An Interview with James Bullough for group exhibition ‘GUMBO’

Jame Bullough piece for Gumbo

A short but sweet interview with James Bullough for his upcoming show ‘GUMBO’ at Thinkspace Gallery. ‘GUMBO’ will be featuring new pieces from seven Thinkspace artists who all bring a different style, voice, and flavor to their art. GUMBO opens Saturday April 25th from 6-9pm, and will be on view till May 16th. 

SH: What artist in the upcoming ‘Gumbo’ show would you want to collaborate with and why?
JB: I absolutely love Ryan Hewett’s work. I first saw one of his pieces in Berlin at the Thinkspace curated LAX/TXL show at Urban Nation and was immediately captivated by it. Being a realist painter myself I have always admired painters with a looser, more intuitive approach like Ryan’s. Besides the obvious connection of portraiture in each of our own works it is hard to find many other similarities. This vast contrast in styles and approach is extremely interesting to me and could result in something really special. I also feel like I could learn a lot from watching him work and sharing ideas.

Troy Coulterman would also be a nice collaboration combo. What’s really interesting about him is that when I first came across his work last year in Miami at the Aqua art fare I realized that he and I have actually already done some work that is eerily similar. He has these amazing hand sculptures that are cut up and glitched out similar to what I do in my work. It would be awesome to push this even further and see what we could come up with together. I’ve also always wanted to try and paint onto a 3D object, such as a glitched out hand, and see how realistic I could get it to look. …hmmm, actually this collaboration is starting to sound pretty good. I might have to make a phone call to Troy.

SH: When do you get the most work done; morning, noon, or night?
JB: I’m all over the place. I haven’t had internet in my studio for a little over a year now which I find really cuts down on distractions and ups my productivity a lot, but what that also means is that I have to do all of my administrative work in the mornings before I head off to the studio for the day so my mornings are pretty productive but not with anything fun. Once I get into the studio around lunch time and turn my creative brain on I tend to work straight through for 6 or 7 hours with very few breaks. Leading up to a show can sometimes get crazy with more like 10 or 12 hour studio sessions or longer.

SH: In three words, describe your artwork.
JB: I only need two… ‘Shifted Realism’

SH: How long does it take you to finish a piece? What is your processes?
JB: I tend to take a day or two just for the planning and prepping for a new painting. I start by picking a surface from my stockpile of old wood and metal in my studio, or if I’m working on canvas I’ll determine the size and build it out. The size, shape, and material of the surface helps determine what I will paint. I’m extremely picky about selecting just the right image and experimenting with different ways to break it up and alter it. There’s always hours and hours of unsuccessful experiments before I land on something good. Once the image is all set I try to do a quick underpainting in one day, covering the entire piece depending on the size. From there I can start working on the fun part of adding detailed layers of oil paint over the underpainting. Two layers seems to be working for me at the moment but sometimes it can take a couple more to get it just right. All in, I guess it takes about a week or a week and a half per painting
Ironically when it comes to painting murals, I can paint a 20×50 foot wall with spray cans in about half the time it takes me to do a 20×20 inch oil painting in the studio. Go figure.

james bullough piece 2 for gumbo

SH: Do you remember the first time you showed your work to the public? Where was it?
JB: About seven years ago just for fun I started making paintings in my basement in the evenings after my day job as a middle school teacher in Baltimore. Two years later I met a guy in a bar who had a gallery in Brooklyn and he asked to see some of my work. I showed him some stuff on my phone and he invited me to be part of a showcase at his gallery with about ten other artists. I showed 7 or 8 pieces in that show, two of which were good and the rest were terrible but the experience was amazing. It was just the spark I needed in my life and in less than one year from that opening night I had quit my job of nearly a decade, sold my house and all my possessions, and moved to Berlin to paint full time. Second best decision I’ve made in my life so far.

SH: Do you have any wise words for a fledgling artist who admires your work?
JB: Yeah, listen to my radio show! Every other week I interview a different artist or gallerist for an hour and get the whole story about how and why they came to do what they do. There’s no single formula to success, especially in the art game so hearing all the different approaches and journeys that different artists take is extremely helpful and inspirational. Not to mention it’s basically the best thing you can listen to in your studio while you’re working on your own work. And I hear the host is pretty good too… just sayin.

The show is called VantagePoint. You can listen to or download any of the shows from the past year and a half on our website or subscribe to it on iTunes and thank me later.

SH: Bonus question: Speaking of gumbo, have you ever been to New Orleans? If so, tell us a tale! If not, tell us another tale.
JB: Nope I’ve never been to New Orleans, but I’ve got a Creole uncle who makes a mean Gumbo every thanksgiving. Shouts to big Willie!

gumbo postcard

An Interview with Alex Yanes for new group exhibition ‘GUMBO’

Alex Yanes Aves Fiera

A short but sweet interview with Alex Yanes for his upcoming show ‘GUMBO’ at Thinkspace Gallery. ‘GUMBO’ will be featuring new pieces from seven Thinkspace artists who all bring a different style, voice, and flavor to their art. ‘GUMBO’ opens Saturday April 25th from 6-9pm, and will be on view till May 16th. 

SH: What artist in the upcoming ‘Gumbo’ show would you want to collaborate with and why?
AY: It’s a dead tie between Sergio Garcia & Troy Coulterman. Both of them blew my mind during Art Basel this year! Would be cool to create something really crazy and busy, coming out of the walls with those two.

SH: When do you get the most work done; morning, noon, or night?
AY: I’m a morning person, but work 10 hour days. Cuban expresso all day, everyday.

SH: In three words, describe your artwork.
AY: Clean Calm Collected

SH: How long does it take you to finish a piece? What is your processes?
AY: About a week or so, depending on size. I always work on more than one piece at a time, hate watching paint dry. Usually begins with a rough sketch, then individually hand cut shapes or built out boxes. I transform them into things as I go along, attach them together and there you have it.

Alex Yanes Bubblegum Rider

SH: Do you remember the first time you showed your work to the public? Where was it?
AY: Yup. The bar at the Marlin Hotel on Miami Beach back in 2004. Although according to my Mom, I had a drawing of a rabbit wearing a Walkman, riding a skateboard exhibited at the County Youth Fair when I was in 1st grade.

SH: Do you have any wise words for a fledgling artist who admires your work?AY: I never did it for the money. Trained myself to create every day, even when I don’t feel like it. My Art has always helped me through the low spots in my life and granted me unimaginable accomplishments. People told me I could never make it a career and I stuck with it anyway. Never quit! Although it doesn’t define me as a person, my art is a piece of me. I feel most alive in the studio, in my zone, making something out of nothing.

SH Bonus question: Speaking of gumbo, have you ever been to New Orleans? If so, tell us a tale! If not, tell us another tale.
AY: Nope, but its cousin Key West is only a 2.5 hour drive from Miami. Been there many, many times, but only remember bits and pieces. Cheers!!

gumbo postcard

Bec Winnel Interview for Beautanica

Bec Winnel Beautanica ‘Beautanica‘ opening reception Saturday April 25th from 6 -9pm. 

Warm-Up Questions:
Coffee or Tea?

Spirit Animal?

What was your background noise when creating this show?
The radio (Triple J) for most of it and then a new born baby girl!

Main Interview:

BEc Winnel Progress Shot I

SH:  Are the women in your work based on people you know or an imagined reference?
BW: They aren’t based on anyone I know in particular. Although I use shots of models backstage for reference, the women in my art are meant to capture and represent the soulfulness of women in general.

SH: What inspired the direction of this latest body of work?
BW: I was pregnant when I started and had a baby by the time I finished. I’m sure she, Bridget, inspired my work strongly along with the subject matter I always use, feminine beauty, mixed with elements of nature. A lot of the reference for the nature elements in my work come from plants around my house.

SH: If you had only 5 minutes to go shopping at your favorite art supply store and buy whatever you wanted, money is no object, what would you throw in your basket? (or cart)
BW: Ooo, can I have the whole shop? I would probably head to the watercolour section and pick out the most beautiful and expensive full set of watercolours, packaged in a beautiful wooden box.

SH: How did you develop and find your artistic voice?
BW: While I always stayed with females as my subject, I experimented with a lot of different styles and mediums. Eventually I stuck with realism using pencils as I felt this area was where my strengths were. Around the same time I discovered the work of Sara Moon who influenced my style also. Sara Moon created vintage style images of women in a smokey and dreamy world. From there my style has developed to include areas of 2D abstract imagery and patterns of mixed media such as watercolour and metallic inks. Also incorporating pan pastels into the realism of the ladies. Always experimenting and trying new things helps you to find your voice.

New Piece for Beautanica by Bec Winnel

SH: What do you do when you’re filled with self-doubt or stuck in a creative rut?
BW: Sometimes I’ll walk away from my art (go outside, have a hot shower, go for a drive, go visit a friend) until I feel inspired to create again or if there is a deadline and I have no choice but to produce work, I’ll start several artworks until finally one feels like it is working. Most important and almost impossible sometimes, is not to over think what I’m doing but to let it just happen, almost on a subconscious level.

SH: When do you get the most work done; morning, noon, or night?
BW: Either early morning or late at night. I’m useless during the middle of the day.

SH: How do you know a piece is finished?
BW: I once read that a piece is finished when your eye can move freely around a piece and all areas of the artwork feel resolved. I pretty much try to follow that idea. I usually check with partner or family too and ask them if they think it looks ‘finished’. A fresh eye never goes astray.

Bec Winnel Progress Shot II

SH: What other artists work are you a fan of right now?
BW: There are so many artist work that I love, I think I’m following around 300 of them on Instagram! An artist my friend just introduced me to is Lorraine Loots. She creates mind blowing little realistic artworks the size of your thumbnail!

SH: What do you know now, that you wish you’d known when you were first embarking on your artistic career?
BW: When I was starting out, it did take a long time to find my artistic ‘voice’ and at times it was really hard and frustrating. I still feel like I’m finding it with every piece I create, however, one artist said to me a couple of years ago, finding your voice simply takes time. Knowing that, I could have accepted the journey is an ever-growing one and to be more patient!

SH: If you could live in any movie for a day, what would it be? Would you be a specific character or yourself?
BW: It would have to be a Drew Barrymore movie. Either ever after or 50 first dates. I would just be myself and watch Drew. She seems so nice and funny.

Sergio Garcia featured in High Time Magazine

Sergio Garcia Feature in High Times

Artist Sergio Garcia, who will be showing new work in “Gumbo” opening Saturday April 25, has been featured in High Times magazine. Highlighting his works inclusion into the permanent collection of the Hash, Marihuana, and Hemp Museums in Amsterdam and Barcelona; the magazine is available on newsstands now.

Thinkspace Invades Detroit – LAX/DTW

LAX DTW Thinkspace Invades Detroit

Los Angeles based gallery Thinkspace has teamed up with Inner State Gallery in Detroit, Michigan to present ‘LAX / DTW’. This special exhibition has been curated by Thinkspace and serves as an amazing introduction to the burgeoning New Contemporary movement for art lovers in the Midwest. Featuring 16×20 inch works from over 80 artists spanning the globe including featured artists: Stephanie Buer and Liz Brizzi.

‘LAX / DTW’ will kick off with an opening reception on Saturday, June 6th with two of the owners of Thinkspace on hand. With roots firmly planted in illustration, pop culture imagery, comics, street art and graffiti, put quite simply the New Contemporary Art Movement is art for the people.

Featuring 16×20 inch works from:

Aaron Nagel
Adam Caldwell
Alexis Diaz
Allison Sommers
Amanda Marie
Andy Kehoe
Angry Woebots
Anthony Clarkson
Bec Winnel
Brett Amory
Brian Mashburn
Carl Cashman
Chie Yoshii
Christine Wu
Craig ‘Skibs’ Barker
Dan-ah Kim
Dave MacDowell
David Cooley
Derek Gores
Derek Hess
Drew Leshko
Erik Jones
Erik Siador
Frank Gonzales
Fumi Nakamura
Glenn Barr
Greg Mike
Henrik Aa. Uldalen
Jacub Gagnon
James Bullough
James Marshall (Dalek)
Jeff Ramirez
Jeremy Hush
Jim Houser
Jolene Lai
Joram Roukes
Joseph Martinez
Kelly VIvanco
Ken Flewellyn
Kevin Peterson
Ki Sung Koh
Kojiro Ankan Takakuwa
Kwon Kyung-yup
Kyle Stewart
Lindsey Carr
Linnea Strid
Luke Chueh
Marco Mazzoni
Mari Inukai
Mary Iverson
Matthew Grabelsky
Michael Ramstead
Michelle Tanguay
Mike Egan
Naoto Hattori
Nick Jaskey
Paul Barnes
Paula Zammit
Peter Adamyan
Rodrigo Luff
Ryan Hewett
Sarah Joncas
Sean Mahan
Sebastian Wahl
Seth Armstrong
Shark Toof
Tony Philippou
Tran Nguyen
Troy Lovegates

Taking place at:
Inner State Gallery
1410 Gratiot Avenue
Detroit, Michigan 48207

Opening Reception: Saturday, June 6th 7-10PM
On view: June 6th through July 4th, 2015

Featured artist Stephanie Buer:
Portland based artist Stephanie Buer explores derelict and abandoned urban spaces in her meticulously detailed oil paintings and charcoal drawings. Looking to the barren architectural vestiges of industry, Buer explores the life of marginalized structures once they’re divested of function and condemned to vacancy and neglect. Buer is fascinated by the living histories of absence, and by the poetic solitude of remnants; these buildings, once brimming with purpose and commercial enterprise remain untenanted reminders of human desertion and waste.

Stephanie Buer’s work is inspired by an untiring search for the spectral half lives of desolate spaces. Ever in search of dissonant juxtapositions and interesting details, Buer captures the poetry of imperfection in the graffiti marred walls of abandoned factories, and in the permanent vacancy of old buildings overgrown and dispossessed by the progress of nature. Initially, Buer began her search for these urban ruins and relics in the abandoned industrial recesses of Detroit. From these early urban explorations sprang an interest in the stories of structures, and in the spatial poetry of architectural remains. Her works are very much about the process of looking, of excavating beauty and value from inglorious castoffs and flawed fragments. Critically, her work encourages the viewer to consider the larger significance of a culture that pursues indiscriminate and unsustainable development; the abandoned buildings themselves endemic of the progress that once necessitated their development. Buer reminds us that things continue to live, even once they have been discarded.

Featured artist Liz Brizzi:
Los Angeles based, French born, artist Liz Brizzi’s mixed media collage paintings combine photography, paper and acrylic washes of paint on board to build complex and layered graphic works that capture the architectural specters of the urban core.

Brizzi is an artist adrift and in search of the mutable lives of structures. Through her travels, Brizzi has sought to capture the cultural specificity of her subjects, looking to the ways in which architecture speaks of its city’s past and present. A central component of her practice involves the undertaking of urban “safaris” on which she seeks and arrests the absentia of industrial relics and buildings through photography. Her work can be defined as architectural portraiture, seeking the evasive identities of these receding and often forgotten edifices. Whether in a decrepit neon sign, a vacant alley way or a gutted building, Brizzi excavates the lives of partial vestiges. In the absence of human subjects, the works focus on these architectures and environments as living entities subject to the ravages of time and neglect.

Brizzi’s gritty and colorful works are ambient, and capture the moodiness of these urban hauntings with impressionistic license. At once graphic and painterly, the works are often composites of fractured moments and vistas. Architectonically devised compositionally, the panels are nonetheless as deeply emotive and stirring as they are technically impressive. They feel both holistically bound and fragmentary – a beautifully injured vision of remnants and unknown hollows. An avid traveller with an interest in Japanese philosophy, particularly the tenets of Wabi-Sabi which expound an appreciation of transience and imperfection, Brizzi is a spatial poet in search of ragged edges and haunted fissures.

About Inner State Gallery / 1xRun:

1xRUN is the premier online destination for exclusive one of a kind artwork in any and all forms. Working with leading and emerging artists from around the world, 1xRUN is focused on bringing limited-edition time released artwork to collectors across the globe. Here at 1xRUN, our artists are a special breed and so are our customers. We strive to offer a one of a kind product that suits both and is unlike anything else in the marketplace.

1xRUN was founded by the team at Inner State Gallery ( formally 323East) in Detroit’s Historic Eastern Market. Over the past 6 years, we’ve worked with hundreds of amazing artists, both locally and internationally, and we’re constantly adding new artists.

Formed out of years and years of developing trusted relationships with our favorite artists, gallerists and curators, our team is a rotating band of artists, filmmakers, musicians, writers, photographers and designers. We do this because we love it. We get up every day and love coming to work, because we work on what we love. We’re here to tell you that mail-order is still fun.