Interview with ADOR for ‘Familiar Yet Foreign’ | Exhibition June 1 – June 22, 2023

Thinkspace is excited to present ADOR ‘Familiar Yet Foreign‘ in Gallery I. His sophomore solo show with the gallery is about a big story where both animals and humans are treated in the same way, but each time the aim is to tell a story where the spectator is invited to imagine by his own, how the protagonists must feel in each situation. Bringing together a unique mix of inspirations from various fairy tales, comics book, caricature art, and the works of other great painters, Ador tries to use a childish way to talk to all of us – who like him – would have been a kid who never wants to grows up. The works talk about actuality, responsibility and the dream state we all often escape to. ‘Familiar Yet Foreign‘ opens Saturday June 1, 2024 from 6pm-10pm.

Our interview with French graffiti artist Ador shares what he enjoys doing on his free time as well as his guilty pleasures, his upcoming projects, and what other medium he would like to re-explore.

Can you tell us a bit about your background and how you first got involved with Thinkspace Projects?

I draw since I’m four years old and I didn’t stop, except when I did some fooleries. I started painting on walls because I was born at the good moment. In 2000’s, people put colors everywhere in cities of the planet. I naturally wanted to take part in the game.
I did a show with Pez Barcelona in 2021 at Thinkspace, and as it was a nice event and we had good time, the gallery purposed me to make it happen again and I was definitely willing to do it again.

Can you share a story about a piece of art that holds special significance to you?

I use to laugh alone when I find an idea, and after that I use to paint in on a wall as early as possible. For example, one I did last year hid a message. Many people used to enjoy it before they discovered a kind of secret message. Now, I go on.

What are your food recommendations in your home city? Where would you take friends who visit you?

I eat almost everything but the best international stuff is kebabs. Otherwise I’m not a cooker.

What do you enjoy doing on your weekends/free time? Tell us about your guilty pleasure(s).

Draw and paint take a big part of my life. Chill out use to be a thing that I do at the same time with my folks.

I sleep too much, and I hate wasting my time. But I watch silly movies eating junkfood to unplug the brain and I rest as everybody does….

What are you favorite art events or festivals and some lesser-known but must-visit art spots that you recommend?

Being in Los Angeles to have a show and paint walls makes me dream. From L.A to the smallest town close to mine, whatever the popularity it has, the energy is the same when I enjoy an event. Nothing is better when it’s kindly shared with nice people.

2 new murals by Ador at Sherman Gallery.

Can you discuss any upcoming projects in the future that you’re particularly excited about?

As I started with drawing, I came back to the roots working on a kind of comics book now. It would be done at the end of the year . I have few plans for murals and shows later, but if know I will put my hands in color again and again. That makes me alive and happy.

What’s on your bucket list?
I have bucket lists on my phone, on my computer, on my several sketch books, many ones in my studio… My biggest frighten is the void. I fill pages when I can. If I had to describe the most important stuff, it would be ideas that I want to paint or draw.

If you could collaborate with any artists in any sort of medium (i.e. movies, music, painting) who would you collaborate with, and what would you be making?

I tried to do animation movies. I would like to do it again with a qualified team. I don’t really know with who, I fortuitously collaborate with many people, and sometimes it fit very well without expectation.

Who would be on the guest list if you could throw a dinner party for five people, dead or alive? What would be on the menu? What would be the icebreaker question?

I would love to share a meal, not only a kebab but a really good long meal with Tommy Ungerer, Jerome Bosch, Shaquille O’neal, Buster Keaton and Francis Bacon.
The icebreaker question would be : Do you believe in yourself from the morning to the night?

Instagram: @ador_2049

Interview with Daniel Weintraub (aka Halopigg) for ‘With A Little Help From My Friends’ | Exhibition June 1 – June 22, 2024

“Works in the show will be themed as “friendship” but I did let everyone know that just being in the show is a sign of friendship to me and I couldn’t ask for anything more.” –Halopigg

Thinkspace is honored to be hosting ‘With A Little Help From My Friends,’ our first group exhibition curated by our very own Daniel Weintraub, aka ‘Halopigg’ in the streets! “Daniel has been a part of the Thinkspace Family for ages now and we’re excited to let him flex his curator chops with this special show bringing together a collection of creatives that have helped usher him into the art world, that he now calls home. Halo (for short) is the quintessential good guy, the friend you always want around to hype you up and put you in a good mood. Historian. Archivist. Collector of many things. A walking street art encyclopedia who is always up for an adventure and someone who I am honored to call a close friend and am so blessed to have as a member of our gallery family. Captain Positivity.” – Andrew Hosner

Our interview with Halopigg reveals how he met each one of the artists from the group show he curated, about his collections, what’s on top of his bucket list, and more!

Photo by Willie T

Can you tell us a bit about your background and how you came to live in Los Angeles?

10 years ago, I decided to move to New York City to get into the art world. Did that for a few years and was tired of being broke so I moved to California to sell legal cannabis. That got me to Northern California, and after a few years of living there I decided it was time to transfer down to Los Angeles because all of my art homies were here. About a year later the entire company I worked for was laid off and I decided to head over to Thinkspace and pitch Andrew on hiring me. It’s been about 2 1/2 years and I’ve been loving it ever since.

How did you first get involved with Thinkspace Projects? What is your role at Thinkspace, and what does a typical day look like for you?

The first time I ever worked with Thinkspace Projects was back in 2013. I had just left my job at a brewery in New Hope, Pennsylvania and was figuring out how to get into the art world. I saw that Thinkspace was doing a show in Philadelphia and so I hit up Andrew to see if he needed any help with installation. I came through, smoked about five blunts with Andrew, and we’ve been friends and sort of co-workers ever since. The following year when I lived in New York City, Thinkspace hired me to work for them at Scope art fair, and they would also hire me out at Pow!Wow! Hawaii for art handling.

My role at Thinkspace is very multifaceted, but if you had to boil it down to one thing, I buy the snacks for my co-workers.

Photo by Birdman

What are some of your favorite art galleries or museums outside of Thinkspace?

Hashimoto Contemporary/Spoke Art, Control Gallery/Beyond the Streets, Superchief Gallery, Straat Museum, and a whole bunch more I’m forgetting.

How did you get started with your love and appreciation for art/art collecting?
What was your 1st original art purchase?

I’ve been a collector since I was about five years old. It started with stamps moved onto pogs and baseball cards then magic cards then glass art then Shepard Fairey street art prints and then it got crazy from there. My first original art purchase was a Josh Simpson glass marble, and my first street art purchase was a Shepard Fairey WK interact print I got in Tokyo 2007. My first street art original was a C215 stencil piece I got directly off him on Facebook in 2008.

How much artwork do you have up on your walls/displayed in your entire apartment? Can you share a story about a piece of art that holds special significance to you?
And what piece of art would you love to add to the Halopigg collection?

In my apartment I have approximately 150 art pieces hung on the walls, about 15 three-ring binders and about 13 portfolios. Many pieces share many significant memories to me, I can’t pick just one. I would love to add an original Banksy or even a signed print to my collection, he was already way too expensive by the time I started collecting.

Other than artwork what else do you collect?

The main thing that I collect this day is Art, but I do have a couple different types of art I collect. Most of my collection consists of prints, stickers, ephemera, show cards, clothing, originals, and other stuff I’m sure I am forgetting. Oh, and I guess I collect t-shirts since I haven’t thrown one away since middle school.

What is your top food recommendation in LA?

Go get a ‘California burrito’ at Cilantro Grill in the valley. Yes, it’s in a gas station. Yes, it’s the best burrito in Los Angeles.

“It’s the best burrito no cap as the kids say!” – Halopigg

What is something weird or quirky people don’t know about you that you’d like to share?

I’m an introvert until I’m around all my introvert friends, then I’m not. I also have close to a photographic memory, but I think most people have figured that by now….

How did you meet everyone on your group show?

I met Swoon when I bought a piece off of her in 2011 and then we reconnected at an Art Basel for her birthday party in 2015. I met RAE by finding a lot of his art in the streets in New York City and then eventually, we linked up to do some, illegal street installations together. I met Rabi when he was painting a mural in the Bushwick Collective back in 2015. He came to my birthday party with a pizza, and we’ve been homies ever since. I met Cinta Vidal at Pow!Wow! Long Beach when she was painting a mural and having a solo show at Thinkspace. I met Faring Purth at Wall Therapy, my favorite mural festival in Rochester NY. Her, myself, Roa and a group of young children had a very close call involving fire. To say it was a memorable experience would be an understatement. I met Jason Pulgarin through a mutual friend, Johnathan “Johnny” Lawton. We were both at a Shepard Fairey opening in 2015 in NYC and next thing you know we are hanging out together in this tiny little late night spot shooting the shit with each other and some local drunks. Crazy night, ask me in person and I’ll share the details with ya!  I met Case Maclaim in Brooklyn I think, and then we had our month-long trip to Hawaii together in 2014. It was super fun. I met Kristin Farr at 1XRun’s Murals In the Market festival in Detroit and then she let me stay at her house on one of my cross-country road trips. I met The London Police at the Wooster Collective 10 Year Anniversary show at Jonathan Levine Gallery in New York City 2013. I met Amy Sol when she had a solo show with Thinkspace at the Scope Art Fair in New York City I believe that was 2014. I met Faith47 and Cern in NYC 2012 when Rom from Street Art News introduced us. We went to DALeast’s solo show and then the next day we all did a Russian bathhouse together. We’ve been homies ever since. I met Carmen at the Hijinx Christmas dinner in 2021. When I needed to find a new 420 friendly living arrangement Carmen found me a spot in her building. I met Ozzie Juarez because him and Andrew were curating a show together and we’ve been art-braining it ever since. I met Thievin’ Stephen at Wall Therapy in Rochester New York in 2013. I’ve spent weeks in total crashing on his couch for various festivals and Roc trips and he spent a month on my couch in Bushwick rocking an insane mural. I met Insane 51 at the Blink Festival in Cincinnati in 2022 while he was painting one of his maaaaaaasive murals. I met Layqa Nuna Yawar in 2013 in Brooklyn when I was starting to go up to just hang out and meet artists and kick it. He was painting a mural in Brooklyn with five other artists, and I spent the day watching paint dry and making friends. Met Marina Capdevila in Miami at Art Basel in 2015 I believe. That’s where we’ve had most of our adventures over the years. We also partied pretty hard together in Montreal at Mural, that was super fun. I met Shepard Fairey for the first time at his Mayday show at Jeffrey Deitch Gallery in 2008. Additionally, I’ve probably met about 30 or 40 other Obey collectors that I now consider friends because of Shepard, mostly off the old message board TheGiant.Org I met Marina Zumi at Art Basel Miami, I want to say 2014 or 15. One year she hired me for a mural festival as a photographer, thank you for the gig. Then a year later, on my first night in Miami, I was a little out of it, and I thought that she had these laser beams at an art show. Turns out they were actually LED string light strips and not laser beams, and you can’t run your hand through string lights. I’m sorry Zumi, muas forever.

How do you stay connected with the broader art community in LA?

I stay connected with the community by going to shows, encouraging people to come out to our shows, engaging in social media, and just by knowing my shit. If you know your shit, you’re enthusiastic about it, and you’re a positive being, people will keep including you in things.

What is your most memorable Art Basel experience? Have you ever “Over-Baseled?”

Basel is always a memorable experience for me, I’ve had so many good times there over the years. To me, Miami Art Basel week to me is like summer camp. You get to see all your friends whose parents force them to go to summer camp. There are a ton of activities, some indoor, some outdoor and I personally love to engage in all of them. Some people go to camp because they love it, others only go because they have to. I love being there amongst all my homies whether they wanna be there or not! Over-Baseling is the only way I know.

What’s on your bucket list?

Finally making the Travel Street Art TV show that I and my best friends tried to pitch a few years back with me as host and my homies as guests. We got all the way to committee at a few of the largest talent agencies in LA but they all said the same thing, there is no money in art documentary type shows (crying emoji).

If you had a super power what would it be?

It would be the ability to fly so I could see as much of the world as possible. I currently have a list of cities where I know at least one art homie living and it is damn near 100 places. Flying would rule so much.

How did you get the nickname Halopigg?

The name came from the old AOL instant messenger days, and the band Nine Inch Nails. In the late 90’s my parents would allow me to sign up for a free 30/60-day trial of America Online, the early internet. You had to come up with a screen name to chat and at the time I was really into NIN. All releases by the band would be numbered Halo 1, Halo 2, etc. Their album, The Downward Spiral, had two songs about pigs and I always loved pigs so I combined halo and pig and had the name Halopig. When it came time to cancel the free subscription and sign up again I had come to like the name. I decided to add a 2nd G since phonetically it would be the same. It was then that I got an email address with “Halopigg” included and it’s been my online moniker ever since.

With A Little Help From My Friends‘ opens Saturday June 1, 2024 from 6pm – 10pm.

Interview with TRNZ for ‘The Weight of Things’ | Exhibition October 7 -October 28, 2023

Thinkspace is excited to present their sophomore show with artist TRNZThe Weight of Things.’ A few years ago, TRNZ developed a fascination with using mundane things and figures, arranged to loom over his work, presenting an awkward mystery. The artist from the Philippines uses ‘The Weight of Things’ to navigate the same process with an exceedingly charged relationship between the figures and the objects surrounding them. Taking cues and motifs from his own memories and experiences, he assembles visual imagery in uncanny ways.

Our interview with TRNZ reveals how he taps into his creative flow, who his creative influences are, and about his fantasy dinner party and guest list.

What themes were you exploring in this body of work? Did you have a piece that was particularly challenging?

A few years ago, I developed a fascination with using mundane things and figures misarranged to loom an awkward mystery over my work.

For this solo exhibition, I carried on the same theme but pushed further the charged relationship between my figures and the objects around them.

What does a day in the studio look like for you? How do you structure your days?

A day in my studio completely mirrors my work. There’s nothing special when you really look at it on the surface. There’s a cup of coffee, music/podcast in the background, and scattered paint all over. The interesting ideas come up during the lulls, when I remember certain objects, and places from old and try to incorporate them into my work.

Do you have any rituals that help you tap into a creative flow?

I just do a lot of biking around the city and recently, I’ve been into Magic the Gathering.

What is your most favorite and least favorite part of the creative process?

My favorite part is thinking of the ideas. The least would be cramming, because I feel like I am stifled when I work so closely towards a deadline. That’s why as much as possible, I really try to work ahead of time.

Who are some of your creative influences? Why do they inspire you?

Recently, I was able to purchase from a book thrift shop a copy of “The New Yorker, 15th Anniversary Cartoon Collection.” It was so inspiring to read it because it was overloaded with wit and irony. It was the right flavor I needed to splash over my art.

If you could have any skill or topic downloaded into your brain, what would you want to be able to do/be an expert at?

Totally unrelated to art but this has been a frustration since I was a kid. I really wanted to be good at street magic. Haha.

What do you hope viewers take away or experience while viewing your work?

Anything really. I’d like to think that my work can be interpreted in a variety of ways just because most of the time, it doesn’t really make sense. As long as I don’t get indifference, I feel like I accomplished what I wanted to accomplish.

If you could collaborate with any artists in any sort of medium (i.e. movies, music, painting) who would you collaborate with, and what would you be making?

Collaboration is something that I’ve done and will regularly seek out to do. I did a few now with some local music artists and brands.

An animated short movie is something I’ve been itching to do though.

Who would be on the guest list if you could throw a dinner party for five people, dead or alive? What would be on the menu? What would be the icebreaker question?

Lionel Messi, Jean-Michel Basquiat and Tory Belleci, Kari Byron & Grant Imahara from Mythbusters, enjoying Filipino food on the menu.

A very random collection of people I know, but I just thought of the top 5 people I want to meet in real life.

What was in your musical rotation during the development of this body of work?

Her’s, Steve Lacy and Kid Bloom

Interview with FAJAR AMALI for ‘Among Our Existence’ | Exhibition October 7 – October 28, 2023

Thinkspace is excited to present Fajar Amali‘s U.S. debut solo exhibition Among Our Existence which fills the space in Gallery II. The Indonesian artist explores a post-apocalyptic setting, featuring pop figures in the still life painting approach. Seeing how still life painting can bring an impressive depth in various times, Amali views it as a method of recording the momentum of time. Using iconic figures in popular comics as toys in still life style works, Amali explores the worth of things that are often underestimated.

Our interview with Amali shares his rituals to tap into his creative flow, his creative influences, and who he would love to ultimately collaborate with.

What themes were you exploring in this body of work? Did you have a piece that was particularly challenging?

I am very interested to see the essence of Natura Morta or Still Life work, which are simple, deep, and calm. From A-Z I tried to meet it, I used the word “Absence” to tag one of my latest series in translating Nature Morte paintings that are always related to the Latin phrase “Vanitas vanitatum et omnia vanitas.” Thematic in this solo exhibition is very much related to that Latin phrase, finally I used the title ‘Among Our Existence’ as my way of dialogue with the audience. Because, I work in the circle of pop culture and always carry works in the Sci-fi genre such as Post Apocalipse, Robot, Cyberpunk and my habit of including or appropriating popular figures in comics, manga, anime, cartoons that live in the multiver that I built in my previous works. For me, it’s a challenge to translate as an element of natura morta/still life today.

What does a day in the studio look like for you? How do you structure your days?

Studio is my isolated habitat, I feel like time has stopped in it. It’s a little difficult to manage my daily life, sometimes I get to work for only 15 minutes/day or it can be two days without stopping.

Do you have any rituals that help you tap into a creative flow?

I like comics, and I collect a lot of Japanese comics, such as AstroBoy, Akira, Arale, Battle of angela. Even though it’s just looking at the visuals, the comic is my ritual before painting.

What is your most favorite and least favorite part of the creative process?

Buy paint and buy canvas.

Who are some of your creative influences? Why do they inspire you?

Before I knew Arsham, Rembrant van Rijn and Claude Monet are my creative influence to date. No need to question, we can see it. How the two maestros created the magic in his paintings. Arsham I like his perspective in his work.

If you could have any skill or topic downloaded into your brain, what would you want to be able to do / be an expert at?

Understand people.

What do you hope viewers take away or experience while viewing your
work?

I want them to be honest with themselves. See from what they see themselves. and believe what they believe.

How do you like to enjoy your time outside of the studio? Do you celebrate the completion of a body of work?

Meet humans, listen to them tell stories.

If you could collaborate with any artists in any sort of medium (i.e. movies, music, painting) who would you collaborate with, and what would you be making?

Christoper Nolan. I don’t know.

Who would be on the guest list if you could throw a dinner party for five people, dead or alive? What would be on the menu? What would be the icebreaker question?

I don’t know, for me all the same, if I can invite a lot of people, why five? And my question to them is “Are you happy tonight?”

What was in your musical rotation during the development of this body of work?

Many, but what I often listen is FLOWER from L’arc en Ciel

Interview with Jolene Lai for ‘Secret Garden’ | Exhibition October 7 -October 28, 2023

Thinkspace is excited to present Jolene Lai for ‘Secret Garden,‘ a collection of oil paintings and drawings that seek to ignite curiosity about the hidden stories we all carry within ourselves. What kind of magical landscape gets unfolded when you gaze out through the window of your soul?

“The unbearable tossing and turning from insomnia in the dead of the night led me to gradually sit up. I got out of bed and walked to the window in the room. The still night was immediately interrupted by flying insects spiraling towards the light from the street lamps outside of my window. From across the street, a flicker of light from another house drew my attention. I could see the silhouette of a woman… I watched her deliberately take long drags on her cigarette, as if she was sucking in the marrow of life. My mind was transfixed by this enigmatic figure that was becoming more familiar with each inhalation, hers and mine. The smoke drifted up into the night air and I traced it with my eyes and imagined that they were carrying along all of her secrets with it. Secrets that I longed to know… I gazed until her silhouette was a blur… I tried to retrace her shape and for a brief moment seized a quick glimpse of her face in my mind again, before that fragment of her faded away. I knew that I would never forget her, the stranger in the night.”

Our interview with Lai reveals who her creative influences are, her dream collaboration, and what was in her musical rotation during the development of this collection.

What themes were you exploring in this body of work? Did you have a piece that was particularly challenging?

During the thought process of creating this ‘Secret Garden’ collection, the 1992 film ‘That Night’ starring Juliette Lewis, kept surfacing in my mind. There is a particular scene of a ten year old girl staring out of her window at night and into a teenage girl’s (Juliette Lewis) window from across where she lived. The child witnesses and attempts to imitate the teenager’s every alluring move of slow dancing to the music that’s playing on the record player, brushing her shoulder length blonde hair and spraying perfume on her neck in front of a spinning fan.

That moment from the film captivated me when I was a kid myself watching it and proceeded to linger in my mind. I wanted to capture the sense of a fleeting moment like that – a place in time wherever one might be, alone in their mind where they are connected with their inner selves.

‘Secret Garden’, which is also the highlight of the collection, was probably the most challenging piece of them all because of the intricate botanical details in the background. I really wanted to emphasize the landscape but at the same time still make sure that the ghostly character of the painting was commanding the utmost arrest.

What does a day in the studio look like for you? How do you structure your days?

I always try to find something interesting to watch or listen to before I start painting. I only listen to music if I am working at night, so daytime programs often consist of stories that might fuel my imagination. Lately it’s been crime and urban legends of Hong Kong from the early 70s to 80s.

I have to say my working days are pretty routine and I try to approach the day like any 9 to 5 job, clocking in and out to measure how much time I have allocated to each artwork.

Do you have any rituals that help you tap into a creative flow?

I am a creature of habit but I don’t think I have a specific ritual when it comes to searching for inspiration. I often reference some random film I’ve seen, or a lit up window at night while I am out walking could spark my curiosity.

What is your most favorite and least favorite part of the creative process?

I do not particularly enjoy the sketching process since I am so meticulous about details even when it is just outlines for oils. But I do love when all is completed because it means I get to throw the first layers of color on a blank surface.

Who are some of your creative influences? Why do they inspire you?

I must have mentioned this before but Wong Kar Wai’s films are still for me timeless and empowering, not just in cinematography but also the writing. His works age like fine wine.

If you could have any skill or topic downloaded into your brain, what would you want to be able to do / be an expert at?

Contortion skills. I have this ache on my left shoulder blade that possibly developed over years from my bad posture while painting. It would be really nice to be able to reach that dull pain with my right hand and give it a good massage.

What do you hope viewers take away or experience while viewing your work?

I try to not have any expectations. I think that hinders possibilities of the work and halts the magic that the viewers themselves create.

How do you like to enjoy your time outside of the studio? Do you celebrate the completion of a body of work?

I try to enjoy the greenery around me when I am out and about. I used to think about work even on my way to get coffee in the mornings, but have recently been putting a curb on that behaviour.

I actually do not have the habit of celebrating when a collection has been completed. Brainstorming about the next idea comes naturally for me.

If you could collaborate with any artists in any sort of medium (i.e. movies, music, painting) who would you collaborate with, and what would you be making?

I think a collaboration with a chef would be interesting. It would be a 12 course meal, each dish paired with a complementing artwork. I’m so familiar with painting in vivid colors that I think it would be a challenge to limit the series to nothing but just shades of white. Similarly I think it would be challenging for a chef to come up with a 12 course meal consisting of a limited color palette.

Who would be on the guest list if you could throw a dinner party for five people, dead or alive? What would be on the menu? What would be the icebreaker question?

Five people is too big a group for me, I think I would just invite Van Gogh and serve us apple pie with vanilla ice cream. And then ask, “was it really suicide?”

What was in your musical rotation during the development of this body of work?

At the start of this collection, Taiwanese artiste Wu Bai’s 夏夜晚风 (Summer Night Breeze), and towards the end, music from London singer Puma Blue.