Thank you to everyone that braved ‘carmageddon’ earlier this month for the opening of Tran Nguyen and David Bray‘s new exhibits. We had a nice and full house throughout the evening and both artists thoroughly enjoyed themselves with their new works being very well received. It was great to see the showing of support across the board with several local artists out including the likes of Nathan DeYoung, Mia, DABS and MYLA, Ewelina Ferusso, Ana Bagayan, Melissa Haslam, Euth, and Jason Shawn Alexander.
Absolut has finally launched the ‘Blank‘ project. The vodka brand from Sweden has a long history of supporting contemporary art and we’re honored to have them recognize some of our family members in this new series of artist bottles getting ready to hit shelves. Thinkspace family members include David Bray (debut U.S. solo show now on view), Fernando Chamarelli (showing next month) and Brett Amory (showing again next summer). Other artists who participated include Dave Kinsey, Sam Flores, Thomas Doyle, Aesthetic Apparatus, and Jeremy Fish.
Many of the artists created more than one ‘Blank‘ and the videos below show a glimpse into the creative process behind each as well as a look at the worldwide campaign currently unfolding around this new series of bottles. This campaign has been in the works for ages and I’ve been busting at the seams to share with everyone.
Take a look at the artists at work on their Absolut ‘Blanks‘ in the below video
AND take a look at some of the promotional festivities going off currently around the world to help support this new campaign… Just huge for all the featured artists involved in this campaign.
UK-based fine artist, David Bray, will be opening his debut US solo show, Return of Bad Wisdom, at Thinkspace in Culver City This Saturday, July 16th. Using basic drawing tools, such as pens, pencils and paper, Bray creates delicate and time-consuming drawings which explore emotion, utopia and a world of fantasy through his subject matter of the beautiful and erotic, but unattainable female form.
An interview with David Bray
Please tell us a lil’ bit about yourself and your many alter egos.
My name sometimes is David Bray, I am 41. I have been working as a freelance illustrator since 1996 and an exhibiting artist since 2003. I’m quite a restless soul, and like to experiment and play with new techniques and mediums……..and I found it easier to ‘release’ these experiments under different guises as it didn’t muddy the waters of my main work – figurative drawing. The different guises all inform me as ‘David Bray’ , possibly subject, technique – always want to learn. All of this is about PLAY.
Can you share a lil’ bit about the themes behind your new body of work for ‘Return of Bad Wisdom‘.
It’s very inspired by 40’s and 50’s pin-ups, catholic religion, David Lynch, breathlessness, heels, black magic – all mixed up and presented in ink. Each drawing has a counter-point, a contrast which sits with the frame. Where as the portraits are hopefully detailed and complex, the counterpoint is a box of crude dumbness……these are the ‘bad wisdoms’
When did you know you wanted to follow the path of being a full-time artist?
For as long as I can remember. I’ve been surrounded by art and artists since I was born. My father worked at the Royal Academy of Arts so his life absorbed into ours. He used to allow us to wander the galleries before they were open to the public. There were no security guards on duty, and no cctv, so my brother and I could literally immerse ourselves into all this great art. I’m sure our behaviour was incorrect. Touching the paintings, licking a Picasso…..wrong and a little odd, but we were young! I never really spoke to my father about becoming an artist, but I knew I wanted to work in a creative field. I trained as a graphic designer, but was always interested in creating my own works……It all seems to have fallen into place in a series of happy accidents.
What fuels you to keep creating?
It is an addiction, an obsession.
Please describe your dream project if time and money were not issues.
It would involve huge reams of paper, an endless supply of pens, the sea, music with a lot of bass, sun, my wife and 8 paws
Favorite item in your studio?
The drawing desk. It needs a bit of attention as it has taken a bit of a beating……..
Please talk a little about the significance in this recent series of the recurring asthma inhaler?
There is a recurring theme of the asthma inhaler throughout. Hopefully the drawings capture an extreme beauty, something so beautiful that it takes your breath away – the inhalers are there as medicine, to help the viewer restore calm (in a virtual way, of course) its not my intention to make the viewer hyperventilate, but it’s a risk. I’ve provided a 2D safety net! Iave had some embroidered inhaler patches made, they are going to be handed to the first people through the door of Thinkspace on the opening night…..a cotton insurance policy! I hope thats not too nonsensical.
Is there anyone in particular, artist or otherwise, that you’d like to give a shout out to here?
There are a load of people, but I should say a big thanks to one of my oldest friends, Jonathan Peek. I had pretty much given up on drawing after art college, and was making photographic work and collages of sinister men in masks, and girls holding odd objects. All a bit unfulfilling. We were in a bar with some art on the wall, he pointed them out – said I could do better and that I should stop fucking around and get back to drawing. It really struck a chord. The next day I dug my pens out and haven’t looked back. To be honest, it’s the only wise thing he ever said to me, usually it’s complete nonsensical bollocks.
Any shows or special projects coming up after your exhibit with us here at Thinkspace you would like to mention?
I have a couple of things in the pipeline, one in negotiation and the other I am sworn to secrecy until it is unveiled. Which probably is not much of an answer but it’s worth the cloak and daggerness for now. Outside of the art thing, I am setting up an internet radio station…….which will be linked up to art and a broad range of artists.
David Bray lands this Thursday into the City of Angels from the UK and we’re excited to be hosting his debut U.S. solo show this coming Saturday. To help celebrate, Bray has printed up a limited supply of asthma inhaler patches (as he lovingly puts it, the work is so good, it’ll take your breath away) as a nice lil’ souvenir from the show.
If that wasn’t enough, Blik Wall Graphics has given us a small supply of his ‘I Never Saw The Sign’ wall cling graphic that is a $95 retail value and measures a whopping 61×44 inches!
“If you’re looking for one art show to attend this year, I’d like to suggest Thinkspace’s upcoming 5 Year Anniversary blow out. Established in 2005, Thinkspace is one of the few galleries who doesn’t just follow trends, they start them.”– MyModernMet.com
’5 Years / 5 Questions’ with David Bray
Tell us a little bit about your piece for Thinkspace’s ‘5 Year Anniversary Show’ this November?
It’s loosely based on being hit on the head with a meteor, and resultant personality change! The rocks in the work are real meteors – literally from outer space!
What were you doing back in 2005 when Thinkspace started?
In 2005 I moved into a photographer’s office, he let me use a corner desk. It was an exciting time.
Name 5 things you can’t live without in your studio?
Paper, pen, coffee, drawing table, lightbulbs
Where do you hope to be 5 years from now?
A new city. Berlin, New York, Sydney, Copenhagen , Los Angeles – doesn’t matter. Feel like a change of view… Any offers?
What have you got coming up in 2011?
Solo show at Stolen Space early 2011, solo show at Thinkspace in july 2011, working on photographic side project under the alias Falk Jensen, largescale drawings in new cities, working with a Parisian band, and working with various production.