Interview with Ozabu for 彷徨 (Wander)

Ozabu Interview

Next Saturday, Japanese artist Ozabu will be exhibiting her latest body of work at Thinkspace Gallery in the project room. Ozabu’s graphite drawings are highly rendered with subtle line work leaving a weightless ghost on the paper. Our interview with Ozabu for 彷徨 (Wander) is slightly edited to compensate for the language barrier but gives insight into her self-taught discipline and if she drinks coffee or tea.

SH: As a self-taught artist, what motivated you to pursue a life in the arts and what books or techniques did you study to develop your own artistic style?
OZ: My parents are a big influence and introduce me to art. They like drawing and love art, so we’d often go to museums and draw together at the park when I was a child. But as I grew older, I became less interested in drawing. Then about 5 years ago, I suddenly was inspired to try drawing again and realized I did not have the skill to draw as I wish I could. So, I decided to start again from that point on. I’m attracted to the profundity express in graphite and now here I am.

I didn’t use any reference books to learn drawing. I’ve never researched what kind of techniques or tools other artist use. I would just see a piece in person and then analyze it, teaching myself the technique and trying out different tools until I understand how the piece was created myself.

Ozabu Wander 1

SH: What is the inspiration or theme behind this latest body of work?
OZ: I’ve always pulled inspiration from the things that I’ve felt and my experience with a bit of Japanese extract. I experienced the death of an important person in my life around the time I started working on this show. So the pieces in the exhibition include funeral and parting scenes. I felt that the more I drew, that dark place within myself is what was brought up when drawing those pieces.

SH: Many of your pieces involve birds or feathers the elements adding movement and dimension to the work. Are the birds and feathers also symbolic?
OZ: Yes. They possess something that I don’t have. I don’t know why, but they’ve always fascinated me very much.

SH: What are your favorite tools to work with?
OZ: Mechanical pencil and pencil of Staedtler and Pentel

Ozabu Tsuibami

SH: What is a common mistake people make with drawing?
OZ: That they don’t put their emotions into the drawing.

SH: When not working on art, what captures your attention and takes up your time?
OZ: Walking around places full of nature

SH: Are you a coffee or tea drinker?
OZ: coffee, of course!

SH: Who are a few of your favorite artists right now?
OZ: Esao Andrews,Dan Quintana,Ito Jakuchu,James Jean,Jessica Joslin,Katsuya Terada, Kikyz1313, Kent Williams ,Gakkin, Fuyuko Matsui, Vania Zouravliov and more!

SH: Are you left or right handed?
OZ: Left handed but pencil is right

Ozabu Kitsune

The opening reception of Obazu’s 彷徨 (Wander) is Saturday, September 17th from 6pm to 9pm. Please visit the Thinkspace Gallery website for more information.

This Works Interview with Cinta Vidal

The Works Cinta Vidal

This Work recently published an interview with artist Cinta Vidal, who had a successful solo exhibition at Thinkspace Gallery back in July. View ‘This Works’ interview on their website and check out our own interview with Cinta Vidal discussing her exhibition Gravities.

Some years ago I started playing with gravity in order to represent the different points of view we all have from the world. We often live close to each other but have a very different perception from our environment. This is what I try to represent when I play with gravity. – Cinta Vidal via This Works interview

View all available work by Cinta Vidal here: http://thinkspacegallery.com/artists/cinta-vidal/

Pow! Wow! Long Beach Featured on L.A. 437

In this video by L.A. 437, Thinkspace Gallery co-owner and curator Andrew Hosner is interviewed along with Long Beach Museum of Art director, Ronald Nelson and POW! WOW! muralists about the process of getting pieces from paper to walls and the new contemporary art movement’s place in the art world.  Enjoy the video below & please subscribe to Thinkspace Gallery’s YouTube channel.

For more information of Pow! Wow! Long Beach and the Long Beach Museum of Art’s current exhibition Vitality & Verve: In The Third Dimension please visit the Thinkspace Gallery website.

Upcoming Exhibition at Thinkspace Gallery – Ozabu’s ‘彷徨 (Wander)’

Ozabu Postcard

Ozabu
彷徨 (Wander)
September 17, 2016 – October 8, 2016

Thinkspace is pleased to present new works by Japanese artist Ozabu in Wander. Her drawings are staggeringly detailed, stylized and yet lifelike, rendered with incredibly subtle line work. Created with minimal media in pencil and graphite on paper, her ghostly hauntings of paper flesh range from the comely to the macabre.

Aesthetically inspired by the visual cultures and mythologies of Japan, Ozabu’s emotive figurative drawings often incorporate animal symbolism and references to the natural world. Preferring to allow the work to speak for itself, Ozabu often avoids comment on her imagery, hoping the viewer will shape personal readings themselves.

Sensual, dark, and at times ominous, the open-ended works reveal moments of a larger narrative and plot beyond the frame. Characters appear with symbolic aegis under the cover of wings, bird’s heads, insects, and lush flora, like woeful apparitions or powerful augurs. Ozabu’s world is a mysteriously beautiful shadow land.

Ozabu New Wors

Ozabu New Works

 

 

 

 

Upcoming Exhibition at Thinkspace Gallery – Allison Sommers’s ‘Bruxism’

Allison Sommers Postcard

Allison Sommers
Bruxism

September 17, 2016 – October 8, 2016

(Los Angeles) – Thinkspace is pleased to present Bruxism, a solo exhibition of new works by Brooklyn-based artist Allison Sommers. In her sixth exhibition with the gallery, Sommers presents new mixed-media works that veer increasingly towards an expressionistic abstraction of the figurative. Known for her imaginative and irreverent worlds of creature curiosities and disobedient bodies, Sommers conveys an irrepressible disquiet through an undoing and upended capsizing of skins. Anatomically impressionistic, and at times barbaric, her renderings of bodies and humanoid animals appear in a state of troubling excess, rupturing through the flawed boundaries of their outsides. She presents us with a nightmarish vision of embodiment, reminding us of the body’s impermanence and mortal failure while revealing the uncomfortable beauty of the abhorrent.

Sommers’ vaguely apocalyptic world is aesthetically fraught and anxiety-ridden. Simultaneously gestural and painstakingly contained, a sustained tension emerges between the loose and the drawn, the chaotic and the controlled. Evocative and symbolically open-ended, her imagery evolves through exhaustive sketchbooks and the wrought work of constant mark making. Though familiar, her creatures are at far enough of a remove from the real to evade heavy-handed horror. The surreal proportions of the grotesque keep the imagery on another, more poetically licentious, plane. Seductive and simultaneously pained, Sommers’ world of viscera loosely intermingles violence with calm, the sacred with the profane, and the hideous with the alluring. The brutality of the flesh is an unavoidable precondition of the self, in both its violence and vulnerability, a theme that continues to seep from her work.

Sommers describes her process as one of frenetic distillation, a constant consumption and extraction of experience and influence. Working across a variety of media, she creates installation and sculptural-based works from found materials and altered remnants alongside her two-dimensional pieces. Starting from sketchbook drawings, Sommers builds her paintings through the accretion of marks and materials, layering drawing in various media such as graphite, copier pencil, wax crayon, china marker, magic marker, ballpoint pen and fountain pen, and interspersing these with layers of gouache, her preferred painting medium.

A former history major fascinated by 18th,19th and early 20th, Century historical and cultural themes, Sommers’ work has become decreasingly narrative-based over the years in favor of a more interpretative exploration of its various inheritances. She is interested in what she has called the “scale of grief” in the interwar period, a legacy of existential distress explored by the likes of Francis Bacon, George Grosz, and Otto Dix, all of whom she identifies as influences. Sommers invokes this dissociative experience of the body as a philosophically fractured, psychically incohesive, and ultimately disjointed vessel for the self. Though she dissuades an overly prescribed interpretation of her work, preferring to keep it loosely associative, Sommers’ references and allusions are complex and nuanced.

Among the themes explored by Sommers in Bruxism are the consuming compulsions and wasting momentums of anxiety, the repetitive and forced nature of nostalgia, and the imperfect and unresolved nature of embodiment. In keeping with her preference for references that function as thematic “scaffolding,” her title refers to “bruxing” the term given to the compulsive grinding of a horse’s teeth.

 New Works by Allison Sommers

New Works by Allison Sommers

New Works by Allison Sommers

New Works by Allison Sommers