An interview with Zach Johnsen…

An interview with Zach Johnsen

1) Please give us a lil’ background info on yourself. Where were you born and raised?
I was born and raised in a little town in northeast NH state called Colebrook.

2) I know you just moved to Portland from NYC. If I came to your area, what would we do / where would you take me?
Inside the city, we’d have to go to Ground Control, grab a beer and play some old school video games. In the northeast, we’d have to get some food at this cuban restaurant, Pambiche. And definitely, we’d have to go to at least one of the ample strip clubs around here.. like Devil’s Point or Sassies.. it’s pretty much mandatory.. even if you don’t frequent strip clubs.

3) What are your thoughts on art school in general?
Art school is pretty great because it exposes you to a number of ideas, techniques, and facilities that you probably otherwise wouldn’t have access too.
It sucks because at the end of your tenure there, you are left with a degree in art and big school loans that you have no means to pay for.

4) What’s your earliest memory involving art or creating art?
Some of my earliest memories are of my mom’s colored pencil work hanging around the house. I remember particular pieces she created and that her friend Janice (whom did gouache paintings) had in the house. Actually, one of the pieces I really remember used to hang above the sink in the kitchen.. It was this still life my mom created in colored pencil of a sink full of dishes.. It remains to this day one of my favorite pieces that my mom created.. In fact, it hangs in my house here in Portland as we speak.

5) When are you most productive / when do you normally work on art?
I work any and all the time. Usually my favorite time to work is about 11am, noon when no one else is around.. or late at night after my roommates have gone to bed. 6) Tell us something about yourself that someone would never guess in their wildest dreams.
I have always wanted to date a celebrity. Right now, I have this recurring fantasy to date Lauren from the Hills.

7) Are you reading anything right now?
Yes indeed. I am finally reading Behold a Pale Horse by William Cooper. That, and this huge book.. kinda social commentary by the Harvard Design School called Project on the City 2.

8) What’s your favorite color and why?
Um.. hmmm… painting wise.. yellow. It just pops so lovely.

9) Do you listen to music while painting/drawing? If so, do you have a current favorite that inspires?
Yes, I pretty much always listen to music. It gives my mind something to focus on instead of wandering aimlessly while I paint and draw. Currently, I’m listening to whatever my friends pass me for free. I’ve been listening to the new Ratatat album and a bunch of new rap music from the northwest that a friend of mine introduced me to.. Commom Market, Jonson & Johnson, Blue Scholars.

10) If you had to explain your work to a stranger, how would you do it?
I probably wouldn’t. I’d show them an image and let them glean what they might. But if that person were blind, I guess I would say I create personifications of human and animal charactersistics when they drift from the natural world.

11) Talk a lil’ bit about the general idea/vibe behind your new series of works for “Sunnyside-Yard”.
The Sunnyside Yard is an installation show revolving around the business/office world and the relentless pursuit of misplaced ideals. With this show I am bringing out the true nature of the average employee and turning them into the traits that they actually are.

12) Favorite artist (living or dead) and what makes them special to you?
Egon Shiele because of his drawings, and actually his paintings too. His line and style to me is unrivaled and his use of color is spot on.

13) What have you got coming up in terms of shows and projects after “Sunnyside-Yard”?
I have a big ol’ show in this space here in Portland called Backspace. It’s a humungous space that I have pretty much free reign in.. so I have a number of installation works in mind as well as some new paintings and drawings. Plus, I plan on curating a small show of other artists works to show alongside mine come December.

14) Speaking of other projects, I know you are deeply involved with the Tank Theory clothing company and do a good bit of work for various brands/labels. Any feedback/advice for artists looking to do more in the ever-growing lifestyle arena? Man, that’s a tough cookie to crack, especially these days when there is an overabundance of clothing/lifestyle brands out there. It is totally oversaturated… But the good thing is, a good half of it all looks similar or even the same. So my one piece of advice would be, if you are starting a clothing company, t-shirt design company, etc you have to come from an original angle. The artwork has got to be unique and the ideas well thought out for it to really stand out.

15) What are you doing right after this interview?
Going to the Florida Room… this shitty dive bar right down the street that serves awesome drinks but terrible food.

For more on Zach Johnsen, check out:

Zach Johnsen
Opening Reception: Fri, Sept. 12th 7-11PM
Sept. 12th – Oct. 3rd in our project room

Recommended openings to catch this weekend…

Recommended openings to catch this weekend…
The kickoff of the fall art season starts this weekend. Sooo many killer openings, I wish I could clone myself. We’ll be sure to post a lil’ ‘art adventure’ photo recap come Sunday afternoon here. As always, this is just a sampling of the shows we plan to go see and/or endorse. By no means a complete listing of all that is going down in LA this weekend, but I’d suggest any of these if asked as all promise great art and a good time.

Fri, Sept. 5th 7-11pm
C.A.V.E. Gallery
507 Rose Ave in Venice
“Growing Pains” with new works from Mark Covell, L. Croskey, Delphia, Johnny Siu, Macsorro, Jennifer Springman, Michele Waterman, Raid, and many more with live music from DJ BusRider
(On view through Sept. 26th)

Fri, Sept. 5th 7-10PM
DDR Projects Gallery
1532 E. Broadway in Long Beach
“415: Emerging Artists from San Francisco” group show with works from Hiro Hayashi, Felxiii, Bert Gatchalian, Josh Herbolsheimer, Ryan Rouse and Lawrence Yang

Fri, Sept. 5th 7-10pm
Fresh Pressed
4646 Hollywood Boulevard in Los Feliz area of Los Angeles / 323.663.7374
“5 Presses For 5 Artists” – Fresh Pressed is a new public screen-printing shop in Los Feliz aand they are throwing a lil’ opening party along with the good folks at and exhibiting artists: Kime Buzzelli, Sean Cassidy, Rory Wilson, Frohawk Two Feathers, and Andy Mueller. All are welcome, especially kids, to come and play! Create your own design – borrow & revamp someone else’s art and bring home a one of a kind!

Fri, Sept. 5th 7-10PM
La Luz De Jesus Gallery
4633 Hollywood Blvd. in Los Angeles / 323.666.7667
“Neofolk” featuring new works from Anne Faith Nicholls
(On view through end of month)

Sat, Sept. 6th 8PM-Midnight
Carmichael Gallery
1257 N. La Brea Ave. in West Hollywood
“The Art of OddZoo”(On view through September 28th)

Sat, Sept. 6th 7-10PM
Chango Coffee House and Gallery
1559 Echo Park Avenue in Los Angeles “Paper Cuts” featuring new work by L. Croskey and Rebecca Hahn
(On view through Sept. 30th)

Sat, Sept. 6th 8PM-11:30PM
Copro Nason Gallery
2525 Michigan Ave, Space T-5 at Bergamot Station in Santa Monica / 310.398.2643
“The BLAB! Show” with featured artists include: Shag, Travis Louie, Ryan Heshka, Gary Baseman, Ron English, Luke Cheuh, Gary Axali, Fred Stonehouse, Andy Kehoe (work shown above), Travis Lampe, Mark Burckhardt, CJ Pyle, Mark Todd, Tom Huck, and many more. This year’s show also feature’s Ryan Hehska’s The Obit Paintings, an exhibit of work from his forthcoming BLAB! book. In addition, there’s an exhibit of BLAB! artist Tom Huck’s gigantic wood block prints.
(On view through Sept. 27th)

Sat, Sept. 6th 7-10PM
Corey Helford Gallery
8522 Washington Blvd in Culver City / 310.287.2340
“Artificial Enlightenment” featuring new works from Eric Joyner – free poster to 1st 300 through the door to help celebrate the release of Joyner’s new book “Robots & Donots” + new works in the loft from Brezo

Sat, Sept. 6th 7-10PM
110 E. Winston Street @ Main St in Los Angeles / 213.627.8272
“I Learned It By Watching You” featuring new works from Syndrome
(On view through Sept. 27th)

Sat, Sept. 6th 7-10PM
CSUF Grand Central Art Center
125 N. Broadway, Santa Ana (Parking in lot at 3rd and Sycamore / 714.567.7233
Main Art Gallery and Project Room“Aspects of Mel’s Hole: Artists Respond to a Paranormal Land Event Occurring in Radiospace” curated by LA Weekly’s Doug Harvey and featuring works from Reverend Ethan Acres, Tim Armstrong, David B., Jimmy Chertkow, Sarah Cromarty, Albert Cuellar, Christian Cummings, Georgeanne Deen, Mark Dutcher, Gregg Gibbs, James Hayward, John Higham, Elliott Hundley, Marie Johnston, Paul Laffoley, Nate Lowman, Michael C. McMillen, Avigail Moss, Gary Panter, M.A. Peers, Mary Pongratz, Victoria Reynolds, Steve Roden, Ross Rudel, Connie Samaras, Charles Schneider, April Schwas, Jim Shaw, Nathan Spoor, Linda Stark, Craig Stecyk, Don Suggs, The Center for Land Use Interpretation, The Firesign Theatre, Dani Tull, Jeffrey Vallance, Marnie Weber, Cathy Ward, Chris Wilder, Eric Wright, and Brenna Youngblood
(On view through October 19th)

Sat, Sept. 6th 7-11PM
Flock Shop
943 N. Broadway, #103 in Los Angeles
“Technical Difficulties” featuring new works and live painting action from Stuter, Phoneticontrol, Matt Linares and Ganyan + live performances from Bluey Key Coretet & Grainshifter

Sat, Sept. 6th 7-10PM
Han Cholo
1549 Echo Park Ave in Los Angeles / 213.482.9180
“Savage Stomach Pains” featuring new works from Smear

Sat, Sept. 6th 5-7PM
Richard Heller Gallery
2525 Michigan Ave, Space B-5A at Bergamot Station in Santa Monica / 310.453.9191
“(Like Life, But A) Simplified Version” with new works from Jason Jagel + a book release for “73 Sunshine” – Jagel’s new 208 page monograph accompanied by a 10” vinyl record featuring three jazz tunes from Madlib
(On view through Oct. 4th)

Sat, Sept. 6th 8PM-12:30AM ($8 admission / $5 in erotic costume)
The Hive Gallery and Studios
729 S. Spring St. in downtown Los Angeles
Monthly group show with featured artists Jason Hernandez, NC Winters, Michael Alvarez, Matt Dickson and Billy Dyson plus a huge group show of erotic themed works from a cast of folks including Clive Barker / Brad Miller / Jehan Choo / Michael Pukac / Nick Wildermuth / Dion Macellari / Alex Feliciano / Mike Bilz / Yuki Miyazaki / K.Y. Park / Mike Lewis / Rob Tokarz / Shannon O’Connor / Dustin Myers / LD Grant / Megan Elizabeth Ford / Anthony G.Hurd / Shay / Terry Kim / Natalie Repp / Bryan Collins / Ken Dougherty / Rick Strieck / Marlon McWilliams / Henry F. Cram / Linda Alvarez / Marianne Williams / Catherine Brooks / Zoetica Ebb / Delphia / Laura Diamond / Chantal Menard / Cristina McAllister / Tony Koehl / Henry F. Cram / Ching Ching Cheng / and many more
(On view through Sept. 28th)

Sat, Sept. 6th 7-10PM
Kinsey / DesForges
6009 Washington Blvd. In Culver City / 310.837.1989
“Together Forever” featuring new works from Ian Francis
(On view through Oct. 4th)

Sat, Sept. 6th 7-10PM
Melt Gallery @ Meltdown Comics
7522 Sunset Blvd in Los Angeles / 323.851.7223
“The Curious Unseen” – A celebration of the extrinsic, peculiar and obscure featuring works from Jason Levesque, Kevin Earl Taylor, Chandler Wood, Erika Moen, Sandra Leong, Helle Jorgensen, Andrew Klein and others
(On view through Sept. 20th)

Sat, Sept. 6th 6-10PM
Orange County Center For Contemporary Art
117 N Sycamore. Santa Ana / 714.667.1517
“Animal Magnetism” juried group show with Mat Gleason (editor and publisher of Coagula Art Journal)

Sat, Sept. 6th 7-10PM
8545 W. Washington Blvd in Culver City / 310.558.0200
“Fresh Faces” show featuring Nimit Malavia, Yuta Onoda, Martha Chan and Dominique Fung

Sat, Sept. 6th 6-8PM
Roberts and Tilton
5801 Washington Blvd in Culver City / 323.549.0223
“Macrocosm” group show celebrating the opening of their new location in Culver City with new works from Barry McGee, Andrew Schoultz, Ed Templeton, Matt Lienes, Kehinde Wiley, Ai Yamaguchi, Becca Mann and many more
(On view through Oct. 4th)

Sat, Sept. 6th 7-10PM
SCION Installation L.A.
3521 Helms Ave in Culver City / 310.815.8840
“The Art Of Music” curated by ill-Studio (France)

Sat, Sept. 6th 6-8PM
Taylor De Cordoba
2660 S La Cienega Blvd in Los Angeles (right next to the Culver City area) / 310.559.9156“More Country Questions” featuring new works from Kyle Field
(On view through Oct. 25th)

Whew… get out there, gonna be an epic weekend for art in LA!!!

Thinkspace to attend Art Basel as part of GenArt’s Vanguard fair…

Excited to announce that we will be taking part in GenArt’s Vanguard New Contemporary Art Fair this December in Miami, FL during Art Basel.

More details on our lineup for the show and add’l fair details to be posted soon.

Look forward to seeing many of you down in Miami!

Newness from Dave MacDowell…

Dave MacDowell continues to kill it after turning many a head at the recent Crazy 4 Cult 2 show with the beauty pictured above, “Burn Hollywood Burn”. This will be on hand soon, so speak up if you are lovin’ it as much as we are.

SO amped for his solo with us this coming spring. More details and sneak peeks in the coming months on that action.

And if that wasn’t enough to get you excited, take a gander at his piece for a “Wizard Of Oz” themed show coming up later this year (see below).

Follow the man here:

.ISM "Sk8ology" auction closing soon…

The ISM: SK8OLOGY charity online auction is OPEN FOR BIDDING. Please help the cause by placing a bid on your favorite one-of-a-kind, rare skate deck and share with your friends and family.
To view pictures from the opening reception please visit:
The show is now traveling to San Diego for the Action Sports Retailer (ASR) trade show and then Florida for the Surf Expo.

We know the whole skate deck show theme is pretty much played out, but the amazing roster of talent that signed on to support this cause is what really makes everything worth checking out. A number of Thinkspace regulars are included in the show, including the beauty above from Brian Viveros (look for a solo show from Viveros in our project room come 2010).
All proceeds go to support Now That You Know, a non-profit that gives girls from developing countries a “secure environment for learning and growth.”

15 days and counting until the auction closes.

Check out all the works in the on-line auction here:
Sk8ology Auction