Studio visit with Audrey Kawasaki

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Had the pleasure of swinging by Audrey Kawasaki‘s home recently to take a look at the works for her upcoming debut NYC solo show set to take place at Jonathan LeVine Gallery this December. Audrey has already completed 15 beautiful new works for the show and will also be completing some drawings and smaller works in time for the show. The new works are by far her strongest yet and really build on the narrative and feature some new elements which are sure to be a big hit with her loyal and ever-growing following.

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Audrey Kawasaki
“Hajimari – A Prelude”

Dec. 12th, 2009 – Jan. 9th, 2010
Jonathan LeVine Gallery
529 West 20th Street, 9th Floor in NYC

An interview with Craig “Skibs” Barker

Skibs

An interview with Craig “Skibs” Barker

Craig “Skibs” Barker grew up in Southern California during the early ’80s in the midst of both the punk rock and surfing culture explosions. With a healthy dose of punk flyers, album covers, and surfing magazines buzzing through his head, Barker began making flyers and t-shirts for his friends and his own punk bands. Fast-forward to today; Barker’s most recent paintings infuse his long-standing love for painting and rendering the human female figure with his punk-fueled graphic design. Mixing different approaches, techniques, and mediums, he creates a sense of memory, personal history, and appreciation for the female form. Combining elements of pop culture, literary censorship, and a positive mental attitude, he creates layered scenes of voyeuristic mischief. Barker’s work explores the junctions between past and present, memory and imagination, fantasy and reality, while creating a dialog between image and viewer.

Barker’s work has shown around Southern California in such galleries as Ghetto Gloss, The Hive Gallery, C.A.V.E. Gallery, Koo’s Art Center, J. Flynn Gallery and the bi-monthly Cannibal Flower event. Barker’s work was also recently profiled at the Beyond Eden New Contemporary Art Fair in Los Angeles.

'And You Run Across The Courtyard Just To Take Her Hand'
'And You Run Across The Courtyard Just To Take Her Hand'

Please talk a lil’ bit about the general idea/vibe behind your new series of works for “Sight For Sore Eyes”? What’s the story with the show’s title?
The general “vibe” in my most recent paintings is interpersonal relationships. I like to investigate the foundation of relationships. How these connections become anchored in both a physical location and an emotional sense of “home”. And, I like legs!

As for the show title, it’s like in the old movies when the dame would walk into the bar and the barflies would say “well, isn’t she a sight for sore eyes”. That sense of nostalgia is also something I try to bring into my paintings. Nostalgia and memory play a huge role in relationships and family, like an old family photo album.

Shot of Barker's studio
Shot of Barker's studio

Much of your work includes the use of old Polaroid pictures. Are these photos you’ve taken yourself or do you go about collecting these at garage sales/swamp meets?
I take all of the Polaroids myself. It started when I wanted to get a different perspective on my paintings while I was working on them. My wife gave me my stepdaughters old “Spice Girls” Polaroid camera and I would shoot cheap grainy images of the progress of the work. The pictures started piling up, so I started adding them to the paintings. The result was what guided me toward the theme of relationships and memories. Old Polaroids and photos always seem to have a kind of voyeuristic nostalgia. The other, non-Polaroid, photographs in my paintings are either from garage/estate sales or from my personal family archives.

'Awake Enough' - new work coming in this weekend
'Awake Enough' - new work coming in this weekend

If you had an unlimited budget and time was not an issue, what grand artistic vision would you look to bring to life?
I am really enjoying the direction I’ve been headed in lately. I would just push the scale of the paintings and add some more sculptural elements to the collage aspect of the work.

'I Like It Here'
'I Like It Here'

If you could stand by and watch the creation of any piece of artwork from over the years, which would it be and why?
I thought about this one for a while and wanted to say something deep like Michelangelo painting the Sistine Chapel. But, I’m afraid of heights and I’d get a stiff neck looking up at that thing all the time. So, I figured the most action and fun would be to watch Paul McCarthy create “Caribbean Pirates”. Yargh…ahoy matey!!!

'Get A...' - new work coming in this weekend
'Get A...' - new work coming in this weekend

What do you consider your biggest overall influence?
My biggest overall influence would have to be when and where I grew up. Growing up in Huntington Beach, CA during the explosions of both punk rock and surfing culture really guided me in directions both extremely creative and extremely self-destructive. The punk aesthetic of slogans spray-painted with block, stencil lettering carries over into my work to this day. And, I can’t go anywhere around here without seeing palm trees and power lines which continue to pop up in my work all the time.

'Simple But True'
'Simple But True'

I know you have roots in the SoCal underground music scene. Do you listen to music while painting/drawing? Current favorite?
Yeah, I listen to all kinds of music while painting. It kinda depends on what I’m doing in the studio that dictates what I listen to. When I’m doing a lot of action based collage/under-painting stuff I tend to listen to energetic music, mostly some kind of classic or hardcore punk like The Clash or The Bad Brains… or maybe some of the newer hardcore bands like The Regulations. When I’m painting the figures and need to concentrate and be more detailed oriented I tend to listen to something a bit quieter like Nick Cave, Tom Waits, or some Dub Reggae like King Tubby. I also like to listen to a lot of weird music while I paint… obscure French pop like Francoise Hardy… old Jazz or Blues stuff like Oscar Peterson or Mississippi John Hurt. But, for the most part, it’s whatever isn’t too scratched or covered in sawdust to play that I listen to.

As far as a current favorite goes, they aren’t new, but I’ve been on a big Guided By Voices kick lately.

'Laugh and Dream' - new work coming in this weekend
'Laugh and Dream' - new work coming in this weekend

What’s your favorite thing about living in Southern California?
The beach for sure…being able to surf before work when the waves are good is fantastic. I’ve done quite a bit of traveling, lived in other cities/countries, but I always miss the beach and come back to it. It definitely has that sense of “home” for me.

'Stay Right Here' - featured in the Juxtapoz 'Big Payback' 15th Anniversary Auction
'Stay Right Here' - featured in the Juxtapoz 'Big Payback' 15th Anniversary Auction

You and your wife are also quite the art collectors, having amassed a very nice collection and I don’t think you’ll be slowing anytime soon (if you’re like us). What’s your favorite piece from your collection currently? Who’s on your ‘list’ for the coming year?
You had to get me started on collecting…this is gonna be a long one!!! Our collection is kinda broken up into 4 different sections…prints, underground artists, photographs, and established artists. That makes it kinda hard to pick just 1. So, I’ll pick 1 from each section…my interview, my rules! My favorite print is our Chloe Early… favorite underground artist our L. Croskey… favorite photograph is our April Falling… favorite established artists is a toss up between our Ian Francis and our Dave Kinsey. The favorites all switch from day to day though…ask me tomorrow and you may get a whole different list.

My wife, Kristen, and I have had our eye on Jason Shawn Alexander for a while, but haven’t bought one just yet. So, he is definitely on our “list” for this coming year. We’re running out of wall space!

'There's A Smile In My Heart'
'There's A Smile In My Heart'

What have you got coming up in terms of shows after your show with us?
I’ve got a painting in a group show the night after my opening with you all, on Sat. Nov. 7th, in Washington D.C. at Art Whino Gallery… that show is then traveling to Art Basel in Miami Fl. in Dec. I’m super stoked to be a part of the Juxtapoz Magazine 15th Anniversary Auction Show on Nov. 14th. I’m also in the United C.A.T. group show in Fullerton CA. in the end of Nov. Then in Jan. 2010 I’m in a group show at the C.A.V.E. Gallery in Venice CA. and hopefully more shows with you there at Thinkspace (including our January ‘A Cry For Help’ benefit for endangered species).

'Sight For Sore Eyes' installed at Thinkspace
'Sight For Sore Eyes' installed at Thinkspace

Look for an interview to be posted with Hurley in the coming weeks as well – we’ll be sure to post a link here once it’s live for all to check out. Also, in case you missed, check out a recent interview Juxtapoz did with ‘Skibs’ here.

Craig ‘Skibs’ Barker
‘Sight For Sore Eyes’ (’Fresh Faces’ series)

On View: Nov. 6th – Nov. 27th, 2009

'With Surgical Focus'
'With Surgical Focus'

View the works featured in ‘Sight For Sore Eyes’ from Craig “Skibs” Barker:
http://www.thinkspacegallery.com/2009/11/project2/works.php

PLEASE NOTE:
We’ll be getting in a half dozen or so new works from Barker this weekend (some of which are pictured/noted above). After the huge demand created by the recent opening of ‘Sight For Sore Eyes’, we asked Craig to bring us in some more work – please email contact@sourharvest.com if interested in receiving info and images on the new works coming in from Barker.

Thinkspace
4210 Santa Monica Blvd. (near Sunset Junction)
Los Angeles, CA 90029
#: 323.913.3375
E-mail: contact@sourharvest.com
www.thinkspacegallery.com

Opening night at Thinkspace (Karpinski, Turf One, “Skibs” Barker)…

A small glimpse inside Timothy Karpinski's 'fear fort'...
A small glimpse inside Timothy Karpinski's 'fear fort'...

This past Friday we opened our November exhibitions with Timothy Karpinski (main gallery), Turf One (project room) and Craig “Skibs” Barker (‘Fresh Faces’ series) to a very appreciatve crowd that built as the evening drew on. Many artists came out to show their support throughout the evening including Stella Im Hultberg (in town for her show at Copro), Shawn Barber (just settling into LA after moving down from SF), Jesse Hotchkiss (look for him next month in our project room), Kim Saigh (of LA Ink fame / soon to open a new shop in LA with Shawn Barber), LA graffiti icons Mear One and Yem, and Aussie exports Dabs Myla. The press were out in force as well, so be sure to look for features soon on Arrested Motion, Coagula, Juxtapoz and Dailydujour (who just posted here).

View over 100 pics from the opening here:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/thinkspace/sets/72157622648975191/

On View: Nov. 6th – Nov. 27th, 2009

Timothy Karpinski in the front entry install area... you just have to see his show in person folks!!!
Timothy Karpinski in the front entry install area... you just have to see his show in person folks!!!

Works featured in ‘My Heart Never Sleeps’ from Timothy Karpinski:
http://www.thinkspacegallery.com/2009/11/works.php

Turf One alongside his mind blowing wall piece that he painted during the week of installation
Turf One alongside his mind blowing wall piece that he painted during the week of installation

Works featured in ‘Shining Darkness’ from Turf One:
http://www.thinkspacegallery.com/2009/11/project/works.php

Craig "Skibs" Barker alongside his wall of works
Craig "Skibs" Barker alongside his wall of works

Works featured in ‘Sight For Sore Eyes’ from Craig “Skibs” Barker:
http://www.thinkspacegallery.com/2009/11/project2/works.php

The works from Karpinski and Turf One are just incredible and it’s criminal they haven’t found homes yet. Mention this post, and I’ll be happy to provide a nice discount on any of their works. They really need to be seen in person, SO much detail and thought go into each piece from both of these emerging talents.

Main gallery view opening night
Main gallery view opening night

Thinkspace
4210 Santa Monica Blvd. (near Sunset Junction)
Los Angeles, CA 90029
#: 323.913.3375
E-mail: contact@sourharvest.com
www.thinkspacegallery.com

An interview with Timothy Karpinski

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An interview with Timothy Karpinski

Coming up THIS Fri, Nov. 6th we are proud to present ‘My Heart Never Sleeps’, the second solo show at our gallery from Portland based artist Timothy Karpinski. This will be the first solo exhibition with the artist in our main gallery space, following ‘The Place I Call Home’, which took place in our project room in the fall of 2008. ‘My Heart Never Sleeps’ will feature a large installation featuring the artist’s ”Fear Fort” which he has been living in for the past few months as he worked on the show and he plans to be sleeping and living in the fort during the week-long installation of the exhibition itself.

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Please talk a lil’ bit about the general idea/vibe behind your new series of works for “My Heart Never Sleeps”? What’s the story with the show’s title?
The title comes from my friend’s band “lovers” – me and cubby the singer/songwriter are alot alike but she makes songs and i make art 🙂 With this show ill be telling a love story – the best one I’ve ever told.

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Tell us a lil’ bit about the idea behind your ‘fear fort’, which will be one of the highlights of your upcoming show with us.
It’s where I can go and everything is okay, no fears in the fear fort.

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If you had an unlimited budget and time was not an issue, what grand artistic vision would you look to bring to life?
Hmmmmm…. i have a sweet idea about a traveling artshow via sailboat, a really beautifull and huge old shanty sailboat, kinda like a noah’s ark type thing, but Timothy’s Art Ark is where I’d maybe take one piece from all my favorite artists and friends and sail around the world. You wanna back this idea Andrew?

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Much of your work includes the use of found objects and old books. Do you have a favorite place around Portland that you go hunting for that perfect object? Old books? Do you gather items while traveling?
I’m a dilligent collector. I kinda plan my day around different thrift stores around Portland, I know which ones are near the bank or a gas station or on pretty much any errond, I sail thru a thrift store almost everday, and this summer me and my lady made weekend trips all around Oregon hunting for treasures. I have too much stuff, but I think I’m getting better at thrifting, I can now walk out sometimes empty handed 🙂

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If you could stand by and watch the creation of any piece of artwork from over the years, which would it be and why?
I would have been interested in seeing Henry Darger at work for sure.

What do you consider your biggest overall influence?
I think love for sure, both loving others, myself and the work I make, but I’m also pretty influenced by my friends and my surroundings, NE Portland represent!

Do you listen to music while painting/drawing? If so, do you have a current favorite that inspires?
I pretty much listen to music around the clock, I wake up and sometimes have my headphones on from the night before still playing, and always all day in the studio, all my roomates also play music and there’s a mini recording studio in my basement, so my house is always shaking! Right now I’m really digging jazz of all sorts, Dizzy, John C. Miles and anything on 89.1 the jazz station. But for the muses, currently in the studio I have Karen O blasting from the yeah yeah yeahs, and for supe late nights like tonight it’s gonna be M83 – they always make the sun come up.

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What’s your favorite thing about living in Portland?
I guess the attitude among the community, everyone I know is doing something rad and creative, it seems everyday I see someone who’s workin’ on some new project or is playing a show that night or having an art show, so it’s really inspiring and motivating, and pretty dang affordable, plus my cats like it, NE Portland where I live has a huge cat community, they have friends coming over all the time.

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What makes your cat cooler than everyone else’s cat?
Good question. I have 2 and they are polar opposites, one is the sweet and cuddly type and the other is the hunter, so I get love and protection!

You co-own and operate Together Gallery up in Portland, OR. Tell us a lil’ bit about how that came about and some of the ups and downs you’ve encountered thus far. Best show thus far? Upcoming show you are looking forward to?
Running a gallery is great and a lot of work, but it’s great for the community, I have sooo many people who come in and say wow, this is sooo inspiring, or kids who make zines and prints just to get there stuff on the walls. It’s got me way in tune with the Portland art communty and the community in general, and given me a real good understanding of the art as a “business” and helped me be more professional as a working artist. The downside is the backend of running a business, taxes, rent, managing employees, emails, countless sleepless nights hanging shows. Coming up we have a huge group show and our 2 year anniversary with over 40 artists, then next year a few solo shows by the likes of Doodles, Jay Howell and more!

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What have you got coming up in terms of shows after your solo show with us?
Pretty much right back to work when I get home, I’m in the December group show at Whitewalls in SF, alongside some of my heroes: the Clayton Brothers and Thomas Campbell, I think it was some sorta mistake, but I’m gonna send work anyways 🙂 – j.k. – but really excited about that, then right after that in January I’m in a split show at Gallery Three in SF with the Shooting Gallery / Whitewalls crew with my studio mates Mark and James. Then some sleep 🙂

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Check out a great interview that Juxtapoz just conducted with Timothy Karpinski below:
http://www.juxtapoz.com/Features/back-talk-with-timothy-karpinski

View a ’sneak peek’ of Karpinski’s work for the show via the link below:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/thinkspace/sets/72157622377680535/

Timothy Karpinski
‘My Heart Never Sleeps’

Opening Reception: THIS Fri, Nov. 6th 7-11PM

Timothy will be in attendance from Portland for the opening reception, so please be sure to swing through and say hello.

Thinkspace
4210 Santa Monica Blvd. (near Sunset Junction) in Silver Lake area of Los Angeles

Joao Ruas update: new print / NYC show / Aqua Art Maimi / solo next May…

Joao Ruas - "Haunted No. 20" - new work for show in NYC
Joao Ruas - "Haunted No. 20" - new work for show in NYC

Joao Ruas has been a busy man. In between releasing new prints and original Fables artwork on his new site,  and preparing for his solo show with us next May, he has somehow found the time to create work for a couple of other shows as well as take on some very special projects that shall see the light of day soon.

The first of which is a group show in NYC this weekend that LeBasse Projects has put together to profile some of their regulars in addition to guest artists Joao and Mia.

The ‘Go East’ show will feature four new works from Joao (including “Haunted No. 20” shown above). If in NYC this weekend, don’t miss your chance to view his work in person. See below for a couple add’l sneak peeks from NYC.

Close up view of another work destined for NYC
Close up view of another work destined for NYC

Joao is also currently putting the finishing touches on two new works that will be going with us down to Aqua Art Maimi this December during Art Basel as part of Thinkspace‘s special ‘Futurity’ exhibition.

Aqua Art Miami – Wynwood
Booth #25 – Thinkspace
42 NE 25th Street (at North Miami Ave)
Miami, FL
Dec. 3rd – Dec. 6th

After Miami, he’ll be finishing up a piece for our endangered species benefit coming up this January before returning his full attention to his solo show coming up this May in our project room. Past that, look for some very special news to be announced soon from Joao – he’s really moving and shaking things right now and there’s much in the works for this emerging artist.

Close up of another one of the new ones for NYC
Close up of another one of the new ones for NYC

In addition to the prints that Ruas recently issued on his site, we too will be publishing a limited edition giclee print from Joao in time for the holidays (he’s currently signing them and preparing to ship them back to the States). A pre-order for the prints will be posted this weekend on our website in the ‘prints’ section.

“Enkindu & Gilgamesh” limited giclee print coming soon
“Enkindu & Gilgamesh” limited giclee print coming soon

“Enkindu & Gilgamesh”
12×12″ giclee print
Hand signed and numbered by the artist
Limited edition of 30 prints (+ 5 artist proofs)
$60 (pre-order details to be posted on our site this weekend)