Interview with Anthony Clarkson for ‘All By Design’

Thinkspace is pleased to present ‘All By Design,’ from Los Angeles-based artist Anthony Clarkson whose work is a portal into child-like innocence, mixed with troubled spirits, broken hearts, and a sense of emptiness.

‘All By Design‘ is Anthony Clarkson’s sixth solo exhibition with Thinkspace. A painter, designer, and illustrator, Clarkson’s oil paintings are ghostly and surreal – dreamlike meanderings through eerily cast dimensions. Stylistically dark, they feel like haunted eruptions of the subconscious.

In anticipation of ‘All By Design,’ our interview with Anthony Clarkson discusses the Twighlight Zone, being made for pandemic life, and exploring elements of nature within his work.

SH: For those not familiar with your work, can you tell us a little bit about your background?

AC: I grew up in Kansas being that kid who was always drawing. After getting my bachelor’s degree in design from the Art Institute of Denver in 2002 I moved to Los Angeles and started working as head graphic designer for several record labels specializing in Heavy Metal. Soon after Thinkspace Projects opened and I started showing with them and have continued pursuing to further my career as an independent artist.

SH: What is the inspiration behind ‘All By Design? 

AC: Usually most of my solo shows revolve around some sort of a theme, but this time I didn’t really do that. I think I tried to push my ideas a bit further along with the overall designs of the pieces. I think my works have been getting more surreal overall and focus on nature a bit more as a theme. 

SH: Have you watched the new Jordan-Peele produced Twilight Zone? Thoughts?

AC: I’ve only seen the first episode, “The Comedian”.  I liked it overall and really intend to go back and watch the rest of the first season. The original Twilight Zone is one of my favorite shows of all time. I always love when the Syfy channel does an all-day marathon, usually on New Years and a few other days during the year. 

SH: How did this exhibition challenge you and your skills as an artist?

AC: I tried to do slightly more complex designs and add more detail into the works than I’ve done in the past. They aren’t totally different than I’ve done before, I just tried to push things a bit further this time.

SH: What is your favorite part of the creative process?

AC: When a new idea for a piece comes to mind that’s the most excited I get. I also like once I have the basic design laid out on the canvas and first start to paint because I can see all the possibilities of where it can go.

SH: We are in the middle of a global pandemic, it’s an unprecedented time, and it’s a weird time – What is your approach to life during this time?

AC: Since I’ve been busy staying working on this new batch of works since the pandemic started I’ve not had a huge adjustment as far as going out socially. I’ve always kind of kept to myself so I feel like my life has all been training to socially distance. ha

SH: What is your favorite local spot to pick up some take out?

AC: Fat Burger. I like that they have veggie burgers and are just a couple blocks from where I live, so whenever I get a craving for greasy fast food I usually end up there. 

SH: If you could download any skill, Matrix-style, into your brain – what would you want to learn/be able to do?

AC: It would be nice to have all the skills of the great painters throughout history. There are tons of other things I’d like to know, but upgrading my artistic skills comes to mind right now.

SH: Who are some of your creative influences?

AC: I grew up loving comic books and heavy metal album covers. So along with artists like H.R. Giger and Salvador Dali, I was really into comic book artists like Jim Lee and Todd Mcfarlane along with heavy metal album cover artists such as Derek Riggs, Ed Repka, Andreas Marschall, Kristian Wåhlin and Dan Seagrave.

Join us LIVE on Instagram, Saturday, August 22nd from 1 to 2 pm PST while we tour ‘All By Design‘ along with new work from Sarah Joncas and Sergio Garcia.

‘5 Years / 5 Questions’ with Anthony Clarkson – Thinkspace 5 Year Anniversary Show (on view through Nov. 27th)

Anthony Clarkson 'Ring Around the Rosy' - Acrylic on wood panel

’5 Years / 5 Questions’ with Anthony Clarkson

Tell us a little bit about your piece for Thinkspace’s ‘5 Year Anniversary Show’ this November?
“Ring Around the Rosy” is a sort of self-portrait of my state of mind based on the maypole game. I’ve been recently doing so many painting with kids in them, and as much as people seem to like ‘em, I’ve started to feel like they’ve become too prevalent and cause me not to push my concepts and imagery. So as I move away from painting kids this piece is a way to kind of explain what I’ve started to feel like they are doing to me creatively.

What were you doing back in 2005 when Thinkspace started?
I was working on my first two paintings to put into the first Thinkspace show/my first show! So this five year anniversary show for Thinkspace is also my personal five year anniversary of doing gallery showings.

Name 5 things you can’t live without in your studio?
Other than the basics like paints, brushes, chair, etc… I’d say my computer, music, movies, art books and a beverage of some sort.

Where do you hope to be 5 years from now?
Just keepin’ on keepin’ on. I hope to have bigger shows, bigger paintings and to be pushing my skills and ideas further.

What have you got coming up in 2011?
I’ll have the project room at Thinkspace in February for my ‘A Time to Forget’ show which I’m super excited about. I’m really trying to push both my quality of work and my concepts.

Artist website: www.anthonyclarksonart.com

Look for Anthony’s upcoming solo show this February at Thinkspace… more details announced soon!

Check out the works featured in our 5 Year Anniversary show here:
http://www.thinkspacegallery.com/2010/11/works.php

‘5 Year Anniversary Show’
Group exhibition showcasing 49 artists representing our past, present and future with a featured installation from Johnny ‘KMNDZ’ Rodriguez

LAST DAY TO VIEW: This Sat, Nov. 27th from 1-6PM
(* please note we are closed this Thurs and Fri for Thanksgiving)

Thinkspace / 6009 Washington Blvd in Culver City / www.thinkspacegallery.com