June Exhibitions featuring works from Ador, Michael Polakowski, Ha Haengeun, and ‘With A Little Help From My Friends’ group show opens Saturday June 1, 2024

Thinkspace Projects presents our upcoming June 2024 exhibitions. In our main gallery we are honored to welcome back longtime Thinkspace family member ADOR for his first sophomore solo exhibition with us, alongside our sophomore solo show with Michael Polakowski in Gallery II, a special group show curated by our very own Halopigg in Gallery III and our debut solo show with Ha Haengeun in Gallery IV. Out in our courtyard a new collection of sculptural work from Fl.our.pots lines the walls of Brek’s Dog House Gallery.

Thinkspace Projects presents:

GALLERY I:
ADOR@ador_2049  🇫🇷
Familiar Yet Foreign

GALLERY II:
MICHAEL POLAKOWSKI@michaelpolakowski 🇺🇸
Melodrama

GALLERY III:
With A Little Help From My Friends
Group show curated by Daniel Weintraub, aka ‘Halopigg’

Featuring new works created especially for this show from:
Carmen Acosta | @janedopeness
Marina Capdevila | @marinacapdevila
Case | @case_maclaim
Cern | @cernesto
Shepard Fairey | @obeygiant 
Faith XLVII | @faith47
Kristin Farr |  @kristinfarr
Insane51 | @insane51
Ozzie Juarez | @ozziejuarez
Layqa Nuna Yawar | @layqanunayawar
The London Police | @thelondonpolice
Jason Pulgarin | @jasonpulgarin
Faring Purth | @faringpurth
Rabi | @rabi__towing
RAE | @rae_bk
Amy Sol | @amysol
Swoon | @swoonhq
Thievin’ Stephen | @thievinstephen
Cinta Vidal | @cinta_vidal
Marina Zumi | @marinazumi

GALLERY IV:
HA HAENGEUN@hahaengeun 🇰🇷
Willing To Be Motherhood

The Dog House Gallery:
FL.OUR POTS | @fl.our.pots 🇺🇸
Smoke and Mirrors

Opening Celebration:
Saturday, June 1 from 6-10pm

On view June 1 – June 22, 2024

Thinkspace Projects
4207 W. Jefferson Blvd.
4217 W. Jefferson Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90016

❤️ SHAWN FOREVER ❤️

GALLERY I:
ADOR@ador_2049  🇫🇷
Familiar Yet Foreign

Ador is a French graffiti artist living and working in Nantes, in the West of France. He has created his own universe filled with imaginary characters inspired by fairy tales, circus spectacles, and current events. Ador’s goal is to portray the point where the silly meets the serious.

Ador ingeniously combines contemporary art and social critique through his whimsical, larger-than-life murals. His imaginative blend of figurative art and caricature captivates onlookers, inviting them to decode the narrative art embedded within. This master of satirical art infuses humor and fantasy creatures into the very fabric of his pieces, challenging our perception of reality. His striking approach to political art remains an influential force in French art, continuing to resonate with a global audience. Ador’s unique style stands as a testament to his unbounded imagination and his enduring impact on the world of humorous art.

Ador is constantly looking to his surroundings, interested to see what he can learn next. The things that he learns become the inspiration for his work – current affairs, cultural phenomena and language. For him, art and creativity are ways in which one can take refuge from the madness of reality and find meaning. Ador is able to address complex political or philosophical issues through his work, avoiding confrontation and making them easier to digest for the viewer. Not impeded by language barriers, his wish is that his work can be understandable and relatable for people from all walks of life, a sort of universal imagery.

Artist / Show Statement:

The universe I’ve been building for many years is growing up with all that characters living together. For this new exhibit, I think of each image like a lost comic book created in my studio.

It’s about a big story where both animals and humans are treated in the same way, but each time the aim is to tell a story where the spectator is invited to imagine by his own, how my protagonists must feel in each situation. Bringing together a unique mix of inspirations from various fairy tales, comics book, caricature art, and the works of other great painters, I try to use a childish way to talk to all of us – who like me – would have been a kid who never wants to grows up.

The works talk about actuality, responsibility and the dream state we all often escape to. I build my characters as I would approach building a new language.

GALLERY II:
MICHAEL POLAKOWSKI@michaelpolakowski 🇺🇸
Melodrama

The work in “Melodrama” are all dream like abstractions where context is obscured, but the emotional weight of each scene is all too palpable. The details lead the viewer to investigate for an elusive explanation that is asking to be unearthed, but consistently elusive. Somehow, explanation feels just out of frame or on the edge of a distant horizon, but always failing to arrive in time. Drawing inspiration from the Hudson River School and mythological paintings, the works in this opening all share in a feeling that if you take yourself to seriously you end up looking like a fool. Hazy bar scenes, stray drapery caught in the branches of a tree, or roses, so delicate they could wilt under the light of the moon, all walk the line between drama and comedic shtick . The paintings in this exhibition feel so burdened by their emotional heaviness that they collapse beneath the pressure and become impossibly light. Plainly put, “Melodrama” is centered around the scholarly pursuit of clownery.

About Michael Polakowski:

Michael Polakowski began his studio practice in 2016 in Detroit, MI. In the first few years of his career, and throughout his upbringing in the Midwestern United States, he often felt like he was missing out on a sense of clarity that only existed somewhere else. His work came to focus on how mental health frames and contextualizes our view of the world, often using windows or other visual portals to represent the boundary between our present lives, and the seemingly far-off idealized world. Polakowski thinks of each painting as an opportunity to expand upon an ongoing narrative within his work, a narrative where the protagonist is grappling with finding a sense of self, maintaining presence in their environment, and connecting to the world around them. However, these abstract ideas are usually depicted in scenes like stolen cars abandoned in a river-bed, or harrowing tales of a lone explorer lost in a metaphysical desert. With his work, Polakowski is always trying to strike a balance between “heaviness” and “lightness.” That’s why, at first glance, his work is vividly colored and populated with inviting imagery. It’s only through further investigating the connection between the images that the deeper narrative surfaces.

Detroit has offered Polakowski a lot of unique opportunities as an emerging artist, whether that be his first residency with Red Bull House of Art or his most recent mural completed in collaboration with the Detroit Institute of Arts. His work has been recently included in group shows in Belgium, the Netherlands, London, New York, Los Angeles, and Hong Kong as well as a recent issue of New American Paintings.

GALLERY III:
With A Little Help From My Friends
Group show curated by Daniel Weintraub, aka ‘Halopigg’

Here’s hoping we get to see his notorious blue tuxedo at the opening! No matter what you do, even if you need a little help from your friends, make sure you get down to Thinkspace and help us celebrate Halopigg’s first curatorial adventure with us.

Curator Statement:

When I was asked to curate a show by Andrew my first thought was to do a survey of homies that have helped get me to where I am at in the art world today. I had a list of around 800 artists to choose from, so being selective was tough. Some of the artists in the show are early inspirations that got me into street art hunting and collecting. Some are homies that let me crash on couches for days on end so I could attend a mural festival on little to no dollars. Some are recent LA homies that have made life here more fun and artistic. The title comes from the Beatles song off the Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band album and the show card is obviously a total rip of that album’s cover. I was super excited to make the show card with everyone in the show and a few of my favorite pop-culture references. I’m almost as proud of the flyer as I am of the show itself! (Shoutout to our designer Anthony Clarkson for the assist!) Works in the show will be themed as “friendship” but I did let everyone know that just being in the show is a sign of friendship to me and I couldn’t ask for anything more. I can’t wait to see what everyone sends out and for the public’s response, I just know it’s going to be amazing. 

Featuring new works created especially for this show from:
Carmen Acosta | @janedopeness
Marina Capdevila | @marinacapdevila
Case | @case_maclaim
Cern | @cernesto
Shepard Fairey | @obeygiant 
Faith XLVII | @faith47
Kristin Farr |  @kristinfarr
Insane51 | @insane51
Ozzie Juarez | @ozziejuarez
Layqa Nuna Yawar | @layqanunayawar
The London Police | @thelondonpolice
Jason Pulgarin | @jasonpulgarin
Faring Purth | @faringpurth
Rabi | @rabi__towing
RAE | @rae_bk
Amy Sol | @amysol
Swoon | @swoonhq
Thievin’ Stephen | @thievinstephen
Cinta Vidal | @cinta_vidal
Marina Zumi | @marinazumi

GALLERY IV:
HA HAENGEUN@hahaengeun 🇰🇷
Willing To Be Motherhood

Thinkspace Projects is honored to be hosting the debut West Coast solo exhibition for artist Ha Haengeun (b.1985 South Korea). Through the disturbing beauty of her curious humanlike character, Ha expresses her questions about life, art, nature, human(ity), and self.

Artist / Show Statement:

The figures in my paintings contain two events, birth and death, in one. It reveals the paradox of life. And my painting becomes complete when the audience looks at it (I am also the first audience). In one’s life, there is no past before birth and no past after death. Life exists only in the present, between birth and death. In my painting, she is gazing at the present while embracing a moment of the past (birth) and the future (death).

My determination to become a mother resembled my determination to live as an artist. It is about embracing the fragility of life and revealing the fragile inner self of humans to the world. Also, completing a vague image I had while working and revealing it to the world as a concrete piece is similar to giving birth to my children, who are not in this world, but whom I was curious about, taking care of them, and watching them grow.

In my opinion, the job of an artist is to take care of the fragile inner self of humans and reveal it to the world through their own language. In the process of becoming a mother, I often encountered the inner side of the most vulnerable human being. Although I grew up and became an adult, I was still as vulnerable as a child. However, if there is a difference from when I was young, I now have a little more wisdom and courage to actively embrace that vulnerability and express it gently. ​

The mother’s role expands in my daily life. Little by little, watering flower pots or feeding fish becomes more natural. Talk to cats on the street and say hello to birds and animals I meet while walking. Feeling the wonder of life. I think about the meaning of humans living together, taking care of animals, plants, objects, and spaces.

I thought I was taking care of someone or something, but maybe they were actually taking care of me. Just as my painting can fully exist when someone looks at it. And even though it seemed like I was creating the paintings by moving around, the works was coming out into the world on its own through me.

From the moment I become a mother, I remain a mother until the day I close my eyes. That experience becomes an irreversible truth. The same goes for my days as an artist. From the time I decided to live by creating something, that life has continued. It ain’t over until it’s over. The exhibition title, Willing to be Motherhood, is a metaphor for the attitude toward life that one is willing to actively live the life one creates to the end. 

About Ha Haengeun:

Ha Haengeun was born in Jindo, South Korea in 1985. She received her BFA from Hongik University. After her first solo exhibition in Korea in 2010, her work has been shown in exhibitions worldwide, including in Korea (Seoul, Busan, Daegu, etc.), Austria (Millstatt), Germany (Karlsruhe, Cologne, and Frankfurt), France (Paris and Marseille), Netherlands (Amsterdam), Japan (Tokyo and Fukuoka), United Kingdom (London), USA (Hawaii, Los Angeles, Miami and Portland), Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Spain (Menorca). Currently, she lives and works in Seoul, South Korea.

The Dog House Gallery:
FL.OUR POTS | @fl.our.pots 🇺🇸
Smoke and Mirrors

Sebastian Montes-Schiff is a self-taught ceramics artist from Los Angeles who makes smokeable plant pots. His work revolves around building community and culture, sharing with all his dreams and imagination, his love of plants and the Earth, and his lived experiences.

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