Upcoming at Thinkspace Gallery Kwon Kyung-Yup’s Solo Exhibition “Melancholia”

Juxtapoz Kwon Kyung-Yup

Kwon Kyung-Yup: Melancholia
April 30, 2016 – May 21, 2016

Thinkspace Gallery is pleased to present Melancholia, the gallery’s first solo exhibition of paintings by Korean artist Kwon Kyung-Yup. A graduate of Sejong University in Korea, where she completed an M.F.A, Kwon is currently based out of Seoul. Known for her pale ghostly paintings of delicately rendered figures, the artist uses the human body in her imagery as a vehicle for healing, mourning, and memory. Meditative in their starkness and otherworldly in their filmy delicacy, her figurative depictions are cathartic and emotional, suggesting both trauma and recovery, forgetting and remembering.

Kwon’s figures seem suspended in time, arrested in a sort of ageless androgyny. They are beautiful, and yet unspecific, functioning more like symbolic emblems than individual subjects. When creating her work she describes a process of emotive recall in which she revisits emotional events from her past, actively summoning memories to inspire the work. The figure becomes a literal instrument of psycho-spiritual expression through which she explores universally relatable, though intensely personal, themes of femininity, sexuality, death, libidinal impulse, transformation, and ego. The human body becomes a poetic device through which Kwon explores existential drives and deficiencies.

The artist describes her paintings as meditative spaces in which she depicts longing, sadness, and fantasy. A deliberate slowness and calm are typical of their tone and pace. A single figure, minimally adorned, tends to occupy the focus of the foreground. Surrounded by a still expanse of emptiness, there are few other details, if any, to distract from the complete presence of the form. The viewer is left feeling captivated, drawn in by the concise simplicity of the image, submerged in its heavy quietude. The figures’ skins convey a nuanced depth and pallor, an impressive range of gradation and muted color that resonates through several thin, carefully applied, layers of oil paint. Kwon’s attention to the translucent rendering of these milky skins, and the contrast she creates with subtly bloodshot eyes and carefully stylized features transports the figurative realism in her work beyond the realm of naturalism. The figures are excessively human in their pristine vulnerability, and yet entirely other, emotionally charged, and surreal.

At times, the bodies depicted in Kwon’s works are wrapped in bandages, caught somewhere between life, trauma, death, and convalescence. This space of ambiguity in which the self is suspended somewhere between a beginning and an end is a recurrent theme in her work. Measured and introspective, Kwon’s process is thoughtful rather than reactive, and each piece takes up to two months to complete. She begins her paintings in a contemplative state, a literal meditation aided by conscious breath work, and carefully allows the surface to live, extracting wraiths from the void.

kwon kyung-yup melancholia

Amy Sol’s “Garden Gamine” & KIKYZ1313’s “The Progeny of Chaos” Opening Reception Recap

amy sol and kikyz1314 opening reception Opening Reception Photo Courtesy of Bryan “Birdman” Mier

Last weekend Amy Sol’s “Garden Gamine” and KIKYZ1313 “The Progeny of Chaos” opened to a great reception with a modest line forming before doors. KIKYZ1313 set the mood for her exhibition in the project room with pink walls and an ambient noise track looping throughout the night. A number of pieces from Amy Sol sold throughout the night with only a few pieces still available. Both exhibitions are on view through April 23rd, the details in both artists work must be seen in person.

amy sol and kikyz1314 Opening Reception Photo Courtesy of Sam Graham

amy sol and kikyz1314 opening reception - photo by Bryan “Birdman” Mier

amy sol and kikyz1314 opening reception - photo by Bryan “Birdman” Mier

amy sol and kikyz1314 opening reception

amy sol and kikyz1314 opening reception - photo by Bryan “Birdman” Mier

amy sol and kikyz1314 opening reception - photo by Bryan “Birdman” Mier

amy sol and kikyz1314 opening reception photo by Bryan “Birdman” Mier

amy sol and kikyz1314 opening reception photo by Bryan “Birdman” Mier

amy sol and kikyz1314 Opening Reception Photo Courtesy of Sam Graham

amy sol and kikyz1314 opening reception - Opening Reception Photo Courtesy of Bryan “Birdman” Mier

amy sol and kikyz1314 opening reception - Opening Reception Photo Courtesy of Bryan “Birdman” Mier

amy sol and kikyz1314Opening Reception Photo Courtesy of Sam Graham

amy sol and kikyz1314 Opening Reception Photo Courtesy of Sam Graham

amy sol and kikyz1314 Opening Reception Photo Courtesy of Sam Graham

amy sol and kikyz1314 opening reception - Opening Reception Photo Courtesy of Bryan “Birdman” Mier

amy sol and kikyz1314 opening reception - Opening Reception Photo Courtesy of Bryan “Birdman” Mier

amy sol and kikyz1314 Opening Reception Photo Courtesy of Sam Graham

amy sol and kikyz1314 Opening Reception Photo Courtesy of Sam Graham

amy sol and kikyz1314 Opening Reception Photo Courtesy of Sam Graham

amy sol and kikyz1314 Opening Reception Photo Courtesy of Sam Graham

amy sol and kikyz1314 Opening Reception Photo Courtesy of Sam Graham

amy sol and kikyz1314 Opening Reception Photo Courtesy of Sam Graham

 

View all the pieces from both exhibitions on our website.

All photos are courtesy of Bryan”Birdman”Mier and Sam Graham. 

Interview with Amy Sol for upcoming exhibition “Garden Gamine”

Amy Sol Interview Banner

Thinkspace Gallery is proud to present Amy Sol’s latest body of work with her solo exhibition “Garden Gamine.” In anticipation of the show we have an exclusive interview with Amy Sol sharing with us her inspiration, love of nature, and creative process.

Do your characters possess a complete narrative or are they suspended in the moment we see?
There is rarely a narrative in place when I start a new painting. It’s more fun to build a story or setting around the first spark of idea. But I’d say it’s closer to being a suspended moment. Often, I like to capture something mid-moment, where you can imagine a before and after. I really try more to hone in on a feeling, but loosely enough to be interpreted.

Walk us through what a day in the studio looks like?
When I’m prepping a body of work I tend to, for better or worse, compartmentalize my life to an extreme. I have to do this in order to have the energy and time to create. My life bar is not very strong, so I have to use it wisely. That involves having to isolate myself a bit… so less internet, e-mails and interaction in general. If I’m lucky, it is just me in a room, with plants, my dog, coffee, lots of decent listening material, and a block of time to paint and do nothing else.

Amy Sol Garden Gamine

What was playing in the background while you were working on this exhibition?
Everything. I consume tons of music, audiobooks etc. I’ve been more into podcasts lately. Especially if it’s focused on science, nature, or personal story telling. I just found an art podcast called Artist Decoded— the episode with Phil Hale is so good, I listened to it twice. I’ve had to paint thru headaches at times and oddly found asmr tapping videos to help. They got kind of addicting, so now if I’m feeling wound up I’ll actually listen to that stuff with headphones for hours sometimes.

What do you feel is the biggest misconception about being an artist?
mmm, I guess that it’s easy and all fun and no sacrifices need to be made if you choose to do it for a living. but no one actually thinks that… right? ;-P

It takes time to for an artist to develop their voice and style, then once they have defined who they are as an artist they must continue to push and grow without losing their voice. Having been in the post-contemporary world for nearly 10 years now, how do you push yourself to grow and experiment while still maintaining your unique style?
Experimenting with mediums is the phase I am in right now, I just started using oil a year ago. It is a huge challenge for me, and I feel it’s good because there are so many possibilities to be explored. My biggest rule is to trust my instinct, if I get a new idea, I try it out. I can’t put much energy into thinking where it will all lead to and how it might change me. I just try it, and if it doesn’t work I can paint over it. If I am excited to paint and getting something out of it, I feel I’m on the right path. Being in that mindset isn’t always as easy as it sounds but it’s what I aim for.

Amy Sol Garden Gamine 2

What’s your spirit animal?
A miniature panda! It reminds me to eat veggies and not take myself too seriously.

You use a lot of organic elements and imagery in your work, do you have a favorite garden or park you like to retreat to?
If I am ever visiting a city, I always check out the gardens or nature spaces. I love looking at plants. Even if there is one tree outside my window, it’s good enough. Looking at plants is really important to my well-being. I don’t know the mechanism behind this, but it works. A simple shape of a leaf or lines of a branch can communicate so much within a painting, it’s a big part of my visual language.

Amy Sol Garden Gamine 3

You’ve stated the Ghibli studio is a major inspiration, have you seen the documentary “The Kingdom of Dreams and Madness”?
Yes, I really love that documentary! It’s beautiful. Animation was a huge early influence towards the look and feel of my work now. Classic disney films played a big role in that too. As a kid I would pause the VHS tapes of Sleeping Beauty and Bambi and try to draw the forest backgrounds.

If you could live in a Miyazaki film for a day, which one would it be?
That’s a tuff one to choose, but I’d have to say Castle in the Sky and it would have to be on Laputa of course.

Amy Sol 4

The opening reception for Amy Sol’s “Garden Garmine” is this Saturday, April 2nd. For more information on the exhibition please visit the Thinkspace Gallery website.

Joram Roukes “American Ornithology” Studio Visit

Joram Roukes American Ornithology Studio Visit

Artist Joram Roukes will be exhibiting a new body of work at his Thinkspace Gallery solo exhibition ‘American Ornithology‘. Showing in the main room, a peak into his Groningen studio gives us a taste to the process and the pieces we will be seeing this weekend.  Please join us at the opening reception, this Saturday, October 11 from 6 to 9 pm.

Joram Roukes American Ornithology Studio Visit

Joram Roukes American Ornithology Studio Visit

Joram Roukes American Ornithology Studio Visit

Joram Roukes American Ornithology Studio Visit

Joram Roukes American Ornithology Studio Visit

Joram Roukes American Ornithology Studio Visit

Joram Roukes American Ornithology Studio Visit

Joram Roukes American Ornithology Studio Visit

 

 

Meggs Studio Visit for ‘Paving Paradise’ at Beyond Eden

Meggs Paving Paradise

We stopped by Meggs’s Venice studio to check up on the finishing touches to his solo exhibition ‘Paving Paradise‘ at Beyond Eden opening this weekend. A multi-gallery event celebrating the New Contemporary Art Movement, Beyond Eden in it’s fifth and final edition will be at LAMAG October 3rd and 4th. Saturday’s hours for Beyond Eden will be 6pm-11pm and Sunday noon to 5pm; admission is $5 at the door.

The artwork in this show plays on the same irony and notion of tragedy. Consumerism, materialism, and over-development of the urban landscape are rapidly devastating the same natural resources and beauty we conceive as ‘Paradise’ — a utopian place where its community can live in peace, resources are sustainable, and we can equally appreciate the natural and social environment we live in.

Meggs Beyond Eden PP

Meggs Beyond Eden PP

Meggs Beyond Eden PP

Meggs Beyond Eden PP

Meggs Beyond Eden PP

Meggs PP Beyond Eden

Meggs PP Beyond Eden

Meggs PP Beyond Eden

Meggs PP Beyond Eden

please note there will not be an ATM at the gallery

First LA based solo exhibition from Low Bros – Wasted Youth

Low Bros Jux Ad

Low Bros
Wasted Youth
June 20th – July 11th

Thinkspace (Los Angeles) – is pleased to present Wasted Youth, the first LA based solo exhibition of works by sibling artist duo Low Bros. Based in Berlin, and originally from Hamburg, the Low Bros consists of brothers Christoph and Florin Schmidt, formerly known by their aliases Qbrk and Nerd. Their murals and street art collaborations have transformed urban landscapes around the world, punctuating streets and accenting structures with a host of memorable and hyper-stylized characters. The Low Bros have developed an urban mythology with a cast of recurring characters and fictional crews, brought to life by a visual shorthand that is unmistakably their own. Drawing from 80’s and 90’s skateboard, graffiti and hip hop cultures, the brothers appropriate imagery from the graphic histories that defined their youth, and transform nostalgia into something entirely fresh and innovative.

Combining elements from the animal and human worlds, the Low Bros fuse urban references with those taken from nature. Their animal characters, ranging from tigers and cheetahs to “teen wolves”, are subcultural emblems or hyper-stylized stereotypes. As stand-ins for the human, this anthropomorphic animal world is mischievous and whimsical, while also jarring and unexpected in its juxtapositions. Graphically deconstructed and reassembled as an amalgam of strangely wonderful surreal worlds, the man-made collides with a hallucinatory animal kingdom that mimics its conventions and affects. Incorporating elements of psychedelia, West Coast skate culture, early video games and 80’s and 90’s graphic design – all brought to life with a tongue-in-cheek machismo – the Low Bros create pieces that are undeniably irreverent and playful.

The work is distinctly geometric, as though structurally composited from individual blocks or planes of color, and hovers somewhere between cubist cut-out, graffiti script and 16/32-bit atari graphics. These meticulously faceted pieces spare no attention to detail, while the intense color combinations and shading bring it all to life. The Low Bros are constantly setting up visual tensions between two-dimensional and three-dimensional optics, channeling a simultaneity of perspectives. Oscillating between flatness and dimension, some areas feel static and hard-edged while others are fluid and organic. The clever composition of these effective contrasts results in an unexpected richness of spatial depth and plasticity.

Self-taught graffiti writers, the brothers work primarily in acrylic paints and aerosols. In addition to their site-specific murals, individual panels and prints, they have also made recent forays into video and installation, bringing their motley cast of urban animals to life. The Wasted Youth exhibition will coincide with a large public project in Los Angeles, their first, and will include a large site-specific gallery mural and an installation component. Though their work is so clearly inspired by Californian youth and pop culture, the Low Bros are visiting LA for the first time on the occasion of the exhibition. An ironic nod to their mother’s admonishing cautions that graffiti was “a waste of their youth”, the Low Bros exhibition title embodies their penchant for irony, humor and, above all else, audacious play.

low bros finshed piece teaser

Yosuke Ueno – Beautiful Noise

Yosuke in studio

Yosuke Ueno – ‘Beautiful Noise’
Opening Reception with Artist: Saturday May 23, 6-9pm
May 23rd – June 13th

Thinkspace is pleased to present Beautiful Noise, the gallery’s fourth solo exhibition for Japanese artist Yosuke Ueno. A self-taught painter, Ueno has been creating fantastic worlds and characters as long as he can remember. Highly stylized and beautifully imaginative, his works are surreal and emotional; an alternate reality expressed through a quasi-mythological orbit of his own making. Like tightly knit universes unto themselves, his bizarre and wonderfully unhinged worlds feature a recurring cast of characters and repeated motifs. An intensely emotive painter who, by his own admission, allows his cathartic approach to dictate the development of his works as they’re made, Ueno’s take on pop surrealism is at times explosive and at others meditative, but is consistently seeking the reconciliation of darkness and whimsy.

Inspired by Japanese graphic cultures such as manga and anime, and drawing on the unique stylization of Japanese street fashion, Ueno’s graphic paintings are galvanized by his love of visual culture. Channeling both anger and optimism in the creation of his creatures and surreal landscapes, he seeks the transformation of the negative by invoking hope and positivity through his imagery, even when it betrays trauma and distress in equal parts. Ueno approaches painting as a communicative conduit, and as something powerfully invested with the capacity to make people feel. Because of this implicit responsibility, he has actively sought love and redemption in his imagery rather than indulging in destruction and sadness. Painting is a process of discovery for Ueno, one that he likens to scientific experimentation and unknown variables. He allows his paintings to evolve intuitively, not knowing what the end result will be.

His interest in striking a balance between light and dark imagery is immediately apparent in some of his more recent works. These manage to reconcile the suggestion of sweetness and innocence with the presence of something more sinister and foreboding. Wide-eyed, plushy, rainbow-colored characters are offset by skulls and abject anatomical references, and cotton candy landscapes are punctuated by the suggestion of something harder and menacing, or deeply melancholic. Despite a recurring invocation of love and hope that verges at times on a plea, the works clearly convey the coexistence of often irreconcilable oppositions. Ueno has spoken openly about how his work and imagery were greatly affected by the earthquake, and resulting Tsunami, that devastated Japan in 2011; an event that has left an indelible trauma on its culture. His work, following this tragedy, became less about his omission of negativity, and more about his attempt to summon love and hope in its midst.

The multiplicity of characters in Ueno’s works, and there are over a thousand, hails from the artist’s connection to Japanese Shinto; the polytheistic spiritual tradition in Japan that reveres the greatness in all small things in nature, and seeks the presence of the divine in the minute. In this belief system, there are millions of individual god figures, a veritable plethora of characters and personified energies for even the smallest of natural elements. Each individual part is as important as the whole. This spiritual pluralism is woven throughout Ueno’s work, as the artist builds complex symbolic systems, holistic worlds and recurring metaphors to reinvent a personal spiritual iconography.

Yosuke Ueno’s works, though beautiful, contemporary and graphic, are loaded with a symbolism that betrays the artist’s deeper spiritual connection to making. Giving his imagination free rein to create on impulse, Ueno builds a surreal cosmos with infinite possibilities.

yosuke ueno beautiful noise