Urban Nation Museum Opening Covered on Arrested Motion

Our friends at Arrested Motion published some amazing coverage of the opening of Urban Nation Museum in Berlin.

“Located on Bülowstraße in Berlin-Schöneberg, Urban Nation Museum now offers a clear overview of the current state of the street and urban art scene worldwide. Under the motto “UNique. UNited. UNstoppable.”- Arrested Motion. 

The  Urban Nation Museum has been 4 years in the making, and our curator/ co-owner Andrew Hosner has been going back and forth between Berlin and Los Angeles as one of ten curators who worked together to select 150 pieces that combine various styles and techniques of the urban art scene.

Please jump over to Arrested Motion to see photos of the Openings: Urban Nation Museum and Openings: Art Mile – Urban Nation Museum.

URBAN NATION Berlin : Museum for Urban Contemporary Art

Berlin Museum Urban Nation

Andrew Hosner, Thinkspace Gallery co-owner and curator, has been actively woking on the URBAN NATION MUSEUM FOR URBAN CONTEMPORARY ART as part of the curatorial committee and the collectors committee.

The launch of the project kicked off on May 19th, 2016 and will enrich both Berlin’s diverse cultural landscape and the international art scene: the start of building work on the future URBAN NATION MUSEUM FOR URBAN CONTEMPORARY ART. In the coming months, a globally unique new centre for exhibitions, research and exchange focussed on one of the most important art forms of the 21st century will emerge.

Berlin’s secretary for cultural affairs, Tim Renner, was on hand to congratulate the initiators of this ambitious plan on behalf of the city government. The internationally unique institution is scheduled to open in mid-2017 in the Wilhelminianera building at Bülowstrasse 7 in Schöneberg. The building will be completely transformed for the purpose. In other words, there won’t be a new building; the existing one will be converted into a museum to the innovative plans of the architecture bureau GRAFT.

Berlin Museum Urban Nation

The building has long since ceased to look like a normal residential block anyway: over the last three years, it has regularly served as a giant canvas for various stars of the street art scene, including Shepard Fairey, D*Face, Maya Hayuk and The London Police. They were invited to Berlin by URBAN NATION, an initiative that has been networking local and international street artists with great creativity and resounding success since 2013. The idea and the artistic design of the museum are the brainchild of Yasha Young, manager and future director of the museum. URBAN NATION is part of Berliner Leben, a non-profit foundation established in 2013 by Gewobag.

Three Columns of the New Museum are already standing tall: Connect. Create. Care. The motto “Connect. Create. Care.” Is a perfect description of the art initiative’s concept and programme: URBAN NATION operates as an international network that promoted connections between artists, creatives and the public through regular art projects and exhibitions and, at the same time, produces high-quality urban art for Berlin.

Berlin Museum Urban Nation

Markus Terboven, board member of Gewobag, Thomas Willemeit, Founding Partner GRAFT, Yasha Young, Director URBAN NATION, Tim Renner, secretary for culture of the city of Berlin, Hendrik Jellema, chairman of the board of “Berliner Leben”. (left to right) © URBAN NATION

Next up in our Main Room – ‘Duo’, a group exhibition presented in collaboration with Urban Nation

Duo Press Ad

Thinkspace Gallery in collaboration with Berlin’s Urban Nation, is pleased to present DUO, a group exhibition featuring works by internationally acclaimed contemporary art duos: Best/Ever, Cyrcle, Jana & JS, Nevercrew, Snik, Telmo Miel, and Yok & Sheryo. These monikers are recognized the world over as belonging to some of the very best Muralists in the contemporary art scene. Each namesake represents a pair working collaboratively to create inspired, site-specific works across a variety of styles and techniques. The artists will be represented in DUO by two to four new works each, and the exhibition will also feature a site- specific gallery installation and mural by Brooklyn’s Yok & Sheryo.

A duo hailing from Dorset England, Best/Ever is Neil Edwards and Hadley Newman. Their mural style combines elements of photorealistic painting, anatomical drawing, and loose painterly improvisation. Known for its darker and more disturbing portrayals of the human form, their work pairs anatomy with decisive graphic lines and abstracted areas. They often combine figurative and representational elements to create surreal composites; bodies and bones overlap and faces seem to merge. With an emphasis on hands and face, their work strives to capture the emotive and expressive potential of the body in a variety of psychological states, dissecting it formally to an almost surgical extent. Using a stark palette of muted grays, ashen whites, and dark contrasts, their evocative works are ghostly and at times melancholic.

Cyrcle is an LA-based duo made up of David Leavitt (Davey Detail) and David Torres (Rabi). Their collaboration is driven by an irreverent and inexhaustible injunction to tirelessly live and breathe art, in defiance of death and above all else. With an interest in the exploration of the human condition, its duality, and the entropy and chaos that inevitably inform creativity, their projects are varied and at times interactive. They strive to avoid reductive categorization, and work across a variety of media and creative platforms. They have created site-specific murals and street installations, like their huge 11,000 square foot mural “Magic is Real” in Echo Park, but they also take their work to the gallery space, creating installation, performance, and object based projects. Their aesthetic encompasses graphic design, art history, classics and futurism to blur the proscriptive lines of what art can be.

Jana & JS
A duo working out of Austria, Jana is from Salzburg, and JS is from France, near Paris. A couple, their work is stencil based, incredibly precise, and inspired primarily by their personal photographic work. Interested in combining the figurative with architecture, their outdoor pieces are primarily found in major European urban centers and tend to vary in scale. They work with a variety of media to create detailed stencils, using acrylic, ink, pencil, and spray paint on architecture, wood, glass, metal, canvas or paper. Creating these interventions in a variety of contexts, they have been known to use everything from trees in forests and railway tracks, to all manner of found materials. Often portraying people in pairs, their work is about intimacy and human connection, capturing a sense of vulnerability in the passing of time.

Nevercrew is Christian Rebecchi and Pablo Togni, Swiss artists based in Ticino, Switzerland. Interested in the tension and back and forth of being a collaborative duo, tangential relationships are very much a part of their aesthetic and process. Interested in systems and the inner working of living things, they create pseudo “machines” or “living structures,” to explore the systemic and conceptual interactions among individual parts. The works combine fantastic pairings of realistic animals and fictional mechanical systems to create a surreal universe of weirdly bionic hybrids. At the heart of these colorful, large scale murals is a concern for the increasingly tenuous relationship between man and nature. Mixing realistic painting styles with stencils and phenomenal graphics, their works, though seemingly playful, are thought provoking metaphors for social and political relationships.

Britain’s Snik is couple Nick and Laura. Nick began working as Snik in 2005, later pairing up with Laura at the end of 2014. Working in stencil and spray paint, the duo is constantly pushing the boundaries of their medium. Snik will hand cut up to nine layers of stencil at a time, creating the depth and realism for which their work is known, with several overlays and applications of paint and varnish. The level of detail in their work is impressive, and the painterly approach of their technique is unique in its texture and dimensionality. By combining the precision of the graphic stencil cuts with the more chaotic and free application of paint, their works balance chaos with control. The same aesthetic applies to their work on canvas, where they offset the accidental aspects of studio work with drips, bleeds and smudges, with the precision of graphic stenciling.

Telmo Miel
A muralist and image-making duo from the Netherlands, Telmo Miel is Telmo Pieper and Miel Krutzmann. They have worked together since meeting at the Willem de Kooning Academy in Rotterdam in 2007, officially becoming Telmo Miel in 2012. Their murals are both surreal and realistically rendered, with a tremendous amount of detail and vibrant color. Able to work fairly seamlessly, their styles have combined to such an extent that they’re able to execute multiple areas in tandem, exchanging places and completing each other’s work. They often execute their pieces on a monumental scale, creating huge architecturally sized spray-paint paintings on building façades. Combining multiple elements in a single composition, they layer references to the human and animal worlds to create complex creatures and fantastic scenarios. With positivity, humor and a touch of the romantic, their work is arresting and epic.

Yok & Sheryo
Yok, Australian born, and Sheryo, from Singapore, are a muralist duo and couple based in Brooklyn, New York. They first started painting walls together in Cambodia, where they realized the aesthetic and personal affinity they shared. Known for their twisted, dynamic illustrative style, and their use of stark primary palettes, they often work in red, white and black tricolor. Their hallucinatory murals feature everything from cannibalistic pizza slices to pineapple people and hot dog characters, incorporating the monstrous to the macabre with ample humor and absurdity. Eastern influences and kitschy references to surf and skate culture often appear in the work, and both artists cite 90’s cartoons like Ren & Stimpy as major graphic influences. With a love of gnarly subversive imagery, from grim reapers to deadly piña coladas, their line work is detailed, complex, and a total trip.

Opening Reception with the Artist(s):
Saturday, February 27, 2016
6:00 – 9:00pm

First LA based solo exhibition from Low Bros – Wasted Youth

Low Bros Jux Ad

Low Bros
Wasted Youth
June 20th – July 11th

Thinkspace (Los Angeles) – is pleased to present Wasted Youth, the first LA based solo exhibition of works by sibling artist duo Low Bros. Based in Berlin, and originally from Hamburg, the Low Bros consists of brothers Christoph and Florin Schmidt, formerly known by their aliases Qbrk and Nerd. Their murals and street art collaborations have transformed urban landscapes around the world, punctuating streets and accenting structures with a host of memorable and hyper-stylized characters. The Low Bros have developed an urban mythology with a cast of recurring characters and fictional crews, brought to life by a visual shorthand that is unmistakably their own. Drawing from 80’s and 90’s skateboard, graffiti and hip hop cultures, the brothers appropriate imagery from the graphic histories that defined their youth, and transform nostalgia into something entirely fresh and innovative.

Combining elements from the animal and human worlds, the Low Bros fuse urban references with those taken from nature. Their animal characters, ranging from tigers and cheetahs to “teen wolves”, are subcultural emblems or hyper-stylized stereotypes. As stand-ins for the human, this anthropomorphic animal world is mischievous and whimsical, while also jarring and unexpected in its juxtapositions. Graphically deconstructed and reassembled as an amalgam of strangely wonderful surreal worlds, the man-made collides with a hallucinatory animal kingdom that mimics its conventions and affects. Incorporating elements of psychedelia, West Coast skate culture, early video games and 80’s and 90’s graphic design – all brought to life with a tongue-in-cheek machismo – the Low Bros create pieces that are undeniably irreverent and playful.

The work is distinctly geometric, as though structurally composited from individual blocks or planes of color, and hovers somewhere between cubist cut-out, graffiti script and 16/32-bit atari graphics. These meticulously faceted pieces spare no attention to detail, while the intense color combinations and shading bring it all to life. The Low Bros are constantly setting up visual tensions between two-dimensional and three-dimensional optics, channeling a simultaneity of perspectives. Oscillating between flatness and dimension, some areas feel static and hard-edged while others are fluid and organic. The clever composition of these effective contrasts results in an unexpected richness of spatial depth and plasticity.

Self-taught graffiti writers, the brothers work primarily in acrylic paints and aerosols. In addition to their site-specific murals, individual panels and prints, they have also made recent forays into video and installation, bringing their motley cast of urban animals to life. The Wasted Youth exhibition will coincide with a large public project in Los Angeles, their first, and will include a large site-specific gallery mural and an installation component. Though their work is so clearly inspired by Californian youth and pop culture, the Low Bros are visiting LA for the first time on the occasion of the exhibition. An ironic nod to their mother’s admonishing cautions that graffiti was “a waste of their youth”, the Low Bros exhibition title embodies their penchant for irony, humor and, above all else, audacious play.

low bros finshed piece teaser