Langston Allston’s Joan Mitchell Center Residency Works on view at Thinkspace Projects | October 16 – November 6

Joan Mitchell Center Residency Works

Opening Reception: Saturday, October 16 from 6-9 pm

On view October 16 – November 6 in our viewing room

Langston Allston (b. 1991 USA) is an artist and muralist living and working in New Orleans. His work has appeared in shows around the country, including a two-person show with artist and cultural historian Big Chief Demond Melancon at the Museum of Contemporary African Diaspora Art in Brooklyn (2018) and a solo show with the National Public Housing Museum in Chicago (2018). Langston’s work has also been included in the 2020 exhibition of southern artists, ‘Make America What America Must Become’, at the Contemporary Arts Center in New Orleans.

Beyond his studio practice, Langston has also created murals and installations for a wide range of clients from corner stores and nail salons to Alembic Community Development and the Chicago Bulls. The consistent thread through his work has been a genuine curiosity about the world around him, and a commitment to making honest and legible work that speaks to his community.

Allston recently completed a residency at the Joan Mitchell Foundation in New Orleans, Louisiana and is currently building a body of work for his debut solo exhibition with Thinkspace, planned for March of 2022.

Mike Egan’s exhibition ‘Life is Hard’ on view at Thinkspace Projects | October 16 – November 6

Life Is Hard

Opening Reception: Saturday, October 16 from 6-9 pm

On view October 16 – November 6 in our viewing room

Mike Egan (b. 1977 USA) is based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and earned his fine arts degree from the Edinboro University of Pennsylvania. Egan’s works are created using acrylic paint, shellac, wood, and nails and tell stories about death, devils, and saints. He is greatly influenced by horror films (particularly, Day of the Dead and Halloween), churches, The German Expressionists, and his time in funeral homes as an embalmer.

We’re excited to be hosting his debut west coast solo exhibition, following numerous group show appearances over the past several years.

“The subject matter in my work tends to deal with life, death, and religion. I’ve been working in funeral homes for the last five years and I’ve become quite familiar with all three subjects. Through funerals, we tend to celebrate not only someone dying but we also celebrate that person’s life. Through religion, we hope that our loved ones are in a better place, that they are not suffering anymore. My inspiration comes from many different sources: The German Expressionists, stained glass windows, Halloween, Southern folk art, funeral homes, horror films, music, lowbrow/outsider art, Religious icons, etc. I am always adding and subtracting ideas and colors to my work to make each painting have its own story. I like to think that each painting is in some way a goodbye to somebody who passed away. A funeral portrait.”
– Mike Egan

Olga Esther’s exhibition ‘Princesses, Gender Mandates and Other Stories’ on view at Thinkspace Projects | October 16 – November 6

Princesses, Gender Mandates and Other Stories

Opening Reception: Saturday, October 16 from 6-9 pm

On view October 16 – November 6 in Gallery II

Thinkspace Projects is excited to present Olga Esther’s U.S. west coast solo debut, ‘Princesses, Gender Mandates, and Other Stories.’ Using the symbolism of princess-tales, Esther broaches the subjects of gender and feminism.

Examining the specifics of gender mandates, Esther investigates how the construction of our roles identity as women is based on the fulfillment of specific roles, and further explores the women who, despite society’s pressure, disobey and stray from these societal expectations. She turns a critical eye to the myth of Prince Charming and romantic love, exposing patriarchal motivation within classic tales.

Esther’s work is deeply personal, drawing on her own experience as an only child in the countryside to inform the isolation she captures in her paintings, and her own experience of experiencing gendered violence to fuel the liberating feminism that inspires each canvas.

“We live in societies based on relations of domination and on the exclusion of the different, the other, the vulnerable. These attitudes of domination take place at all levels and lead us not only to the destruction of nature and the mistreatment of nonhuman animals, but also to the oppression and discrimination of some human beings over others, whether by gender, ethnicity, sexual option or different abilities.”

Acknowledging that the state of the world is deeply troubling, from gender inequality to broader injustice, Esther remains optimistic. She believes in a more just world, and hopes to further that possibility through her work. With special attention to themes of inclusion, compassion, empathy, and caring, she communicates the importance of respect for both humans and non-human animals.

About Olga Esther
Olga Esther (b. 1975 Spain) is an artist based in Valencia, Spain. She is a graduate of fine arts from the Polytechnic University of Valencia and received art scholarships in both Prague and Mexico. She also holds a master‘s degree in video games. Olga Esther paints princesses who don’t want to be princesses, birds who cry blood and toads who kill themselves because they are ignored. She uses the symbolism of “princess-tales” to talk about gender and feminism. She paints the invisible ones, the little forgotten girls, the little nobodies of this world, but above all, all those who do not have anyone.

Hilda Palafox (aka Poni)’s exhibition ‘Un día a la vez’ on view at Thinkspace Projects | October 16 – November 6

Un día a la vez

Opening Reception: Saturday, October 16 from 6-9 pm

On view October 16 – November 6 in our main gallery

Thinkspace Projects is thrilled to present Hilda Palafox’s (also known as PONI) latest solo show, ‘Un día a la vez.’ Featuring an entirely new collection of the feminine subjects she is known for, there is an aura of mystery surrounding each piece.

This body of work furthers Palafox’s mission to explore the meaning of the feminine physical, emotional, and mental state. Examining the visible body as shapeless matter willing to mold itself, Palafox utilizes shapes, colors, and textures that seem to embody Latin American women. The radiant colors, robust silhouettes, dark skin, and monumental bodies intermingle with the spaces containing them, creating a study in space and femininity as a concept.

In describing the show, Palafox uses the phrase La vida a veces se manifiesta al regar tus deseos sin prisa, un día a la vez, which translates to “Sometimes life manifests itself by watering your wishes, unhurriedly, one day at a time.”

The show takes this statement to heart, creating a balanced and patient portrait of the women who have gone above and beyond to physically, energetically, and intellectually fill the world. Femininity becomes an important tool in restoring balance.

About Hilda Palafox (aka PONI)
Hilda Palafox (b. 1982 Mexico) attended the School of Design of the National Institute of Fine Arts (EDINBA) and majored in Editorial Design. In  2011 she began her career as an artist producing works in different media, from illustration to ceramics, painting and monumental murals in Mexico, the United States, Canada, Japan, and Brazil. Hilda presented her first solo exhibition in Japan after an artist residency at AIR Onomichi in 2018. This was quickly followed by solo exhibitions in Los Angeles, Melbourne and Mexico City. The female body inspires Hilda Palafox’s work as the central element. Her images present a fresh look at the traditional representation of the female body in Western art.

Mike Egan shares the inspiration behind his upcoming solo exhibition ‘Life Is Hard’

Artist Mike Egan opens up and shares the inspiration behind various pieces that will be on view at Thinkspace Projects for his upcoming solo show, “Life is Hard” in a recent YouTube live stream. Egan expresses how life has been hard for him lately and digs into the juxtaposition of the bright colors in his work and the dark stories the compositions tell. A true reflection of the catharsis that art can give us as we navigate this human experience.

Join us October 16th for the opening of “Life is Hard” to view Mike Egan’s latest body of powerful work in person.