Coming up THIS Saturday, June 16th we welcome the returns of Sarah Joncas and Caia Koopman to Thinkspace for a very special show. To help us spread the good word Juxtapoz have posted a ‘Back Talk’ interview with Sarah Joncas.
What is the biggest risk you’ve ever taken and was it worth it? Going to art school in Toronto with only the hope of scholarship money to get me through it. Moving away from home to live alone was a big step in my life. I learned a greater responsibility and maturity because of it.
The new issue of Pop Surrealism Magazine is now available online and features Thinkspace family member Sarah Joncas on the cover along with a nice feature on her art within. Congrats to Richard and his crew at the mag on continuing to break new ground with the new issue now being available for iPad download and the addition of their Pop Goes LA publication that will be available very soon at high-end hotels around the LA area. It will serves as a great item for art lovers from abroad visiting LA to have as a handy lil’ guide. Pop Goes LA will list all the hot upcoming exhibitions in the burgeoning new contemporary art scene as well as provide a guide to all the galleries in the LA area.
View the Summer 2011 issue online here (also now downloadable for iPad): www.popsurmag.com
Canadian artist Sarah Joncas is returning to NYC next week for her show with Last Rites Gallery opening on April 30th. ‘Lilith’ will feature a new series of oil paintings on canvas alongside a small selection of new graphite works on paper. Sarah talks a bit about the show and her inspiration behind the new series below.
“Given the opportunity to go darker with this show, I chose to go full force in celebrating the original femme fatale, Lilith – not necessarily as a direct allegorical reference, but more so for what she represents. According to Jewish Mythology, Lilith is considered to be the true 1st wife of Adam, though her unwillingness to submit caused her to rebel from Eden in search of her own dark path. As such, she’s been written as the temptress, the mysterious and the devil. Taking from fairytale and folklore inspirations, much of my work for this show borders on the fantastical, indulging and sometimes turning other mythological females into similar demoniac beings. Though working with a relatively more aggressive theme than usual, I’ve kept the melancholic and pensive tone that my work is most well known for.”
This November Thinkspace will celebrate our 5 Year Anniversary. To help celebrate we’ve put together a group show we can’t wait for everyone to see this coming November.
’5 Years / 5 Questions’ with Sarah Joncas
Tell us a little bit about your piece for Thinkspace’s ‘5 Year Anniversary Show’ this November?
Much of the painting was developed on a whim, but as it progressed, a lot of native inspired imagery surfaced. I enjoyed the mixing of something sincerely natural with the plastic, funky appeal of a modern looking girl – even the markings are meant to look like they’ve been made with the lipstick she’s wearing.
What were you doing back in 2005 when Thinkspace started?
I was in my last year of high school, preparing to leave for art college to study ‘drawing and painting’ in Toronto.
Name 5 things you can’t live without in your studio?
My music, the cat, paint supplies, the computer, my pajamas…
Where do you hope to be 5 years from now?
I just want to be painting and living self sustainable… I’d hate to revert back in any way.
What have you got coming up in 2011?
I have a solo show in NYC at the Last Rites Gallery in April owned by Paul Booth. Have already started the work, too. I’m pretty excited! The work is certainly getting darker for this one.
Check out a great video from the opening night of ‘Siren‘ that Sarah’s friend Ann Kornuta put together above.
Both exhibits are on view through Sept. 24th and really need to be seen in person due to the impressive murals and installs, so please be sure to swing through next you are in the Culver City arts district.
Sarah Joncas ‘Siren‘ + Dabs Myla ‘Tokyo Deluxe‘ (on view through Sept. 24th)
For anyone who follows Sarah Joncas‘ work, it should come as no surprise that music has and is a large influence on her painting process. Just as mediums or materials are essential to creating, Joncas considers music a necessary ingredient to developing and fulfilling her ideas. It was no doubt that sooner or later music would become the central theme to a body of her work. From instrument to dance, the artist has brought music to the forefront of her solo female narratives and embraced this all-important part of our culture. Similar to the pop element in her work (visually impacted by sources such as comic books, anime, film and cartoons), Joncas’ musical inspirations are mostly streaming from rock and alternative roots. Suitably given the title ‘Siren‘, this show is about the seduction and romance of music. It gets us moving, gets us singing, tugs at the heartstrings and becomes undeniably infused with our character and how we identify with the world. To further this theme, all the works included in ‘Siren’ have been named after songs/lyrics/bands that suit them or provide an opening to interpretation. Some inspired by, some titled afterwards with consideration. Though physically silent, it has always been the artist’s hope to create work that can speak and touch someone in a similar way as a piece of music does.
Please talk a lil’ bit about the work that makes up your new series for ‘Siren‘. Was there one particular moment that helped to shape this body of work?
Well, I’ve wanted to make a music themed body of work for awhile now, which may not be so surprising. The title felt suitable as this show is about the seduction and romance of music, as well as linking to my usual subject matter of dark, solitary women. I wasn’t entirely certain that this would be my direction in the beginning, but after starting on a couple pieces – a dancer and a quiet geisha holding a guitar – everything else just flowed out naturally and without hesitation.
Why did you choose to become an artist?
It was a fairly natural course for me. I hate to be the cliché and say I knew from the beginning, but I kind of did. I loved drawing even at 2-3 years old, told my mom at 5 that’s what I wanted to do. It’s just what makes me happy!
From your time at art school, name one thing you learned while there that has stuck with you to this day?
Don’t let anyone stop you from making the art you want to make! It’s good to take suggestions and criticism, it might even benefit your work, but you’ll be better off doing what makes you happy since that’s where the passion for creating is. I’d be so miserable if I listened to a prof who told me figure painting is dead… Besides, he was wrong.
The works in your new series are all named after popular songs from the rock and alternative realms. Would you one day like to work with a band on creating the layout/concept for their album art? If so, which one band would you pick if you had your choice?
I guess I would be pretty amazed with such an offer, at least if it were a band I enjoyed. I’d feel so unworthy though, haha. There are so many musicians I love, but I keep going over what bands my work might actually suit rather than just anyone. Maybe a band with a strong female lead like Portishead, Tori Amos, Cat Power, Bat for Lashes, Garbage etc…
Being from Canada, what do you like most about California when you come to visit? What strikes you as the biggest difference?
Well, I haven’t traveled much of Canada yet, but compared to what I’ve seen – the landscape! And all those crazy trees. Somehow I doubt someone would visit Ontario and gawk at the pines, but every time I saw a cool looking tree in LA I had to take a photo and touch the bark… Is that weird? And you guys have the ocean and all those valleys… My answer might be different if I got the chance to travel to BC or the Maritimes, but I haven’t.
What have you got coming up in terms of shows after your show with us?
I have a piece in the Last Rites Gallery (New York, NY) October group show, a piece for your 5 year anniversary show in November, and a solo I’m already starting work on for April with the Last Rites Gallery… Expect the work to get dark for that one.