Wiley Wallace’s Debut Solo Museum Exhibition ‘Lucid Fate’ | September 10, 2021 – January 2, 2022 at Mesa Contemporary Arts Museum


WILEY WALLACE
‘Lucid Fate’
Opening Reception: 6-10 PM

On view September 10, 2021 – January 2, 2022 at:
Mesa Contemporary Arts Museum
One East Main Street Mesa, Arizona 85201

Phoenix painter Wiley Wallace creates luminous and ostensibly radioactive worlds intersecting the real and imagined. Under a neon-hued glow, his realistic and surreal renderings of children and adults are placed amid Arizona landscapes, creating “near-magical” references of the supernatural. Through narratives of connection and communication, Wallace’s imagery suspends the viewer with a playful and macabre innocence.

‘Lucid Fate’ is Wallace’s debut solo museum exhibition.

Presented in co-operation with Thinkspace Projects

Interview with Alex Face for ‘Scorch and Drop’

Thinkspace Projects presents Alex Face’s debut U.S solo exhibition, ‘Scorch and Drop.’

This brand new collection of Alex Face’s newest work incorporates the character Alex Face has become known for, exploring new situations and elements, introducing the variety within his work to a new audience.

His signature subject, a quizzical smoking baby that shares a moniker with the artist himself, can be seen contemplating the future. With a worried look spread across its face, this baby turns an eye to the world around it, an extension of Alex Face’s identity as an artist with a social conscience.

In anticipation of ‘Scorch and Drop,” our interview with Huntz Liu explores his experiences while creating street art, how quickly our world changes, and an artist’s work that has deeply moved him.  

For those unfamiliar with your work, can you tell us a little about your artistic background and how you came to work with and know about Thinkspace?  

I first discovered Thinkspace gallery on social media a long time ago, as I heard that they’ve worked with several talented street artists. In 2019 I came to America for the first time, traveling to Chicago, Denver, New York, and Los Angeles which exposed my artworks to Thinkspace gallery, resulting in this exhibition.

What is the inspiration behind this latest body of work? 

I get my inspiration from the world’s current situation; things like the pandemic, pollution, and the negative changes that the world is currently experiencing. It shows how fragile humans are, and invokes a question we all have to ask. Will the next generation survive? How will humans handle change to the world as we know it? Humans have created things to help make life easier and more comfortable, but those things have to be exchanged for the earth’s limited resources, which can be compared to humans burning themselves in order to step forward, but inevitably our flames will burn out.

You’ve drawn a lot of inspiration from your childhood in past pieces, could you share with us what your childhood was like? Are there elements from your childhood that you want to make sure your own children experience? 

I was born 40 years ago in a small cottage, with a stream flowing in front and a rice field in the back. When I look out, the fields seem never-ending. In my childhood, we had no electricity, no automated water, and my only toys were models that I made out of mud and clay. That was how things were in the past, but now my home has changed almost entirely. In only four decades the rice field has been replaced with a highway, multiple industrial factories, and private communities while the stream has turned black. This definitely isn’t only occurring at my home, but in other places across Thailand as well. Every time I see an old photograph, it makes me realize that time goes by so fast. Now, I live in a different house and have a daughter of my own, but I still take her to see her grandparents, to play in the mud and water as I did, even though things have changed.

Do you have any rituals to help you tap into a creative flow? What does a day in the studio look like? 

My routine definitely starts with breakfast, coffee. After that, I paint for the rest of the day and night, while listening to music or catching up with the news. Some days, when there is something happening in the city and I want to speak out about it, I would go out and find a wall to paint, which not only gets my message across but also provides a nice shift in my routine.

What is your most favorite and least favorite part of the creative process? 

I like the period where the works are almost finished and I can take time to put in small details and perfect the painting. And my least favorite part is when I make a mistake when the time runs out.

Do you remember your first mural/ piece of street art? Where was it located and what did you create? 

I remember just writing “Alex” in a bubble style with a white fill-in and red outline on an abandoned old American car that was left on my way home. After that, I was hooked and could never put down the spray can. This all happened in 2002

Is there a crazy story you can share with us from a time when you were out on the street working on a mural? Where were you and what happened to make it a unique experience? 

Actually, there is a story to every time I go outside to paint. I usually encounter hospitality, while other times are spent getting chased through the streets. I find it fun though because you never know what type of people you’re going to meet, and I also get to talk about art with normal people, even the people who live on the streets. There was one time when I painted a child’s face on top of a garbage pile, to signify the children who are being orphaned every day. After that a middle-aged lady came up to me and asked me, “why did you paint a baby on a garbage pile?” And so I told her the message behind it, and she was quiet for a moment then suddenly started crying.

What is a piece of art or artist that has had a significant impact on you? 

Of course, there are various artworks that I have had a chance to see, from murals on the walls to masterpieces. Out of all the museum trips I made in Europe and America, there is one time where I was so excited I had to shed tears. This was when I went to the Van Gogh museum in Amsterdam and was able to witness the works he left behind and the honesty in making these paintings. Even though Van Gogh has been gone for a long time, multiple people still queue outside the museum to get a glimpse of his genius.

You like to experiment and mix together different styles and materials/ mediums in your work – do you have a favorite unexpected pairing? It could be food, music, really anything – but something that seems like it shouldn’t go together but when paired is a magical combo. 

An abandoned place and children are the two main contrasting things in my work because they are two things that I don’t think would go together, but I have actually seen children play in these dangerous places even though they shouldn’t be and that has also given me inspiration. But if you’re asking about something that seems to not go well together, I would say spray painting a wall while humming traditional Thai country songs.

If you could have a dinner party with five people dead or alive; who would they be? What is on the menu? What would be your icebreaker question? 

Menu: spiced stir-fried beef and holy basil, served with a crispy sunny side egg

Ice-breaker question: Are there any updates on your lives? It can be your current lives or your after-lives

1. Claude Monet

2. David Hockney

3. 2Pac 

4. Barry McGee 

5. Ed Templeton 

‘Strata’ – Solo Exhibition from Huntz Liu | August 14 – September 4 at Thinkspace

Thinkspace Projects is pleased to present Huntz Liu’s latest solo show, ‘Strata.’

Using his signature techniques of cutting and layering paper, Liu crafts a collection of work that explores depth in a striking way. Known for using a straightedge and knife to craft his compositions, Liu has taken his study of perception to new heights with ‘Strata.’

“My work deals with the layering and removal of material. It presents a visual language that unflattens two-dimensional forms and gives weight to line and edge.”

Each composition is comprised of meticulously cut shapes on different planes, reveling in both the layering of material and the absence of material. By embracing negative space, Liu creates line and shadow, building an image that is so much more than each of its individual parts. The compositions strive for a perfect balance, embracing the chaos of the shapes and colors. As Liu describes it, “this is a reflection of the perfect sphere we live upon and the chaos of the layers confined within.”

The artist adds “Underlying every piece is the method and medium of hand-cut paper. There is a calm in this process, with its forced tedium + slow/heavy time consumption, that allows me to live in and about the work. Every shape and color, every corner and edge, I was there for. There is no escaping it and, ultimately, there are no shortcuts.”

‘Strata’ opens August 14, 2021 with a reception from 6 PM to 9 PM. On view until September 4, 2021 at Thinkspace Projects.

About Huntz Liu
Huntz Liu (b. 1981) is a Taiwanese-American artist who works primarily with cut and layered paper. He lives and works in Los Angeles, where he grew up, crafting layered pieces that serve as a study on shape and color. With a straight edge and knife, Huntz Liu cuts and layers paper to expose geometric/abstract compositions, creating work at the intersection of literal depth and perceived depth. It is in this intersection that Liu thrives, allowing the contrast to inform his work.

‘Scorch and Drop’ – Debut U.S. solo show from Alex Face | August 14 – September 4 at Thinkspace

Alex Face – ’Scorch and Drop’
August 14 – September 4, 2021
Opening Night August 14th | Saturday, 6PM- 9PM

Thinkspace Projects presents Alex Face’s debut U.S. solo show, ‘Scorch and Drop’, following successful solo exhibitions in Bangkok, Thailand and Venice, Italy. This brand new collection of work Face’s newest work incorporates the character Alex Face has become known for, exploring new situations and elements, introducing the variety within his work to a new audience. 

His signature subject, a quizzical smoking baby that shares a moniker with the artist himself, can be seen contemplating the future. With a worried look spread across its face, this baby turns an eye to the world around it, an extension of Alex Face’s identity as an artist with a social conscience.

The character was inspired by the birth of the artist’s daughter, “The first time I saw her she looked angry or worried, I thought, are you not happy to be my daughter? Are you not happy to be in the world?”

Ultimately, this moment became the catalyst for the character he is widely known for. The baby, with its third eye to represent another dimension beyond what we can plainly see, takes on new situations and future possibilities in this new collection of work.

‘Scorch and Drop’ opens August 14, 2021 with a reception from 6 PM to 9 PM. On view until September 4, 2021 at Thinkspace Projects.

About Alex Face
Patcharapol Tangruen, also known as Alex Face, is a well-known and influential graffiti artist in Thailand. Alex studied architecture at Bangkok’s King Mongkut Institute of Technology. He earned a Bachelor’s Degree from the Department of Fine & Applied Arts. An interest in architecture led Alex Face to explore and wander the streets and alleys of Bangkok for abandoned buildings, buildings that he eventually used as a canvas to develop his street art and express himself. He then created Alex Face, a character with an aged, disillusioned child’s face wearing animal costumes. Through his graffiti, Alex Face especially attempts to create a link with the urban population, the underprivileged of Bangkok and the provinces.

Artist Statement
แผดเผา ลุกโชน มอดดับ

Fire burning on the wings of hope
fragile petals on our heads,
glowing and blazing
we’re at the peak of our blissful life,
moving the thinnest part of our own body,
fluttering, aware of power and weakness
we scorch and drop,
as fire slowly burns our body and soul
we try our best
and most things appeared as they should
we’re on fire!!!
growing exponentially, moving freely
expressing our vision, angriness, kindness,
love and hate
we are shining and moving with power
until everything turns dark,
and another kind of creature
children of ours
will appear with their new light of day
yeah, we scorch and drop as we should

Photo Tour of Group Exhibition ‘Real Life is Fragile’ and Super A’s ‘Trapped’ | July 3 – July 10 at Thinkspace Projects

Thinkspace presents a photo tour pf group exhibition “Real Life is Fragile‘ co-curated by Ken Nwadiogbu, and Super A’s mini solo, ‘Trapped‘. Both exhibitions were up for one week only from July 3 – July 10.

We normally take a small break in the summertime, but as we reflected back on the past 18 months we realized we’ve already had too much downtime and that this break in our program could be better spent highlighting some of the many incredible artists we’ve been exposed to since hosting Ken Nwadiogbu’s debut North American solo exhibition earlier this year.

Continue reading Photo Tour of Group Exhibition ‘Real Life is Fragile’ and Super A’s ‘Trapped’ | July 3 – July 10 at Thinkspace Projects