Virtual Tour of Millo’s “At The Crack of Dawn” and Mando Marie’s “Tell Me All About It“

Enjoy a virtual tour through Millo’s “At The Crack of Dawn” and Mando Marie’s “Tell Me All About It“ by visiting the following link: https://players.cupix.com/p/uE1aUsbv

Both exhibitions are now on view through May 22nd.

Virtual Tour created by Birdman

Video Tour of Millo’s “At The Crack of Dawn” & Mando Marie’s “Tell Me About It”

Millo – “At The Crack of Dawn

Mando Marie – “Tell Me All About It

On view: May 1, 2021 – May 22, 2021

EXCERPT FROM MILLO INTERVIEW

What is your favorite part of the creative process?

Sketching, it’s the first thing I do in the morning, still in my pajamas, with no coffee. I just slide from the bed to the kitchen table and I start to draw. It’s a kind of unconscious behavior, and that’s the part I prefer the most and that’s for sure where I got my best ideas.

Click Here for Full Interview

EXCERPT FROM MANDO MARIE INTERVIEW

There is a child-like whimsy to your work; how do you tap into your inner child?

There is whimsy, of course, but I think if someone looks at my work and only sees child-like, then they are missing the heft of the message.  I do tap that inner child, but I don’t know how I get there, or why I gravitate towards youth in my work … actually maybe I do know, youth is magnetic, and that helps explain why I’m drawn to it.  I think you can explore dangerous, brave, intense and important themes while still using youth to deliver the message…it’s maybe even better that way.  

Click Here for Full Interview

Video by Birdman

Interview with Mando Marie for “Tell Me All About It”

Thinkspace Projects is honored to welcome Mando Marie back for her second solo show “Tell Me All About It.”

Bringing a contemporary edge to the innate elements of nostalgia, Mando works primarily with spray paint, stencils, and collage elements. She incorporates these elements of street art juxtaposed with the familiarity of the picture book-inspired world to create work that is both edgy and comforting. Her paintings frequently feature repetitive and mirrored imagery, eliciting a dream-like quality that is simultaneously pleasing and haunting.

In anticipation for “Tell Me All About It” our interview with Mando Marie discusses the magnetism of youth, her use of a rocking chair in the creative process, and wrestling with the inner critic.

For those not familiar with your work, could you tell us a bit about your background and when you were introduced to Thinkspace?

Wow…it’s almost hard to remember that far back 😉  It’s been close to 15-16 years I’ve worked with Thinkspace. Is that even possible?  My first show was a group show about birds or something…maybe LC asked me.  I don’t remember, but I do remember that the paintings didn’t sell and they came back to me.  haha.   

Background … I started off in Colorado at RMCAD, there was an amazing group of artists and teachers in that era at that school.  I started showing with Andenken Gallery in Denver around the same time.  I also had a studio in their huge gallery building like a lot of awesome artists from that time in that town.  That’s really how I got my start and started having shows.  

 What is the inspiration behind this latest body of work? What themes or techniques were you exploring?

Well, my work is very personal, but I do think it speaks to themes that most people can relate to…love, death, relationship with self, relationship with others, time, nature, our animal nature as well.  I am definitely into reflected and twin imagery, I have been for a long time, but now I think I also like to do this thing where I pair a person with maybe their spirit (like a ghost) or with their future self (like a skeleton). 

Technique wise I can definitely feel myself improving my craft over time.  I’m a better brush painter and a better aerosol painter than I used to be…that’s just ‘miles on the brush’.  I do look back at older paintings though and feel like they had a kind of Stooges style Raw Power.  

There is a child-like whimsy to your work; how do you tap into your inner child?

There is whimsy, of course, but I think if someone looks at my work and only sees child-like, then they are missing the heft of the message.  I do tap that inner child, but I don’t know how I get there, or why I gravitate towards youth in my work … actually maybe I do know, youth is magnetic, and that helps explain why I’m drawn to it.  I think you can explore dangerous, brave, intense and important themes while still using youth to deliver the message…it’s maybe even better that way.  

What is your most favorite part of the creative process? What is the part of the creative process you could do without?

My favorite part is getting a little stoned or tipsy and sitting in my rocking chair staring and thinking about half completed works and how to bring them to the finish line.  The part I would say I least enjoy is the countless hours of drawing and redrawing and redrawing the stencils to get just the right feel and look for the characters…only to then cut it out, spray it out and decide I don’t really like it. 😉  Maybe there is a cathartic mantra hidden in there somewhere, but it’s still a drag.

How do you push yourself as an artist without compromising your point of view?

Part of pushing is just staying with it.  Another part though, and this is shallow but true, when I feel like others are appreciating my work, I feel more comfortable that I’m headed in a good direction.  People will soap box all day long that it doesn’t matter what other people think of you or your work, but speaking for myself, that just isn’t true.  As far as a point of view and not compromising…it’s hard to escape an internal critic, it’s also hard to be brave and jump off in a new direction when you’ve become sort of recognized for a style.  It becomes a question like ‘How do I grow as an artist without disrupting a visual language I’ve been building for so long?’  Right now, I’ve secretly been working on some more nudity and sexiness in paintings, but I’m too shy to really release that kraken on the world right now.

What is an assumption people make about your work? What do you think they would be surprised to find out?

An assumption that soccer moms make is that the work is perfect for their ‘kid’s room’.  I think these same moms would be surprised to find out that I feel like strangling them for saying that.  Of course I don’t mind at all if the paintings find homes in kid’s rooms, but if the collector can’t see beyond that surface … ugh, I feel like I’m not quite hitting as hard as I want.

You do a lot of traveling for your work/art; how has the past year influenced your work, and has anything shifted in your process that you think will be a lasting change?

Hahaha, I hardly travel at all anymore.  I’ve been so in love with the little farm I do with my partner, Hyland, in Portugal.  It’s called The Holdout.  We both just love The Holdout, it’s hard to leave.  So, yes this last year with COVID has been crazy, but we’ve been really lucky.  We just work on our land, and our cider (holdout cider) and quietly work on our work.  The lasting change I see, is that for both of us, we see this chapter as a lifelong project.

Do you remember your first mural? Where was the mural located, and what was the subject matter?

First major mural was the Azatlan skate park in Fort Collins, Colorado.  I won a grant from the city.   There were all of these meetings with the local skaters and they were really intimidating at first…complaining that my work wasn’t ‘skater enough’… I was very nervous.  In the end, though, that community really changed their tune…I camped out at the skatepark while I worked on it for days on end, and I think I really got some cred from the skaters for being so dedicated.  To this day it’s one of my favorite murals I’ve made.  It was a huge concrete monster eating a concrete truck and lots of stuff was stuck in the concrete, like a unicorn and a dumpster and a bunch of other stuff.  Now that I’m thinking about it…I really hope it’s still riding.  After I’m done with this interview, I’m going to see if I can find pictures.  

Do the book covers inspire the piece, or do you have a piece in mind and search out the perfect book cover?

I think you’re asking me about the Reading Girls series … the ones where there is a girl reading a book and her face is hidden by the cover.   Those are an ongoing series and I do them both as ‘piece in mind’ and also I do them as ‘choose your title’ commissions on request.  The commission ones have proven to be pretty cool, because people want titles I’ve never even heard of, and sometimes they are really challenging.  I do also though love to hunt down that perfect title and perfect edition with the perfect art on the perfect cover.

What are some of your favorite places to source found material to incorporate into your work? (You don’t have to name the exact spot)

Oh man, old Dutch comics.  Old photography journals.  Manga.  Old Spanish comics … The funny thing is that I’ll start a day out looking for images to source poses or interactions from and then 6 hours later I’m just mush on the floor in a pile of old graphic novels and comic books.    

What is one of your most memorable meals? It could have been the food, the company, or both that made it an unforgettable meal.

Andrew, you’re fishing and I know it mister!!  I had a very nice meal once with you and Shaun and Hyland in Switzerland.  We had just finished up a long day at SCOPE fair Basel and we didn’t really know each other personally too good at that point and it was a really nice time in a really cool place and Shaun and I had quite a few barley pops.  On the way home, Hyland and I went to a dance party at a squat camp close to the fair and then it started raining and everyone hid under the trailers and caravans.  When it stopped raining, the remaining party people started singing a musical number from some musical I didn’t know, but it was still so fucking awesome.  I think they were part of a local troupe or something.  Cool night. 

Opening Reception:
Saturday, May 1, 2021 from 3:00-8:00pm
*Masks and social distancing required

Interview with Millo for “At The Crack of Dawn”

Thinkspace Projects is proud to present a new solo exhibition “At The Crack of Dawn” from Italian artist, Millo who will effectively be bringing a bit of new Italian culture to Los Angeles.

This exhibition, from internationally renowned muralist Millo, is a collection of works in his signature predominantly black and white style. With detailed monochrome cityscapes and color pops to highlight the subjects, Millo creates the moment just before waking in a series of breathtaking scenes. The friendly inhabitants of each scene float above their urban settings displaying a blend of dream and reality. He crafts giant characters who are out of scale and often clumsy, confined to an urban habitat that forces them to invent new ways to live.

In anticipation of ‘At The Crack of Dawn’, our interview with Millo discusses how he taps into his imagination, early morning sketches, and more than a few memorable meals.

For those not familiar with your work, can you tell us a bit about your background and when you were first introduced to Thinkspace?

I was born in 1979 in a small village in the southern part of Italy, I lived and studied there until  I moved when I was 18 years old to study architecture in Pescara where I’m still living. I have always drawn since I was a child, but I didn’t attend any art school, it was just my constant passion, my safe escape.

When I graduated, the economic crisis was hitting hard in Italy so work was not so easy to find and I focused more and more on painting and creating, and in the end little by little, what was supposed to remain only a side part of my life, became my whole life.

Thinkspace is so well known, even if I live on the other side of the globe, if you are in this field you know the gallery for sure!Andrew wrote to me 2years ago! He saw my previous show at the Dorothy Circus gallery and asked me if I was interested in having a solo in US… you know the answer!

What is the inspiration behind this latest body of work? What themes or techniques were you exploring?

I had the chance during my career to investigate different aspects and themes through the creations of my murals.
Most of them deal with the will of empowering our feelings and our behavior towards each other and the whole system we live in.

My giant characters always out of scale and a bit clumsy, live in a chaotic urban habitat that gives them no easy space to move or interact and at the same time, forces them to invent new ways to live. Beyond this visible explanation, there’s in each work a multiple layers of meanings, interpretations and messages.

The urban setting, it’s a hidden critic to cities nowadays, inhuman and gray. The characters play our role by adapting themselves in a landscape avulsed and difficult, rediscovering step by step the pureness of simple acts. At the crack of dawn uses the same language to speak about the unconscious. It’s undeniable that what we all have experienced in these last 365 days has deeply affected not only my way of living but also my way of thinking and expressing my feelings. The initial shock of being merely stuck and scared gave me the time to recollect the topics of my imagination, and to focus deeply on what we were all simultaneously doing: dreaming, and what stands beside this process totally captured my thoughts and drove me along a new expressive path.

At the crack of dawn, it’s about a particular moment that I think everyone experiences, the instant between the dark and the light of the day, when the eyes are slowly opening but the dreams are still there. All the images I realized comes from there and so I think it may appear a little different from my works on murals. These new bodies of work are without the daylight filter, the excessive thoughts, they are something raw, straight from my dreams. I know I’m quite known for my black and white style, in this solo, there are definitely more colors and much more details, both in the background as in the characters.

What was your favorite way to expand your imagination in your youth? What is your favorite way to expand your imagination today? 

As a teenager, I spent literally a loooot of time listening to music and playing instruments, which for sure helped me a lot to project myself into another reality. Don’t forget the place I come from is very very small, and this, unfortunately, means not so much to do and having something to do even if it was just playing with friends or drawing all day,  it was the best way to expand my imagination.

Now, traveling is my favorite way and when it’s not possible, I’m a big fan of documentaries, I always look forward to discovering new habits, new perspectives.

What is your favorite part of the creative process?

Sketching, it’s the first thing I do in the morning, still in my pajamas, with no coffee. I just slide from the bed to the kitchen table and I start to draw. It’s a kind of unconscious behavior, and that’s the part I prefer the most and that’s for sure where I got my best ideas.

Do you remember your dreams? Have you ever had a lucid dream – a dream where you could control what was going on?  

Yes, I remember my dreams, not always but quite often. And yes, a few times I had the ability to control what was going on in my dreams. It was a very unique feeling.

Are there any new habits or even shifted perspectives/priorities due to the last year that you will continue into the future?

I’ve been traveling quite a lot in the last 10 years, and this forced stop gave me the time to recollect all the memories and I would like to keep this behavior even once a month. Just checking in on what I’ve really done, the people that I had the chance to meet, and the things I liked or disliked.

You’ve been around the world painting murals; what was one of your favorite places to visit, and what about that location, the people, atmosphere, or culture that makes it so special?

It’s very hard to pick one, each place for me has its own memories and peculiarities. Maybe I have to say China, cause it’s the place where I stopped for the longest period. I’ve been there 3 times and each time for one month, it never happened to me to stop for so long in one place. It’s been a really immersive experience, into the culture, the history, the food…I definitely loved their curiosity and their pure and unique way to go over the language difficulties and communicate, no matter how hard it was, they always tried to communicate with me.

Do you remember your first mural? Where was the mural located, and what was the subject matter?

My first big mural was in a small town in Italy, m…they invited me to paint a very particular surface, half on a wall in bricks, half on the ground, and on the wall was full of caper plants. So, I decided to draw a giant naked character eating the plants. The old ladies of the village were laughing so loud for the naked part of the protagonist that made it unforgettable!

What is one of your most memorable meals? It could have been the food, the company, or both that made it an unforgettable meal.

This is soooo hard, I’ve got a long list of favorite meals, and I’m also Italian, you know how seriously we take this!
so just to say a few of them:
-Mapotofu in China
-Kinkhali from Georgia
-Shashlik from Ukraine
-Raw fish with coconut in Tahiti
-Couscous in Morocco.
I could go on for an hour at least.
Yes, most of these dishes were shared with my girlfriend or with other artists and for sure they made it more unforgettable.

If there was a machine to record your dreams so you could play them back, but you had to give up one of your five senses to own/ use one, would you want the dream recorder? If so, which one of your 5 senses would you sacrifice? Maybe I would give up the smell…as it’s already not so good. hahahahaha!

Opening Reception:
Saturday, May 1, 2021 from 3:00-8:00pm
*Masks and social distancing required