Interview with Troy Lovegates for ‘Would’ | Exhibition on view May 7 – May 28, 2022

Thinkspace is thrilled to present Troy Lovegates’s latest solo show, ‘Would.’ The artist, formerly known as Other, brings his vast knowledge of street art and work with found objects to the gallery, presenting his first collection composed entirely of his intricate, hand-carved wooden sculptures.

Lovegates has carefully crafted a diverse cast of characters in the hopes that it will encourage interaction and provoke thought from viewers. The grizzled characters are sure to provoke conversation, bringing attendees together to wonder about the history and personality of each and every one.

In anticipation of “Would,” our interview with Troy Lovegates covers the inspiration derived from exploring the world around you, the opportunity that comes from unstructured creation, and how the past few years have influenced his creative development.  

Can you share a little bit about your upbringing and where you are currently based?

I was raised across Canada with a little stint in Michigan … my dad was a professor and we moved quite often … Toronto, Ottawa, Vancouver, Saskatoon on and on … currently my wife, son, and I left California and moved back to Quebec to take care of my father … sort of the middle of nowhere but close to a quiet city … between a large river and small lake.  

What was the inspiration behind this latest body of work? What themes were you exploring?

Hmmm… I would say the theme I was exploring was sanity … the last winter was another lockdown, curfew, and -30 snow storm … I am working out of an old farmhouse surrounded by wind and cold, blizzards with not much communication from the outside world … the show is almost entirely wood carvings which has been a fun place to be carving, whittling and sawing in the hinterland  

What was the most challenging piece in this exhibition? How did it help you grow as an artist?

The challenge for me has not really been the work itself … it has mostly been missing city life and the experiences there  … seeing new things every day… watching people and getting new ideas … events happening … really for me it is probably a 4-hour ski before I even see another person … the snow is deep (and yes it is warm right now but it was still snowing last week late April) … I was more focused on skiing each day with my Dad to feel alive and outside … other than that it was mostly created in a vacuum … hard to find people to capture when they are bundled up and masked and in a hurry when I did get to town. 

You’re extremely well-traveled; your exploration of the world sometimes included train hopping and hitchhiking. How has your passion for travel informed your artistic voice? 

Travel is magical to me … part of it is that I am actually quite a terrible traveler… I am horrified of flying and get major anxiety during transit … when I arrive I am so excited to still be alive that my energy just explodes … I wouldn’t really say I am much of a train hopper as I have only gone on maybe 5 or so trips … I actually prefer hitchhiking because I like engaging with new people, fumbling over languages, getting lost … the last big trips I have been on have been long meandering bike trips which I really enjoy … yes, you take in so much more just wandering, I have struggled for ideas out here in the deep snow winters when you see the same thing day after day…refresh the eyes

What are your traveling essentials? 

Not much really … lots of t-shirts… a little container for watercolors, brushes, paper and pens … earphones … too many cameras  

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

My ritual is exercise … I think I spend more time walking and thinking or biking or skiing or swimming depending on the season … it is verging on being destructive –really like I will get the dog and head over to the studio and end up 20 km away, having just walked right by and off into though… but usually, this has worn me out and the next day I will be in the studio trying to get what I saw out on paper or wood etc.  

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

Sort of same as above … I am not very good with structure. I do not arrive at the same time to the studio every day and have lunch at exactly noon each day… i might get in at 9 am or 9 pm… might spend my whole time at the studio looking up music… things happen every day but they seem to come in erratic spirts… like super intense hours where a lot gets done and then bumbling times listening to podcasts and dead ends.  

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

I think I would just be wandering and meeting up with photographers in cities that nobody cares to visit … exploring and taking images  

What is one of the most memorable meals you’ve had? The kind of meal that sticks with you because of the food, the company, or both.

All I can really think of is a slice of pizza in New York city … I am always really happy if I can get a lot of food for a really good deal … not really the sit in a restaurant all night with a bunch of friends and chuckle over some wine type… rather be wandering with a beer and eating cheap street food… a couple of years ago my wife and I went to South Korea and this was the perfect place to just roam and find little night markets with many different pickled spicy treats, rice cakes hot from a stand… sort of like tapas spread out across a whole city… eat a bit and wander then eat a bit more.

 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?

Oh too much … engraving … I would like to learn to engrave… better intuitive understanding of light to be quicker with my film cameras (and internal light meter)… a master at the synthesizer and drum machines… video editing… languages many many languages  

What did you find to be the biggest challenge of 2020 or 2021 for you?

Fuck… where do I start… 2020 my mother died while we were trying to get back into Canada and stuck in quarantine… January – May 8 pm curfew in Quebec in 2021 was brutal… moving to a new place when everything was closed and nobody was on the streets… and throw in that every mural I was supposed to do was canceled and traveling just stopped… I would have to say the entire 2020-2021 was the biggest challenge.  

What big projects do you have coming up that you’d like to share more about?

I am off to Germany in a few days to meet a collaborator for a large wall in Dortmund … I am hopeful that in 2022 some of the projects that have been put on hold are actually going to happen!  

May 7, 2022 – May 28, 2022

TROY LOVEGATES – Would (Gallery II)

Opening Reception with the Artist(s):
Saturday, May 7, 2022
6:00 – 10:00 pm

CRASH ONE’s new works ‘Scripted Mirriors’ showing at Thinkspace Projects | May 7, 2022 – May 28, 2022

CRASH ONE’s ‘Scripted Memories‘ is a special collection of new small works on paper and canvas showing in Thinkspace Projects Viewing Room from May 7 through May 28.

Born John Matos in 1961, CRASH ONE was raised in the Bronx, New York. At the age of 13, he began following the older teens from his neighborhood to the train yards and began bombing. Taking the name “CRASH” after he accidentally crashed the computer in his school, his name began appearing on trains circulating all throughout New York City. By 1980, he began transitioning from train yards to galleries, he curated the ground-breaking “Graffiti Art Success for America” at Fashion MODA, helping to launch the graffiti movement that has remained very active through today. CRASH ONE’s career took off and he saw instant popularity throughout Europe and America, and eventually Asia. CRASH ONE has been part of numerous museum and gallery shows around the world focusing on Graffiti and Street Art, and has works in many permanent museum collections.

Dustin Myers’s new works ‘The Misfit Menagerie’ showing at Thinkspace Projects | May 7, 2022 – May 28, 2022

Dustin Myers’s The Misfit Menagerie showing in the viewing room of Thinkspace Projects from May 7 through May 23, brings together a collection of hyper-realistic miniature portraits created with oil paint on panel.

Dustin Myers was born and raised in Southern California and has been following his passion for painting for his entire life. He has been drawing and painting since he was a boy and spent a lot of time at his family’s auto body shop where he developed an appreciation for color and paint. Myers spends most of his time painting, and the rest of the time he enjoys teaching and cooking. His paintings blend his many interests, which include mythology, philosophy, and religion.

David Shillinglaw’s new works ‘Dream Machine’ showing at Thinkspace Projects | May 7, 2022 – May 28, 2022

David Shillinglaw’s ‘Dream Machine‘ showing in the Thinkspace Projects Viewing Room will feature a series of works on canvas, paper and ceramics that present the human head as a vessel full of dreams, a flesh machine in constant flux.

These paintings and sculptures play with the human form. Shillinglaw invites you to find yourself or someone you know in these twisted and colourful characters. Part hieroglyphic beast, part comic book hero, the works pop with humour and naive charm. A mix of modern and ancient, the sensitive and brutal, the personal and universal.

David Shillinglaw is a UK-based artist, best known for his works exploring human nature, success and failure, and the language people use to describe their experiences. David’s practice shifts between the street and studio using a variety of materials and mediums, creating work that ranges from drawings and collages to large-scale murals and installations. Shillinglaw lives and works in Margate, UK

“As an artist, David wrestles with this equilibrium of order and disorder. He has returned numerous times to the Carl Jung quote: “In all chaos there is a cosmos, in all disorder a secret order.” His works speak of our all-consuming journey to figure out some form of neat structure. But they also suggest that we will never fully understand the world around us, and that is where the real meaning lies.

These works confront the restrictive framework that is often applied to human life, leading to rigid definitions of gender, personality type and identity. David’s portraits pull away the calm and singular facades that many people walk around with and return the human to its innately complicated, beautiful self. These portraits do away with the binaries typically used to understand humanity and offer a more open-minded, compassionate view. These figures are allowed to be exactly as they are, jumbled but whole.”

-Emily Steer (extract from the introduction to Relax, The Universe Is Expanding)

Troy Lovegates exhibition “Would” showing at Thinkspace Projects | May 7, 2022 – May 28, 2022

Thinkspace Projects is thrilled to present Troy Lovegates’ latest solo show, ‘Would.’ The artist, formerly known as Other, brings his vast knowledge of street art and work with found objects to the gallery, presenting his first collection composed entirely of his intricate, hand-carved wooden sculptures.

While Lovegates has left his mark on communities around the world, adorning walls and bringing color to otherwise monotone cityscapes, this exhibition is a milestone for his career, bringing solely his sculptures to a new audience.

Lovegates has carefully crafted a diverse cast of characters in the hopes that it will encourage interaction and provoke thought from viewers. The grizzled characters are sure to provoke conversation, bringing attendees together to wonder about the history and personality of each and every one.

About Troy Lovegates
Troy Lovegates (formerly known as Other) is a world-renowned street artist and painter of found objects from Canada. Lovegates’ bright paintings criss-cross the globe on the sides of rail cars and appear both large and small on walls around the world. He has called many places home, including Montreal, Berlin, Buenos Aires, Toronto, and San Francisco. When not hopping trains or painting on walls, he turns his brush and pen to discarded books, hand-carved wooden characters, aged paper, and scavenged wooden objects, rendering patterned portraits of wizened faces as rough and aged as the surfaces they appear on.