Interview with Giorgiko for “Horizon Light”

Thinkspace is pleased to present Horizon Light featuring new work by duo Giorgiko.

Giorgiko’s latest body of work explores the transition and tension between seasons of life so often filled with uncertainty.  What lies in the darkness when the sun fades behind the horizon? Will the darkness flee from the morning light? What will comfort us in times of desperation? Come enter a world where wonder dwells in the mystery between light and shadow.

In anticipation of Horizon Light, our interview with Giorgiko explores their collaborative relationship, creative process, and a romantic comedy starring Jack Black.

SH: For those that are not familiar with your work, can you give us a brief look at your individual artistic backgrounds and how you came to work together?

Darren: Both Trisha and I graduated from ArtCenter College of Design, which is also where we met and started dating. During school, Trisha took a children’s book illustration class, where she wrote a story about a wayfaring little girl. I loved the story, and we talked about possibly working together in the future. Post-grad, we worked separately as illustrators doing small commissions, shows, and freelance jobs. In 2014, we finally decided to collaborate on a few post-it note paintings for GR2’s “Post-it Show” and had so much fun with it. We continued to create and develop our joint style and in late 2018 we officially became “Giorgiko”. 

SH: What’s the story behind the name you chose for your collaborative output?

G: Giorgiko started as a mashup of our middle names George and Songyi. We thought the name Georgie fit our collaborative style well, and sounded a little cuter than our other options: Darisha or Trisharren, haha. As we explored the name further, we found that “Giorgi” comes from the Greek word meaning “farmer” or “earth-worker”, and “-ko” is the Japanese suffix that means “child”. We feel that the resulting meaning of “earth-working child” represents our work very well, as we depict very human emotions and experiences through a childlike lens.

SH: What is the inspiration and themes you explored for this body of work?

G: The main theme we are exploring in this body of work is life transition, as well as the feelings of fear and hope associated with it, metaphorically depicted through the transition between light and dark. It explores the calm before the storm and the storm before the calm. We were inspired by our experiences in life of waiting hopefully for dawn to break in seasons of darkness, and the feelings of bracing for what is to come as the sun dips below the horizon.

SH: Is there a particular piece in this exhibition you feel really challenged the two of you? If so, why and what makes you proud of this piece.

G: In this body of work, we stretched ourselves with more involved and complex imagery, with some of the images featuring multiple characters and other images having diverse and imaginative backgrounds. Probably the most challenging piece for us was “Stampede,” which we redrew and repainted repeatedly as we tried to figure out the character’s pose and the feeling of the piece. In doing so, the image has changed substantially, and in the end we love how it turned out and feel it is a piece that really engages the viewer.

SH: What is your individual favorite and least favorite part of the creative process?

Darren: “My favorite part of the process would have to be ideation. When Trisha and I start talking about an image or series we want to create, it is exhilarating and we often find ourselves building on top of each other’s ideas, making them better and better. My least favorite part of the process is drawing.”

Trisha: “My favorite part of the creative process is when we get on the same page and get all pumped up about the piece or concept. My least favorite part is when we have clashing visions and get annoyed at each other.”

SH: Tell us what you feel is your partner’s artistic strength and how he/she helps you be a better artist (a reply from each would be great here)

Darren: “Trisha has an uncanny ability to create cuteness. It’s in her nature to know how to make everyday moments sweet and convey them in imagery. She can draw with effortlessness and capture these moments in a few simple strokes of her pen. I love this, and it inspires me to pay attention to subtleties in life and work.”

Trisha: “Darren is a total big-picture person, whereas I tend to get stuck in the small details. He is always dreaming, thinking ahead, and problem-solving. He is often the catalyst that sets our exhibitions and storylines into motion.

SH: Who is an artist; musician, director, any art form – who would be a dream collaboration for the two of you and what would you create?

G: The first thing that comes to mind is “Hedgehog in the Fog,” an animated short directed by Yuri Norstein. We’re not familiar with his other works, but we love this super mysterious, dreamy, and weird short of his. We’d love seeing our characters in stop-motion, encountering their fears as well as great beauty in the fog with the little hedgehog.

SH: A Netflix movie is being made about your life / partnership, who would be cast to play each of you (the actor does not need to look like you, more be able to capture your essence) and what kind of movie would it be? 

G: Our Netflix movie would be a romantic comedy war movie, starring Ken Watanabe as Darren and Jack Black as Trisha.

SH: If you could download any skill into your brain, Matrix-style, what would you want to instantly learn?

Darren: “Piano. When I see a professional pianist playing, it feels like they are pushing the notes out of their body in the most satisfying way.”

Trisha: “How to sing like Celine Dion.”

SH: Would you rather be able to talk to animals or read people’s minds?

Darren: “Talk to animals. I feel if I could read people’s minds, every conversation would be too tempting to manipulate.”

Trisha: “Talk to animals. I’m pretty sure I don’t want to know what goes on in people’s minds. Plus, I would like to be able to convince animals to not eat me if the situation were ever to arise.”

SH: Fun Hypothetical: A world-renowned chef wants to make a dish inspired by your artwork and favorite food. What would be the dishes ingredients and what is it similar too?

Trisha: “That’s a hard question because I like things like cheeseburgers and pizza. Maybe something kind of earthy and bitter, with a hint of sweetness that isn’t overpowering, like a cherry on top. Something reminiscent of 87% dark chocolate cake that mostly tastes like dirt, a la mode. Darren likes Japanese food.”

Join us for the opening reception of Horizon Light Saturday, February 29th, from 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm.

Interview with Telmo Miel for “Encounters”

Thinkspace is pleased to present Encounters featuring new work by Netherlands- duo Telmo Miel.

Telmo Miel’s work is both surreal and realistically rendered, combining multiple elements into a single composition with extreme detail and fearless approach to the use of color and tone.

In anticipation of Encountered, our interview with Telmo Miel expands on our previous interview with the duo and discusses their latest body of work, most memorable meals, and advice for having a creative partnership.

Do you have a pre-studio or pre-mural routine/ritual? How do you get your butt in gear?

We need deadlines, without them, it’s more difficult to get your butt in gear. If we don’t get deadlines we’ll make them ourselves. For Murals it is not so difficult, you have a trip and within that trip, it needs to be finished. Most of the time you just have about a week. I think it helps we work together because you can kick each other on the butt when stuff needs to be done.

What is the inspiration and themes that were explored during this latest body of work?

‘Encounters’  For this show, we tried to find symbolism in the things we came across or experienced in the last years traveling and creating. It’s a series on the smaller things in life, things that make life worth living. Crossing thresholds, feelings of regret, love, and aversion. Moments captured to illustrate personal encounters or mile-stones in life.

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

The last part of painting the detailing is the most fun. The least, is getting started with the under layers of a painting, necessary but not fulfilling. Especially when you see the second layer needs a third.

Is there a particular piece in this exhibition you feel really challenged you? If so, why and what makes you proud of this piece?

The piece with the horse took some thinking ahead, I really want to make the red/orange part pop compared to the rest. But fluor is shit paint because it loses it’s bright color quickly. So to avoid that, I painted those parts bright white and then applied multiple thin layers of the right color in Oil paint. Now it pops like fluor without using it!

If you could make a movie poster for any film, what film would it be?

Telmo: StarWars (universe)

Miel: StarWars (universe)

What is the coolest or most exciting thing to happen to you thus far in life, and is it because of or connected to your work?

Telmo: I got the chance to swim cageless amongst sharks in Hawaii, definitely one of the coolest things I ever did thanks to the Pow!Wow! Hawaii Festival

Miel: Having a son is maybe the most boring but most logical answer. And it’s connected to art in the way that I met my current partner, working for her new gallery at the time.

Your work has taken you around the world – what is one of your most memorable meals?

On a trip to Bueno Aires, they took me to a great steakhouse, it was not only an abundance of meat, but it’s still the best steaks I’ve had so far.

A lot of memorable meals come to mind. But for me, it’s always the boquerones fritos which we had in Burgos, Spain last year. It’s a kind of fried anchovies.

The work expresses a real love for color, what brand do you guys use and what is your favorite color?

Dirty reds/purples and Dirty Salmon tones are our favourites. We use a wide range of paint brands.

For Oil paint, we use Rembrandt, Winsor & Newton & Old Holland. Our favourite spray can is Montana Black.

If you could download any skill into your brain, Matrix-style, what would it be?

Telmo: Teleportation

Miel: Ability to fly

The two of you met in Willem de Kooning Academy and have been collaborating with each other since 2012, how has your artistic relationship developed over the years? What is the best advice you would give about having a creative partner?

It is good to go back and forth on ideas and brainstorm together. With creating new ideas you can inspire and push each other more. It’s like healthy competition in some way where we push each other to learn, be critical, grow and make our latest work even better than before.

Besides that it’s most important to balance that with the right amount of freedom, every painter has his own ideas. So we also try to separate opinions and give space to evolve.

Opening Reception: Saturday, February 1 from 6-9 pm

Interview with Josie Morway for ‘Watershed’

Thinkspace is pleased to present Watershed featuring new work by Providence-based artist Josie Morway.

Moway’s paintings are fragmented narratives, inspired by everyday words and phrases that bombard us – old signage, broken billboards, overheard conversations. Substituting animals for human characters in her visual narratives, she explores gestures, postures, and expressions that are familiar and universal but at the same time ambiguous. 

In anticipation of Watershed, our interview with Josie Morway discusses her creative process, rituals, and record audiobook consumption.

For those that are not familiar with you and your work, can you give us a brief look at your artistic background and zodiac sign?

I’ve been painting for pretty much as long as I can remember, and my artistic background includes a lot of detours through photography, sign painting, graffiti, ceramics. For the past several years I’ve been making oil paintings with wildlife as my primary subjects, combining photorealism with bits of abstraction, lettering, and gilding. I pair a classical, Dutch Masters-ish painting style with hyper-modern color and design elements, to create somewhat surreal compositions that have been described as “votive cave paintings from the far distant future”. (I can’t overstate how much I love that description.)

I’m a wildlife lover with a deep concern for the increasing imbalances in our ecosystem, and a rising terror for nature in the face of extreme weather, climate change, habitat loss. I’m always looking to address these concerns in my work, and I’ve started to include some explicit references to threats in my more recent paintings, but I still instinctively veer away from showing my animal subjects in a state of despair or disaster. Instead, I feel compelled to invest them with this feeling of omniscience and a kind of supernatural resiliency. I hope this comes through… I hope this combination of peril and power gives my work a sort of tension, leaves the viewer feeling a bit off-kilter, sparks some thought and conversation.

My zodiac sign! I’m a Scorpio. I don’t understand or follow any things astrological, but every time I’ve accidentally read a characteristic of a Scorpio it has certainly seemed to describe me spookily well. 

What is the inspiration and themes that were explored during this latest body of work?

While making the work for “Watershed” I’ve been quite literally thinking about water. The substance that’s within all of us, the most crucial central element in our ecosystem, our bodies, etc. 

I’ve been thinking about water rights; who has them and who doesn’t, and about the movements and state changes of water. About the way ice is disappearing while floods increase in previously safe areas, about places inundated by saltwater as seas rise while even more places are suddenly without water… losing crops, losing drinking water. About pollution and diversion of bodies of water, but also about the redemptive nature of rain, of water’s capacity to heal.

As usual, I’ve turned to birds to explore all of this. They’re often among the first living things to manifest symptoms of change in the environment, in this case, the liquid environment.

Couldn’t resist the double-entendre in the name Watershed as well, since we’re at a “watershed moment” in human-caused climate change. 

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

Eh, I like all of it. But I get the most uneasy when I’m planning new work. There’s a really long research period where I’m just looking, compiling references, trying and discarding sketches. Intellectually I know this is probably the most important part of the process, but I still get edgy when I’m not physically working with the paint. 

My favorite part of the process is varnishing. Does that count as creative? When I lay on a coat of varnish the black turns black, the highlights turn light and all of a sudden this piece that I’ve been flailing away at becomes real.

Do you have a pre-studio ritual? How do you get your butt in gear to paint?  

I pretty much roll straight into painting the moment I can get to the studio. You kind of have to tear me away from it, rather than motivating me to start. I hope that doesn’t sound braggy… it’s more about desperation (there’s never enough time!) than energy.  As I get older I appreciate more and more that I get to do something as potentially frivolous as drawing pictures for a living and wanting to make the most possible meaning out of that. Also, I had a kid three years ago. My husband and I are both self-employed and we had to scramble like crazy to figure out how to accommodate a baby and not lose our careers, passions, personalities. That makes me appreciate every moment of painting time too.

That said, if there wasn’t an alternating current of coffee and wine flowing, there would be no art at all coming out of this particular factory.

Is there a particular piece in this exhibition you feel really challenged you? If so, why and what makes you proud of this piece?

The two “Mirage” pieces were satisfying challenges. (And not because of the bubbles, I knew I’d be able to do those!) The mysterious slashes of gold, the areas of bright color, the botanicals that emerge and disappear into texture… these are the kind of intuitive, mysterious moves I want to make more of in my paintings. I get so terrified to let go of any detail, any realism. I’m glad that in this case, I was able to be a bit bolder, and I’m really happy with the result.

In a world where we are exposed to the end result, and not so much the process it takes to get to mastery, how long did it take you to master the gorgeous beauty and realness of the birds and animals you paint?  To the point, you have the confidence and skill you possess today?

It’s generous of you to use the word “master”, since I’m most certainly learning, and hopefully evolving. I definitely felt something click a few years ago though… an understanding of how paints and brushes behave finally became part of my body, and everything started flowing and happening more easily. Realistically, I’d have to say I’ve been oil painting for over 20 years, and that makes all the difference. I’ve never taken oil painting classes so there’s a decent chance that there are shortcuts I’m unaware of, but it seems to me that if you want to gain mastery over a medium like oil, you simply have to experiment for thousands of hours!

I went to college for a variety of other things, and have worked a ton of different jobs over the years, but throughout all that, I just could never stop painting. I’d skip classes to sneak home and paint, paint while I was on a conference call, etc. Eventually, painting just insisted its way to being my full-time gig, somewhat to my surprise. 

If you could make a movie poster for any film, what film would it be?

Hmmm. I was a film studies minor in college and now I essentially never watch any movies, and literally can’t think of the names of any at the moment. Gimme something with really dense dialog and a surreal plot twist and I could make something perfect for it! Just no sci-fi… I’m constitutionally incapable of following sci-fi.

What is the coolest or most exciting thing to happen to you thus far in life, and is it because of or connected to your work?

Whoa, I can’t imagine choosing one coolest thing from my life! I mean, like I said, I had a kid, and that’s obviously turned my head inside out and changed me in all sorts of ways. In a way, it does connect to my work. I suddenly have this acute awareness of myself and my choices as I’ve become an EXAMPLE to this little person, which makes me take my work both more seriously – because I want her to see what it means to stick to your passion and make something meaningful from it – and less seriously… because really, paintings, whatever.

The most memorable moments of my life have generally come from travel, though. I realize that’s a fairly predictable answer… can’t help it. My clearest and most transformative experiences have come from throwing myself into a totally unfamiliar landscape, cityscape, ecosystem. Those moments have inspired my work a ton, cleared my eyes and reminded me how to look. They’ve also been supported by my work, by the excuse to travel to visit galleries, to paint murals, deliver work, go to openings. If the only thing my painting did for me personally was to allow me some unplanned wanderings (I really like to travel without making sufficient plans, so I don’t know where I’m sleeping, etc.), then it will have done enough.

When painting what do you have playing in the background? What was the soundtrack to this body of work ( music, podcasts, tv shows etc…)

Good question! I used to listen to music all day and eventually came to feel like I’d used up all the music in the world. I moved on to podcasts, and eventually audiobooks, and now I’m blowing through something like 200 audiobooks per year. While making this work I hit a streak of REALLY good writing… 10:04 by Ben Lerner, Kudos by Rachel Cusk, the seasonal series by Ali Smith, and all of the novels about Northern Ireland I could find, for some reason. I’m sure I listened to some Wolf Parade and Young Fathers albums during this work too because I’m predictable and repetitive.

If you could download any skill into your brain, Matrix-style, what would it be? 

Okay, instinctively I just started picturing something really cool that would turn me into, like, The Remediation Bandit, where I’d be able to look at any polluted or damaged ecosystem and remediate it back to its natural state with beams from my eyes. But now I’m realizing that’s an imaginary superpower, and that you probably mean a skill that actually exists. It’s so hard to choose. They’re probably not the “best” skills to have, but I don’t think I’d be able to resist gaining some rad physical prowess. I’d like to be able to do every trick I’ve ever seen in a mountain biking video. Partly for the fun of it, but let’s be honest, also just to show off.

I’ve never seen the Matrix.

Opening Reception with the Artist(s):

Saturday, February 1, 2020 from 6:00pm – 9:00pm

Interview with Stella Im Hultberg for “Tiger Whiskers”

SH: For those that are not familiar with you and your work, can you give us a brief look at your artistic background and zodiac sign? 

SIH: Hello, to those that are new to me and my work – my name is Stella Im Hultberg, I’m a Virgo fire dragon. 

I am mostly self-taught as an artist, save for some extracurricular drawing classes I took as a kid. I studied industrial design in college and worked in the field for some years designing various kinds of products. 

I began showing art 14 years ago, sharing my earliest days with Thinkspace, whom I owe the path I’m walking on to this day!

Thinkspace is pleased to present Tiger Whiskers featuring new work by Stella Im Hultberg. Her background has lent to a diverse blend of cultural influences to pull from and her works meld the figurative with the illustrative to create dreamy painterly compositions.

In anticipation of Tiger Whiskers, our interview with Stella Im Hultberg discusses the most exciting thing to happen in her life thus far, the artistic challenges she faced in this new body of work, and some solid life advice.

SH: What is the inspiration and themes you explored for this body of work?

SIH: I have been reading a lot of texts (online and books) and thinking about traditional rituals and belief systems/world view of Korea, as well as other cultures. One of the things that really runs through nearly all cultures is the idea of protection. Protecting one’s own children, family, tribe, etc, seems to have always been one of the top priorities since humans came to existence. 

This body of works was mostly inspired by talismanic rituals and customs that are meant to wish one the best in life and protection from evil forces.

I read that even up until not too long ago, people in Korea used to have a painting of a tiger in the house as a talisman. They believed that having one would keep them safe and protected from other evil forces/harms or misfortunes. I have heard it’s still a custom in North Korea to this day. This was one of the inspirations for “Talisman”.

Wedding customs also gave me inspiration for this series. For example, “The Immortals” was mostly inspired by a bridal garb called “hwarot (활옷)” that is usually red with intricately detailed embroidery of 10 things from nature that symbolize long lives (including the sun and the moon). This in and of itself shows the worldview of ancient Koreans, and to embroider that with care onto a bride’s outfit was to wish them a happy, long life and marriage.

It occurred to me that these rituals and customs were maybe rooted in a mother’s wish for their children to be safe and healthy. I have a theory that all these religions and traditions in our world may not have made it to this day and age of science and technology had it not been for the desperate desires of parents that could only rely on a superpower to entrust their best wishes for their children and the children of their children.

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

SIH: My favorite part is starting with an idea/vision and seeing it happen layer by layer, hour after hour. The journey itself, even the battles and fights.

My least favorite thing about being an artist is everything else not directly involving creating – business stuff, and wrapping up the paintings (scanning, shipping, packing, etc).

But if I singled out my least favorite part out of the whole creative process only, would be sharpening pencils.

SH: Is there a particular piece in this exhibition you feel really challenged you? If so, why and what makes you proud of this piece.

SIH: I spent much more time building up the layers and inserting details in this series compared with my previous works, so I ended up encountering challenges with each piece. 

When you’re building up so many layers, you’re essentially painting the same thing over and over. With “Talisman” and “The Immortals”, I got near nauseous painting so many layers of so many flowers. 

“The Immortals” is also a very different format than I’m used to, at 12 inches wide by 48 inches long. Figuring out a composition that would work and also wrangling the panel was quite challenging for me.

SH: If you could make an album cover for any musical artist, who would it be?

SIH: At the moment, IU.

SH: A Netflix movie is being made about your life, who would be cast to play you (the actor does not need to look like you, more be able to capture your essence) and what kind of movie would it be? Try to describe it with similar movies.

SIH: Ugh sorry, that would be an utter flop, I would have to really have a long talk with Netflix execs to convince them to look elsewhere.

If they must still go through it (good luck Netflix!), whatever it is, maybe it should star ScarJo, since I’m Asian. Lol

SH: What is the best technical advice you’ve received in regards to painting / being an artist? What is the best philosophical advice you’ve received?

SIH: Because I never had a formal art education, I can’t really remember if I ever got a piece of technical advice. Not directly anyway. 

But for being an artist – is to show up at your studio every day. Even if you’re there just reading a book, showing up is key. I know a lot of people think artists do whatever they feel like and work whenever but a lot of artists I know work diligently and to schedule. I follow the schedule and deadlines I have set for myself much more strictly now, now that I have a kid and time really is precious!

For general philosophical advice – I really like the quote that says to “be soft. Do not let the world make you hard”. 

Also personally, my mom told me (loosely translated), “if you’ve already committed do doing something, do it without complaint and with a happy heart”. I have found that attitude to be so helpful when taking the time and effort out to help others. And for parenting, of course. 

SH: What do you think the role of artists in society? How does other artwork inform how you move through life?

SIH: I do love how there were always artists, throughout history, that contributed to the subversive culture. Something that stands up to authority and the climate of the days. Especially in the olden days when art was more of an exclusive, elite form of cultural element. I believe it still is true, and whether or not it shows on the surface, I, too, have been influenced by current political/societal climate.

I love the captured moments that could be missed otherwise, and the suspension and extension of emotional moments and snippets I can see in other artworks. Connecting with the viewer at a very human, emotional, experiential level shows me hope for humanity. It seems to tell me that someone is out there paying attention to the most detailed, tiniest slivers of other people’s emotions (through their own, perhaps) that can be verbally inexplicable.

SH: What is the coolest or most exciting thing to happen to you thus far in life and is it because of or connected to your work?

SIH: Having my daughter. This is obviously not directly related to my work but everything about the way I work and the way I view things (including my work) has changed for good since she was born. 

It was a rough beginning, and in some ways I’m still trying to figure out the right balance between parenting and painting, but now that she’s a bit older (she’s 6 now) and we can have some interesting conversations and idea discussions, she has been the biggest source of enrichment in my life. 

I learn so many new things every day from her, not to mention getting ideas (and knowledge even) that have never occurred to me before. 

She and her future are my inspiration and my fuel to propel me forward as an artist now.

SH: Fun Hypothetical: A world-renowned chef wants to make a dish inspired by your artwork and favorite food. What would be the dishes ingredients and what is it similar too?

SIH: I can’t really think of how this will relate to my works and all I can think of is what I want to eat now that I have this chef at my command haha 

My cooking mind isn’t creative enough to come up with new dishes for someone to invent (especially relating to my work). 

But if the said world-renowned chef happens to be an older Asian mom/grandma/auntie, I’ll happily eat, um, I mean, I’ll be happy with anything she creates.

Opening Reception: Saturday, November 9th 6-9 PM

On view: November 9, 2019 – November 30, 2019

Interview with The Perez Bros for Cruise Night

Thinkspace is pleased to present Cruise Night featuring new work by Los Angeles-based artists Alejandro and Vicente Perez, known as The Perez Bros. The duo grew up in South Gate, California where their early exposure to car culture in Los Angeles has greatly influenced their artistic expression.
Through their paintings, the brothers try to capture the moments and energy that they see when they attend car shows to welcome observers into a world they love.

In anticipation of Cruise Night, our interview with The Perez Bros discusses the power of being twins, misconceptions about car culture, and why bad paintings are good.

SH: For those that are not familiar with the two of you and your work, can you give us a brief look at your artistic background? You both went to Otis here in LA, correct?

PB: As kids, we used to draw a lot of characters from comic books and cartoons, such as X- Men and the Simpsons. During school, we would always draw on our notebooks and stuff, but it wasn’t until our junior year in High School I think, that we took our first painting class. At first, we didn’t know what we were doing, as far as mixing colors and blending and things like that. It was actually one of our friends, Jesus, that taught us how to blend. Then in our Senior year, we both took A.P Art with Ms. Tinajero and made a portfolio. We then used that portfolio to apply to Otis.

SH: Do you find being twins has given you a special connection other duos can’t speak to?

PB: Yes, of course. We actually consider ourselves more of a tag team than a collaborative duo. In a collaboration, you usually have two different people bringing in two different types of ideas or skills, whereas we don’t. We have similar ideas, which makes it easier to work together and agree on things. It’s not hard for us to tell each other that our work sucks, we’re constantly telling each other that. I guess in a way it makes us work harder. It becomes a competition to see who can paint better.

SH: You are both new to the Thinkspace family. How were you getting your work seen before you joined the fam?

PB: We would submit our work to galleries that had open submissions. Two of the galleries that we submitted work to were Art Share L.A and La Luz de Jesus. Apart from submitting work, we would also put together our own art shows. During this time we were also producing work in the studio to post on Instagram, in the hopes of getting seen by other galleries.

SH: What do you think is a common misconception about lowrider or car culture? What do you wish people understood more?

PB: That car people are a bunch, hooligans. People seem to think that they are a bunch of cholos, and like to cause chaos, but it’s totally the opposite. It’s mainly about family and passion for cars, and that’s what we try to show in our paintings.

SH: Which piece and why as been your most challenging piece to date? what makes you proud of this piece.

PB: We actually have two pieces that were challenging. The first one was Hopping Contest, it was a large painting, and it was the first painting that we had to complete for Thinkspace. We had it in the underpainting stage, and we had to complete it in under a month. The other one was the mural we did for the Maya Angelou Mural Festival. It was our first mural, so we had no clue what to do and on top of that, we only had two weeks to complete it. Before the mural, we only worked in the studio, so it was a kind of weird transition to now be working outdoors with spectators. Hearing from everybody that they loved the mural, made us feel really proud of it.

SH: Can you describe what the collaborative process looks like for the two of you? Like does one of you focus on the cars, and the other the people?

PB: We both go to car shows and car meets together and take pictures trying to capture the interactions of people with the cars. Like people taking pictures of cars, admiring the cars, or just standing around. After that, we both look at the pictures together and choose which ones we like. And from there we are ready to start painting. At first, we would just divide the work in half. Whereas one would paint the left side and one the right side. But after a while, we noticed that we were both better at painting certain things. So now, one of us focuses on the clothes, wheels, and chrome, while the other focuses on paint jobs and skin tones.

SH: A Netflix movie is being made about your life, who would be cast to play you (the actor does not need to look like you, more be able to capture your essence) and what kind of movie would it be? Try to describe it with similar movies.

PB: It’ll be a dramatic romantic comedy. It’ll star a set of Michael Cera or Andrew Garfield twins, or maybe actual twins The Lucas Bros. It’ll be like a mixture of Rocky and Whiplash. The movie would be about us working towards our first solo show or something like that. It’ll have intense scenes like when Rocky is training to fight Clubber Lang, but instead of training to box, it’ll be something artistic like Milles Teller in Whiplash.

SH: What is the best technical advice you’ve received in regards to painting / being an artist? What is the best philosophical advice you’ve received?

PB: Our high school teacher Ms. Tinajero used to always tell us to use more contrast. Also at Otis, Nathan Ota taught us how to paint using layers. One piece of advice about being an artist that stuck with us is to just paint. The painting will either be good or bad, but it doesn’t matter, because you did it rather than just thinking about it. If the painting is bad, its ok, just make another one.

SH: Are you a podcast, tv/ movie streaming service, or music in the background type of painter? What were you listening to during the development of this show that you would recommend to others?

PB: We usually just paint listening to music, but sometimes we have a movie or wrestling playing in the background. During the making of “Cruise Night”, we listened to a lot of Kid Cudi radio, and The Growlers radio on Spotify, and of course Lowrider Oldies to get us in the mood.

SH: What do you think the role of artists in society? How does other artwork inform how you move through life?

PB: We feel that the role of the artist is to inspire people, and that’s what we try to do. When we listen to Kid Cudi or walk into a gallery where artists that we like and admire are showing – it really inspires us to keep on working. We rush into the studio and continue creating.

SH: Fun Hypothetical: A world-renowned chef wants to make a dish inspired by your artwork and favorite food. What would be the dishes ingredients and what is it similar too?

PB: The only chef we’ll collaborate with is Guy Fieri. We’ll make some kind of burger and pizza combo. Like a giant burger, but the top bun would be a pizza. With the sauce, cheese, pepperoni y todo. And it’ll be cut just like a pizza is cut.

Opening Reception: Saturday, November 9th 6-9 PM

On view: November 9, 2019 – November 30, 2019