Video Tour & Opening Reception Party of October Exhibitions featuring works from Langston Allston, Fajar Amali, TRNZ, Jolene Lai, Al Marcano, Tenser at Thinkspace Projects

Many thanks to all of the art lovers that flowed through our space this past Saturday to celebrate the opening of our October exhibitions. Much love to all of this month’s exhibiting artists for delivering such stellar bodies of work, what a special celebration it was!

Langston Allston (@langstonallston) is in Gallery I with ‘A Passing Love.’ The show conveys real stories and experiences with striking colors.

In Gallery II, Fajar Amali (@fajaramalie) brings his new show ‘Among Our Existence.’ The artist’s collection explores the worth of things that are often underestimated.

TRNZ (@trnzwho) is showing ‘The Weight of Things’ in Gallery III. The show assembles visual imagery in uncanny ways drawing from the artist’s own memories.

Secret Garden’ by Jolene Lai (@jolenelaiart) is in Gallery IV and is inviting viewers to gaze out of the window of their souls to see what lies within.

In the Dog House Gallery, TENSER takes an expansive look at his life up to now drawing on studio work, graffiti, and street portraits with ‘Three Halves.’

Our Viewing Room holds ‘Spirit Ditch’, a special installation from Al Marcano, that represents finding a new religion through skateboarding.

Much love to all that rocked our courtyard as well including GoopMassta, Ms.yellow, Marisa Avila Sayler, Karpet Workshop, Anthony Patrick Manorek, The Cure Company, Zavalas Pies, Liquid Death, Venice Beats and Digital Debris Video Gallery.

On view through October 28, 2023. The Thinkspace Projects compound is open Tuesday through Saturday from noon to 6pm. Please note the Dog House Gallery and our courtyard are only open for viewing on Saturdays. Free and open to all.

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

Photos + Video courtesy Birdman.

Continue reading Video Tour & Opening Reception Party of October Exhibitions featuring works from Langston Allston, Fajar Amali, TRNZ, Jolene Lai, Al Marcano, Tenser at Thinkspace Projects

Interview with TRNZ for ‘The Weight of Things’ | Exhibition October 7 -October 28, 2023

Thinkspace is excited to present their sophomore show with artist TRNZThe Weight of Things.’ A few years ago, TRNZ developed a fascination with using mundane things and figures, arranged to loom over his work, presenting an awkward mystery. The artist from the Philippines uses ‘The Weight of Things’ to navigate the same process with an exceedingly charged relationship between the figures and the objects surrounding them. Taking cues and motifs from his own memories and experiences, he assembles visual imagery in uncanny ways.

Our interview with TRNZ reveals how he taps into his creative flow, who his creative influences are, and about his fantasy dinner party and guest list.

What themes were you exploring in this body of work? Did you have a piece that was particularly challenging?

A few years ago, I developed a fascination with using mundane things and figures misarranged to loom an awkward mystery over my work.

For this solo exhibition, I carried on the same theme but pushed further the charged relationship between my figures and the objects around them.

What does a day in the studio look like for you? How do you structure your days?

A day in my studio completely mirrors my work. There’s nothing special when you really look at it on the surface. There’s a cup of coffee, music/podcast in the background, and scattered paint all over. The interesting ideas come up during the lulls, when I remember certain objects, and places from old and try to incorporate them into my work.

Do you have any rituals that help you tap into a creative flow?

I just do a lot of biking around the city and recently, I’ve been into Magic the Gathering.

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

My favorite part is thinking of the ideas. The least would be cramming, because I feel like I am stifled when I work so closely towards a deadline. That’s why as much as possible, I really try to work ahead of time.

Who are some of your creative influences? Why do they inspire you?

Recently, I was able to purchase from a book thrift shop a copy of “The New Yorker, 15th Anniversary Cartoon Collection.” It was so inspiring to read it because it was overloaded with wit and irony. It was the right flavor I needed to splash over my art.

If you could have any skill or topic downloaded into your brain, what would you want to be able to do/be an expert at?

Totally unrelated to art but this has been a frustration since I was a kid. I really wanted to be good at street magic. Haha.

What do you hope viewers take away or experience while viewing your work?

Anything really. I’d like to think that my work can be interpreted in a variety of ways just because most of the time, it doesn’t really make sense. As long as I don’t get indifference, I feel like I accomplished what I wanted to accomplish.

If you could collaborate with any artists in any sort of medium (i.e. movies, music, painting) who would you collaborate with, and what would you be making?

Collaboration is something that I’ve done and will regularly seek out to do. I did a few now with some local music artists and brands.

An animated short movie is something I’ve been itching to do though.

Who would be on the guest list if you could throw a dinner party for five people, dead or alive? What would be on the menu? What would be the icebreaker question?

Lionel Messi, Jean-Michel Basquiat and Tory Belleci, Kari Byron & Grant Imahara from Mythbusters, enjoying Filipino food on the menu.

A very random collection of people I know, but I just thought of the top 5 people I want to meet in real life.

What was in your musical rotation during the development of this body of work?

Her’s, Steve Lacy and Kid Bloom

Interview with FAJAR AMALI for ‘Among Our Existence’ | Exhibition October 7 – October 28, 2023

Thinkspace is excited to present Fajar Amali‘s U.S. debut solo exhibition Among Our Existence which fills the space in Gallery II. The Indonesian artist explores a post-apocalyptic setting, featuring pop figures in the still life painting approach. Seeing how still life painting can bring an impressive depth in various times, Amali views it as a method of recording the momentum of time. Using iconic figures in popular comics as toys in still life style works, Amali explores the worth of things that are often underestimated.

Our interview with Amali shares his rituals to tap into his creative flow, his creative influences, and who he would love to ultimately collaborate with.

What themes were you exploring in this body of work? Did you have a piece that was particularly challenging?

I am very interested to see the essence of Natura Morta or Still Life work, which are simple, deep, and calm. From A-Z I tried to meet it, I used the word “Absence” to tag one of my latest series in translating Nature Morte paintings that are always related to the Latin phrase “Vanitas vanitatum et omnia vanitas.” Thematic in this solo exhibition is very much related to that Latin phrase, finally I used the title ‘Among Our Existence’ as my way of dialogue with the audience. Because, I work in the circle of pop culture and always carry works in the Sci-fi genre such as Post Apocalipse, Robot, Cyberpunk and my habit of including or appropriating popular figures in comics, manga, anime, cartoons that live in the multiver that I built in my previous works. For me, it’s a challenge to translate as an element of natura morta/still life today.

What does a day in the studio look like for you? How do you structure your days?

Studio is my isolated habitat, I feel like time has stopped in it. It’s a little difficult to manage my daily life, sometimes I get to work for only 15 minutes/day or it can be two days without stopping.

Do you have any rituals that help you tap into a creative flow?

I like comics, and I collect a lot of Japanese comics, such as AstroBoy, Akira, Arale, Battle of angela. Even though it’s just looking at the visuals, the comic is my ritual before painting.

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

Buy paint and buy canvas.

Who are some of your creative influences? Why do they inspire you?

Before I knew Arsham, Rembrant van Rijn and Claude Monet are my creative influence to date. No need to question, we can see it. How the two maestros created the magic in his paintings. Arsham I like his perspective in his work.

If you could have any skill or topic downloaded into your brain, what would you want to be able to do / be an expert at?

Understand people.

What do you hope viewers take away or experience while viewing your
work?

I want them to be honest with themselves. See from what they see themselves. and believe what they believe.

How do you like to enjoy your time outside of the studio? Do you celebrate the completion of a body of work?

Meet humans, listen to them tell stories.

If you could collaborate with any artists in any sort of medium (i.e. movies, music, painting) who would you collaborate with, and what would you be making?

Christoper Nolan. I don’t know.

Who would be on the guest list if you could throw a dinner party for five people, dead or alive? What would be on the menu? What would be the icebreaker question?

I don’t know, for me all the same, if I can invite a lot of people, why five? And my question to them is “Are you happy tonight?”

What was in your musical rotation during the development of this body of work?

Many, but what I often listen is FLOWER from L’arc en Ciel

Interview with Jolene Lai for ‘Secret Garden’ | Exhibition October 7 -October 28, 2023

Thinkspace is excited to present Jolene Lai for ‘Secret Garden,‘ a collection of oil paintings and drawings that seek to ignite curiosity about the hidden stories we all carry within ourselves. What kind of magical landscape gets unfolded when you gaze out through the window of your soul?

“The unbearable tossing and turning from insomnia in the dead of the night led me to gradually sit up. I got out of bed and walked to the window in the room. The still night was immediately interrupted by flying insects spiraling towards the light from the street lamps outside of my window. From across the street, a flicker of light from another house drew my attention. I could see the silhouette of a woman… I watched her deliberately take long drags on her cigarette, as if she was sucking in the marrow of life. My mind was transfixed by this enigmatic figure that was becoming more familiar with each inhalation, hers and mine. The smoke drifted up into the night air and I traced it with my eyes and imagined that they were carrying along all of her secrets with it. Secrets that I longed to know… I gazed until her silhouette was a blur… I tried to retrace her shape and for a brief moment seized a quick glimpse of her face in my mind again, before that fragment of her faded away. I knew that I would never forget her, the stranger in the night.”

Our interview with Lai reveals who her creative influences are, her dream collaboration, and what was in her musical rotation during the development of this collection.

What themes were you exploring in this body of work? Did you have a piece that was particularly challenging?

During the thought process of creating this ‘Secret Garden’ collection, the 1992 film ‘That Night’ starring Juliette Lewis, kept surfacing in my mind. There is a particular scene of a ten year old girl staring out of her window at night and into a teenage girl’s (Juliette Lewis) window from across where she lived. The child witnesses and attempts to imitate the teenager’s every alluring move of slow dancing to the music that’s playing on the record player, brushing her shoulder length blonde hair and spraying perfume on her neck in front of a spinning fan.

That moment from the film captivated me when I was a kid myself watching it and proceeded to linger in my mind. I wanted to capture the sense of a fleeting moment like that – a place in time wherever one might be, alone in their mind where they are connected with their inner selves.

‘Secret Garden’, which is also the highlight of the collection, was probably the most challenging piece of them all because of the intricate botanical details in the background. I really wanted to emphasize the landscape but at the same time still make sure that the ghostly character of the painting was commanding the utmost arrest.

What does a day in the studio look like for you? How do you structure your days?

I always try to find something interesting to watch or listen to before I start painting. I only listen to music if I am working at night, so daytime programs often consist of stories that might fuel my imagination. Lately it’s been crime and urban legends of Hong Kong from the early 70s to 80s.

I have to say my working days are pretty routine and I try to approach the day like any 9 to 5 job, clocking in and out to measure how much time I have allocated to each artwork.

Do you have any rituals that help you tap into a creative flow?

I am a creature of habit but I don’t think I have a specific ritual when it comes to searching for inspiration. I often reference some random film I’ve seen, or a lit up window at night while I am out walking could spark my curiosity.

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

I do not particularly enjoy the sketching process since I am so meticulous about details even when it is just outlines for oils. But I do love when all is completed because it means I get to throw the first layers of color on a blank surface.

Who are some of your creative influences? Why do they inspire you?

I must have mentioned this before but Wong Kar Wai’s films are still for me timeless and empowering, not just in cinematography but also the writing. His works age like fine wine.

If you could have any skill or topic downloaded into your brain, what would you want to be able to do / be an expert at?

Contortion skills. I have this ache on my left shoulder blade that possibly developed over years from my bad posture while painting. It would be really nice to be able to reach that dull pain with my right hand and give it a good massage.

What do you hope viewers take away or experience while viewing your work?

I try to not have any expectations. I think that hinders possibilities of the work and halts the magic that the viewers themselves create.

How do you like to enjoy your time outside of the studio? Do you celebrate the completion of a body of work?

I try to enjoy the greenery around me when I am out and about. I used to think about work even on my way to get coffee in the mornings, but have recently been putting a curb on that behaviour.

I actually do not have the habit of celebrating when a collection has been completed. Brainstorming about the next idea comes naturally for me.

If you could collaborate with any artists in any sort of medium (i.e. movies, music, painting) who would you collaborate with, and what would you be making?

I think a collaboration with a chef would be interesting. It would be a 12 course meal, each dish paired with a complementing artwork. I’m so familiar with painting in vivid colors that I think it would be a challenge to limit the series to nothing but just shades of white. Similarly I think it would be challenging for a chef to come up with a 12 course meal consisting of a limited color palette.

Who would be on the guest list if you could throw a dinner party for five people, dead or alive? What would be on the menu? What would be the icebreaker question?

Five people is too big a group for me, I think I would just invite Van Gogh and serve us apple pie with vanilla ice cream. And then ask, “was it really suicide?”

What was in your musical rotation during the development of this body of work?

At the start of this collection, Taiwanese artiste Wu Bai’s 夏夜晚风 (Summer Night Breeze), and towards the end, music from London singer Puma Blue.

October special pop-up solo exhibition in New York City featuring Cinta Vidal opens October 18, 2023

Thinkspace Projects presents:

CINTA VIDAL
Cohabit

Special pop-up solo exhibition in New York City

On view October 18 – October 21

Opening Reception:
Thursday, October 19 from 6-9pm

Thinkspace Projects NYC Pop-Up Location:
345 Broome Street
NYC 10013

Multidisciplinary artist Cinta Vidal illustrates new perceptions of city landscapes by detaching and reimagining the architectural formations that function as the backdrops of life. For Vidal, depicting macro and micro levels of inverted apartment buildings and city structures illustrate the various ways the world is experienced by a mass population. Having grown up with an affinity for drawing, Vidal became an apprentice at Taller de’Escenografia Castells Planas, one of the most prestigious scenography ateliers in Spain and across Europe. There, she learned the trades of scenography, painting large-scale scenes and settings for theatre and opera backdrops. Utilizing this experience, Vidal uses acrylic paint on canvas to create what she describes as her “un-gravity constructions.” She paints each artwork with close attention to detail, fully realizing each structure and the unfolding scenes within. Vidal’s combination of saturation, detail, and balance work together to allow the viewer’s gaze to absorb these various and often intersecting viewpoints.

Cinta Vidal’s architecturally-inspired paintings encapsulate the concrete formations that enclose the day-to-day turbulence experienced at the personal and community level. Too often people are focused on individuality instead of commonality, leaving little room to observe the surrounding hustle and bustle of city-life. Vidal challenges viewers to look beyond the self and broaden their perceptions of the physical and divided structures humans frequently occupy. By depicting individuality within an arrangement of occupied spaces, she captures the conflict between the multifaceted nature in which society experiences the world, internal perceptions of reality, and the inflexible architecture people inhabit. Vidal’s unrelenting yet inverted constructions symbolize the “mental structures” of the individual. Thus Vidal’s unconventional portrayal of metropolitan architecture elevates these self-revolving structures, reminding viewers that they are not alone and to pay closer attention to the many pathways of life existing amidst the masses.

Artist Statement:
“In COHABIT I go inside houses and approach public spaces, leaving behind the planetary compositional aspect of my previous works. I’m intrigued by the relationship that people establish between themselves and their immediate surroundings and now I’m zooming in to find out what’s going on in there. In contrast to my most recent works, where I played with darkness, I now strongly illuminate the scenes, which take on more vitality.

We live the spaces we cohabit from our unique vision, which may not have anything to do with the vision of the “other”. Multiplying gravity allows me to express that there are many possible perceptions of our environment. The everyday, can contain common places, but also many abysses. And I’m always surprised by the ability that humans have to live uncertainty with calmness and a certain indifference.

In this body of work, all the paintings have in common a frontal view, with a central vanishing point. Thus, I accentuate the confrontation between a parallel and ordered structure with the “disorder” of the various orientations. I also added the mirror effect in some frames. It allows me to turn the figures upside down and increasing the confusion of the viewer in the game upside down. Finally, I wanted to honor painters I admire and respect by placing some of their paintings in my scenes. You will find paintings by Piet Mondrian, Mark Rothko, Gustav Klimt, Claude Monet, Henri Matisse and Bauhaus.” – Cinta Vidal

About Cinta Vidal:
Cinta Vidal Agulló (b. 1982) has been drawing since she was a child. She studied at Escola Massana in Barcelona and at 16, she started working as an apprentice in Taller de Escenografia Castells Planas in St. Agnès de Malanyanes where she learned from Josep and Jordi Castells to love scenography and the backdrop trade. She currently lives and works in a studio located above her family’s toy store in Cardedeu, a small town near Barcelona, Spain.

Always pushing her craft forward, Vidal is also an avid muralist with murals in Hong Kong, Atlanta (Georgia), Barcelona (Spain), Vancouver (British Columbia), Kobe (Japan), Valencia (Spain), Calgary (Alberta), Honolulu (Hawaii), Culver City (California) Long Beach (California) and the Napa Valley region of Northern California.

Vidal was also recently commissioned by Facebook to paint their new headquarters in Northern California.