ve slowly been including in my paintings the last few years. I still have imagery focusing around cityscapes, water, animals, and flowers though, touching on urbanism and environmentalist concerns.

SH: The key to a fable is that it teaches you a lesson. What is one of your favorite fables, and have you been able to master the lesson it taught you or do you still struggle?
SJ: I haven’t thought much about fables since I was a kid, to be honest, but I do like ‘The Tortoise and The Hare’. Not just for the obvious cliché of  ‘slow and steady wins the race’, but for that arrogance was the hare’s true flaw… Never expect the world will work it’s way out for you simply because you think you’re fabulous and deserving. Expect an unfiltered reality, that often things often won’t be optimal, but give it your best anyhow! Despite the anxiety of challenges, my life has been much greater because in the end I went for it, even if I wasn’t the best.

SH: What is your favorite part of the creative process? What is your least favorite part?
SJ: My favorite part is painting the face, haha. Too obvious? I don’t know what it is, I love seeing the features come to life and look back at me. Lately, I’ve been really enjoying painting ears as well, strange folds and turns. Everyone’s ears are so unique, you hardly notice until you start painting them. My least favorite is titling the work. I’m just unconfident with words most of the time!

SH: What inspires the environment that you end up building around your composition? Does the subject come first, or the environment that the subject inhabits?
SJ: It differs, though often the figures come first. With the background, I’m usually inspired by my own surroundings. I like painting suburbia and the city, with animal and plant life creeping in, adding surreal touches. One of the works from the show, ‘Sakura’, was inspired by a trip I recently took to Japan. I ended up using photos of buildings and signs I took in Tokyo as refs for the BG. I’d like to do more paintings inspired by my travels to other places as well.

SH: The women you paint have a heroic and cinematic quality to them, what are the values your ideal heroine would possess?
SJ: Heroes generally have the values of being moral, courageous, determined and selfless. These are all great things anyone would like to see in those they look up to, they’d be qualities I’d want in my heroines too. I think the most inspirational quality for me to see in other real-life women is intelligence and kindness though. And when it comes to cinema, gotta admit I love a great anti-heroine! Someone like Lizbeth Salander or Arya Stark, not the typical crowd pleaser type.

SH: When in the studio are you listening to music or podcasts? Can you share what you’ve been listening too?
SJ: I listen to music most of the time, especially film scores. Lately, I’ve been listening to a lot of Max Richter compositions, kind of dramatic and moving. I love all the scores created by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross for David Fincher’s films, Alexander Desplat, Clint Mansell, Johan Johansson etc. I recently stumbled into music by bands like ‘Cigarettes after Sex’, ‘Rhye’ and ‘Tame Impala’ and find them really great to paint or chill to as well. But no podcasts actually! I should try them out sometime.

SH: How do you continue to challenge yourself as an artist and remain excited about the work you produce, without alienating your collectors and followers?
SJ: I try to change my work slightly with time, follow my heart without jumping too far from my own style. Something gradual and fluid that feels right to me! I also satisfy other painting vibes for myself by doing side work that I’ll put on my shop from time to time. Usually cute things, sometimes more grotesque, but light-hearted and not as serious in time and theme as my gallery works.

SH: Who would you want to collaborate with, dead or alive? The person can be in any area of the arts; film, dance, music, etc.
SJ: Ugh, I’m just in love with director Denis Villeneuve lately. He’s Canadian to boot, and every Canadian loves to see another doing well and creating genuinely great stuff. I couldn’t even see myself doing anything related to his films, but he’s incredible and all of his movies have been inspiring to me.

SH: When not in the studio, what would an ideal day look like?
SJ: I like getting days alone with just my guy, maybe going somewhere out of town for the day, enjoying nature and some good food/drink! Something peaceful and relaxing.

SH: What do you think the role of art / the artist is in society?
SJ: I’m not sure there is one solid role or objective as an artist. A lot of us are just following our hearts and putting it out there, hoping others might connect with it too. We’re trying to put our thoughts, feelings, and sense of beauty into the world, reflect upon it and find catharsis in the process, I think. But also being apart of the audience and enjoying the art that others make – whether it’s music, films, books or visuals – is one of the greatest parts of life, right?

SH: Kicking off the new year with an exhibition is a great way to start 2018! What are your artistic plans for the rest of the year?
SJ: I have a bunch of group shows I’m contributing to throughout the year, and then a larger, 3 person show at Haven Gallery in the Fall. Will probably have about 8 pieces for that and will start them as soon as I’m home from this show’s opening ~

SARAH JONCAS & KELLY VIVANCO “BETWIXT AND BETWEEN”

SARAH JONCAS & KELLY VIVANCO
BETWIXT AND BETWEEN
January 6, 2018 – January 27, 2018

Opening reception Saturday, January 6th from 6 to 9 pm. 

Thinkspace is pleased to present new works by Canadian artist Sarah Joncas and Southern Californian artist Kelly Vivanco in Betwixt and Between. An exhibition about the creative potential of unscripted spaces and the generative possibility of in-betweens, Joncas and Vivanco, forego the limits of the aphoristic for the contiguous freedom of the fable. Both create narrative-based works that embrace the ambiguity and imaginative potential of the subconscious. Creatively playful with elements of the surreal, they capture a feeling of melancholia and aesthetic nostalgia in their styles, Joncas with her cinematic invocation of neo-noir film and Vivanco with imagery influenced by classic fairytales and vintage illustration. Fundamentally, both artists’ work offers an intrinsic pleasure in viewing and the kind of escapism possible only in worlds that lie beyond rationally dictated limits.

Toronto-based Sarah Joncas first exhibited with the gallery in 2009 when only 19 years old. Since then, her accomplished work has developed technically and conceptually, garnering international attention for its moody stylization and emotive impact. Her portrait-based paintings focus primarily on female subjects that function as alter egos or symbolic avatars for social, psychological, and personal themes. The figurative becomes a vehicle for more existential and constructivist emphases, an armature around which to posit narrative suggestions and symbolic inferences. Always striving to create a moment of discomposure or tension in her works, Joncas aestheticizes with melancholy and melodrama, tapping into an emotionally charged visual spectrum.

Joncas began her art career intending to pursue illustration and animation, directions that clearly still inform the visual diction of her current work. Highly refined areas of figurative rendering, like the lush skin tones she achieves with oils, are combined with elements of a more graphic sensibility, executed in acrylics, to establish compelling visual tensions between realistic dimensional space and flattened stylization. An early interest in animé and manga, as well as in those neo-noir cinematic references aforementioned, helped to galvanize Joncas’ interest in character-based works. Often posited in heightened emotional contexts, her protagonists are framed by suspenseful allusions to an overarching story or caught in the midst of ambiguous or invisible unfolding scenes. This penchant for plot, mystery, and symbolism is captured in moments of dynamic stillness in which action is both suggested and seized. The surrounding elements in her works, whether animals, objects or patterns, take on concomitant meanings, further reinforcing the larger thematic intimations of her works.

Based in Escondido, California, Kelly Vivanco’s depicted world is one of fantastical tall tales and mysterious encounters. Not unlike the magical wardrobe of C.S. Lewis’ Chronicles of Narnia or Lewis Carroll’s Alice and her rabbit hole or fugitive fleet through the looking glass, Vivanco’s paintings themselves are thresholds. Each is an aperture into an alternate world of enigmatic episodes and apocryphal creatures, at times beatific and at others unsettlingly sinister; these storied landscapes and characters are more brooding and mysterious than flippantly whimsical. Playful and nostalgic, however, her works are far from sentimental or honeyed. Like the best fairy tales and all of their allegorical apologues, a darkness lurks in the beauty of their imaginative distortions and hyperboles.

The subconscious undeniably shapes Vivanco’s images. By exploring her figurative subjects through surreal shifts in scale and shadowy casts of mood and light, her paintings feel like their drawn from the recesses of dream. Psychologically inflected, the depictions of her characters range from the lighthearted to the more somber and foreboding. Vivanco works primarily in acrylic on panel and canvas, and her stylized hand is immediately recognizable, as is her signature palette of muted and darkened vintage-inspired colors. The speculative scenes she stages remain slightly intangible; we are given moments from a more substantial story that is then left to our imaginative work to unfold. The mystery lingers in these captures, as little is explicitly unraveled but rather implied. In addition to her fine art practice, Vivanco has been commissioned to illustrate children’s books, including Snow White and the Red Rose in 2014 and her second, Thumbelina, in 2016.

Both Joncas and Vivanco, though distinctly different in their unique styles, share an interest in the tangential work of the subconscious and all of its surreal textures and, potential, looking to the symbolism of the strange and relinquishing control of these mysterious spaces to the unscripted nature of its “in-betweens.” The ambiguity of their worlds is one in which enigmatic encounters remain partially unseen, and the suspenseful irresolution of the unknown lingers; whether through allegory or avatar, both Joncas and Vivanco look to the openings rather than the seams.

 

Preview of Sarah Joncas Mural for “Vitality & Verve : In The Third Dimension”

In an interview and film by Selina Miles, we get a preview of Sarah Joncas‘s installation for “Vitality & Verve: In The Third Dimension” presented by the Long Beach Museum of Art in collaboration with Thinkspace Gallery and Pow! Wow! Long Beach.

Tickets to the kickoff event this Friday, July 15th are available at www.lbma.org

“Vitality & Verve: In The Third Dimension” will be on view at LBMA from July 16th to October 16th, 2016.  For more information on the exhibition please visit the Thinkspace Gallery website.

Supported by:
RVCA
Montana Cans
Flex Fit
1xRun
Monster Energy
Thinkspace Gallery
Westin
Jet Blue
Intertrend
Port of Long Beach
Visit Long Beach
Long Beach Museum of Art
Pow! Wow! Worldwide

Beauty in the Breakdown – Sarah Joncas & Camilla d’Errico + free prints opening night!

 

beauty in the breakdown sarah joncas and camilla d'errico

In our main gallery:
Sarah Joncas & Camilla d’Errico
‘Beauty In The Breakdown’

Opening Reception with all three artists on hand:
Saturday, February 28th 6-9PM
Both exhibits on view February 28th through March 21st

Beauty In The Breakdown is an exhibition by two Canadian based artists who wear their femininity on their sleeves. Having first shown together almost a decade ago, this special exhibition is a reunion and anniversary of sorts for both artists.

Each artist wields a certain kind of mojo that make human hearts skip a beat. The more one looks at their works, the more one will start to see the emotional complexity that makes their paintings far deeper than just being eye candy for the soul. Their works span the full array of human emotions, from longing to innocence, to surreal flights of fantasy that only begin to hint at the more solemn emotions that most of us try and hide.

Sarah Joncas oil painting Schoolgirl Burial Sarah Joncas ‘Schoolgirl Burial’ – oil on canvas – 24×30 inches

Sarah Joncas was born in 1986 and grew up in both Hamilton and Niagara Falls, Ontario. Her interest in the visual arts developed at an early age, starting with the dedicated drawings of dinosaurs and lizards. Eventually the study and enjoyment of working from existing images stirred up the need in Sarah to create images of her own; ones that could reflect the world, yet also appease the personal feelings/ideas that she herself maintained. With this, her direction changed gradually from the world of animation, towards a path in fine art.
Joncas is a graduate of the Ontario College of Art and Design and currently resides and works out of Toronto, Canada. Her work focuses on the mysterious lives of her female protagonists placed within film-noir atmospheres. In this exhibition, Joncas explores themes of mystery, troubled relationships and betrayal taking cues from modern day symbolism and contemporary technology.

Camilla d'Errico Madame Butterfly

Camilla d’Errico ‘Madame Butterfly’ – Oil on wood panel – 9.5×11.75 inches

Camilla d’Errico is a product of her split heritage, Italian and Canadian rolled into one: Italian fiestiness, Canadian politeness, and an early addiction to Saturday morning cartoons, comics and manga. Growing up she was more often doodling sexy damsels and dragons on her textbooks than reading them. In 1998 when Camilla first attended her first San Diego Comic Con she realised that a 9-5 day job would kill her and this was what she wanted to do. Thanks to her relentless energy, dedication, and just enough sleep deprivation, she has followed her dream of working creatively for a living.

Camilla’s unique style continues to be in demand and her client list includes Dark Horse Comics, Image Comics, Random House, Tokyopop, Hasbro, Disney, Sanrio, Neil Gaiman and she also works with video game and movie companies on character development. Her own characters and properties, Tanpopo and Helmetgirls, are loved by fans and followers and now inspire Cosplay costumes. She has successfully merchandised and licensed her beautiful artwork across a variety of categories: clothing, stationery and gift, accessories, art prints, etc. and continues to expand her licensing program. Her emotive and eloquent paintings have propelled her to the top of the ranks of the New Contemporary art movement
~ Free Prints To The 1st 30 Guests Through Our Doors This Saturday ~ 
Free to the 1st 30 guests through our doors this Saturday evening. Please do not call or email asking for one, they are strictly for our local patrons on opening night.
Camilla d'Errico 'Bubble Bubble Toil & Trouble

Camilla d’Errico
‘Bubble Bubble Toil & Trouble’
Edition of 30
8×10 inches
Hand-signed by the artist

Sarah Joncas Nightshade

Sarah Joncas
‘Nightshade’
Edition of 30
8×10 inches
Hand-signed by the artist