Interview with Gustavo Rimada for his exhibition ‘Florescentia’

Thinkspace is pleased to present ‘Florescentia’ the debut solo show of Mexican born, California based artist Gustavo Rimada.

Characterized by graphic aesthetics, Rimada often works with bold color palettes and stylized subjects. His paintings intermingle Mexican visuals, art history and contemporary tattoo culture which become a bridge between his ancestral heritage and his current life in the United States. A dynamic dance of history, color and representation that beautifully represents the blending and celebration of two cultures becoming one.

In anticipation of ‘Florescentia’, our interview with Rimada discusses his time in the army, creative influences, and his favorite tv show/podcast combo.

What was the inspiration behind ‘Florescentia’?

In a tough year, I wanted to be inspired by the idea of blossoming, the idea that we can flourish past any negative aspect of 2020.

Do you have any pre-studio rituals that help you get into a creative flow?

Everyday before getting started I go for a drive listen to my playlist or finish a podcast grab coffee and hit the ground running when I get back to my studio.

What piece challenged you most in this body of work and why? 

The largest painting of the Jaguar was very challenging because it’s so large and I knew I wasnt gonna fill every bit of it , so finding the balance of it not looking bare or too busy was a bit challenging. It was also done at a very stressful part of 2020 and it took me about 3 weeks longer than it should have.

What do you like to play in the background while painting; music, podcasts, other?

I usually don’t listen to any music or podcast while painting. The tv is always on so I am either watching documentaries or some of my favorite series/movies. My absolute favorite show right now is Lovecraft Country and then after each episode, I listen to the 1-hour podcast breaking it down.

Is there an artist or piece of work that has made a significant impact on you? Has that work influenced your own artistic voice/style?

Early on when I first started painting, discovering Juxtapoz & High Fructose was everything! At the time I was living in Alaska and it was unreal to me what was going on back home in LA and seeing all those different works from Mark Ryden, Robert Williams and Todd Shorr was a huge push early on. But as I started diving back into painting I went back to studying Mexican artists like Frida Khalo, Diego Rivera, and my favorite Jorge Gonzales Camarena. They were key to finding myself as an artist.

What was the timeline like from finding out about the #otterthinkspacecontest to submitting your entry?

I always stay super busy, so I was working on commission work/group show paintings. When you said you were giving a small solo I pretty much dropped everything and went for it so from the moment I found out to the day I submitted the piece I worked on it nonstop.

Do you remember what you were doing before you found out you had won the content?

I think I checked my phone and refreshed it every 5 minutes from the time I woke up (lol) but at the time I found out I was on my easel working. After I found out I was running around my house with my family cheering me on! Lol.

Do you think your time in the army informed you creatively or artistically?

My time in the army, unfortunately, did neither it was a creative killer. However, I did realize I needed to do something with my life that didn’t require being in the army. So when I got out I was equipped with a drive that in my opinion is unmatched, I don’t credit the service with any of my artistic abilities but they do get a ton of credit when it comes to pushing myself past what I think are my limits and never taking no for an answer.

We are in the middle of a global pandemic, it’s an unprecedented time, and it’s a weird time – what are you doing to create a sense of normalcy for yourself?

This kinda goes back to the first question, keeping my ritual going and seeing my friends at my coffee spot is a great way for me to feel as if nothing has changed despite us being in this horrific pandemic. To be fair, I am the kind of person who just stays home all day every day so it hasn’t been that difficult for me to abide by the rules. I do feel for people ( essential workers ) during this unprecedented time, we need them more than ever and I try not to take them for granted so I tip fat when I get take out.

If your body of work inspired a Ben & Jerry’s ice cream flavor, what would be the ingredients and name of your pint?

Awe man I am a super boring ice cream consumer lol but my favorite Ben & Jerry’s is “ Americone Dream “ so being of Mexican descent and coming to this country with a suitcase and a dream I would have to tweak that to “ Mexicone Dream ” lol the ingredients would be some banana ice cream, waffle bits, caramel syrup, some coco chocolate bits, and a little magic.

Opening Reception Saturday, November 14th | Guidelines Below

We will be having a public reception this Saturday, November 14 from noon to 6pm. No appointment necessary, but masks will be required at all times and social distancing enforced. Entry will be limited, as we will be sure to watch capacity and make sure no more than a dozen patrons are in the gallery at any given time. We want to assure the health and safety of our artists, staff and patrons.

We will also be offering timed visits each Saturday during the remaining run of the exhibitions. A link to a scheduling platform will be on our site in the week ahead. Please let us know if you have any questions at all. Thank you for your continued support and we look forward to seeing some of you this Saturday.