Interview with Kobusher for ‘Come Out and Play’

Thinkspace is proud to debut North American solo exhibition ‘Come Out and Play‘ from pop artist Kobusher.

From sculptural editions to screen prints, Kobusher continues to explore new avenues of expression on a regular basis. For his North American debut, the artist has delved heavily into the memories of his youth and the new body of work is a celebration of pop culture in all its many forms.

In anticipation of ‘Come Out and Play‘ our interview with Kobusher discusses his inspiration behind the show, how growing up in the ’80s informed his creativity, and a silver lining outlook.

What is the inspiration behind this latest body of work?

I almost wanted chaos. Random characters and not a well-structured theme. A direct reflection of what’s happening in the world right now wherein most of our best-laid plans can go up in smoke in an instant. And with that randomness, I’m hoping people can serendipitously discover my work.

When working, what are you listening to in the background?

Most of the time I listen to all types of music. I also listen to Joe Rogan if the guests and conversation is interesting. I rarely work without any sound in the room.

What is your least favorite part of the creative process?

Whenever I hear a small voice whispering to me that this is not my best work

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

Each painting has its own challenges, so I won’t be able to choose one specific piece. I see my paintings as kids with different personalities so you have to deal with them in different ways.

If you could download any skill or subject into your brain, Matrix-style, what would it be?

I’m pretty satisfied with what I have right now but gun to the head I choose a high tolerance for physical pain.

When viewing other artists’ work, what elements get you excited or inspire you?

Composition. I don’t get inspired by other artists’ work but I’m more interested in their insights.

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?

This pandemic is the “silver lining”,  it is teaching us to strip out what’s superficial and focus on what’s really important in our lives like family, friends your significant one, and doing what you really love. 

What pop-culture item; music, movies, tv, incident etc.. that has shaped you creatively?

Each generation has its own pop culture influences, but for me, it is how you obtain or consume it. Like I was a kid in the ’80s and unlike kids today where literally everything is at the palm of their hands (music, movie, fashion, etc.) on the other hand I had to find ways to get it. Imagine, just to see a poster of my favorite band I needed to first go to a bookstore selling the poster and then wait for my turn because someone is already there perusing through it. Or one of my friends would buy an album because he’s the only one who can afford it and with a record player. He would invite all of us to listen to it over and over again just to appreciate each song.

I have nothing against any generation or particularly this current one, but what I’m saying here is that all those challenges and not having everything when I was a kid has somewhat taught me and shaped me to be creative in obtaining and creating things for myself. Not having everything triggers imagination and goals which is congruently equal to inspiration.

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

“WTF”: Strawberry, rootbeer, vanilla, crushed macadamia nuts, and banana

New Exhibitions from Alvaro Naddeo, Josh Keyes, Nicola Caredda, and Kobusher Coming Soon

Thinkspace Projects presents:

JOSH KEYES
Inside Out

ALVARO NADDEO
IndigNation

KOBUSHER
Come Out and Play

NICOLA CAREDDA
God Save My Sweet Pusher

All four exhibitions on view September 19 through October 10, 2020

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JOSH KEYES
Inside Out

Thinkspace is pleased to present new works by Portland-based artist Josh Keyes in Inside Out. Keyes creates lush, hyperrealistic paintings of our civilization’s dystopian aftermath; a post-human planet left ecologically ravaged and dissipated, sits aflame, overgrown or beneath water, while a new natural order attempts to reclaim its disastrous inheritance. In recent years, Keyes has abandoned the minimalism of his precise, dioramic disaster taxonomies in favor of a more immersive and expanded pictorial frame. These works depict entire environments rather than only its cross-sections in a not-so-distant future state of ecological ruin. Keyes has mastered the satirical posturing of hyperbole as fact with a world so convincingly rendered, and so disastrously surreal, that fantasy becomes alarmingly plausible.

Keyes’ highly detailed narrative paintings have evolved from their earlier iteration as closed systems, or quasi-scientific specimens drawn from some post-apocalyptic natural history museum to less confined and formulaic expressions of an imploding natural order. Displaced wild animals and the remnants of human architectures and monuments are all that remain, the only living witnesses to whatever final or cumulative set of events have finally tipped the scales beyond salvage.

Animals have always appeared as the focal points of Keyes’ metaphoric, and psychologically penetrating works. He depicts them with the anatomical precision of a biologist and the poetic freedom of a storyteller. As protagonists, creatures universalize the narratives, making them indiscriminately relatable and empathically accessible. Charged with the psychic and imagistic resonance of a shared, collective subconscious, Animalia provides the artist with a symbolically valent source of iconography. This combination of the personally inflected and the culturally drawn supplies the artist with an inexhaustible source material.

Working primarily in acrylic on panel, Keyes has perfected his hyperrealistic painting technique, depicting the environmental crisis with startling representational clarity as a trope for the larger human one. It becomes clear that the imagining of this apocalyptic chaos harbors a social anxiety that extends far beyond the concerns of the ecological. In a time of great political angst and uncertainty, the artist’s works are all the more poignant as harbingers of a, now more than ever, alarmingly plausible doomsday. Keyes, the dystopian naturalist, continues to provoke our imaginations with the poetry of a cataclysmically surreal future tense.

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ALVARO NADDEO
IndigNation

Thinkspace is pleased to present IndigNation, featuring new works by Brazilian born and Los Angeles-based artist Alvaro Naddeo. Interested in the study of castaway objects and the subtle graphic nuances of urban detritus gleaned from the city sphere, the artist combines its textures and edges in compositional amalgams. His interest in the life of the unassuming object extends to billboards and signage, cast away containers and boxes, and domestic and industrial spaces, conjoined and superimposed in unexpected mashups, or cultural relics that speak of use and disposal in the contemporary city. Working primarily in watercolor on paper, Naddeo achieves an impressive level of hyperrealistic rendering, bestowing unexpected poetry to the lowly remnants of the city’s waste and urban recesses. Naddeo’s works offer a commentary on the excessive momentums of contemporary consumerism, while his imagery explores the decay and deterioration of the city-worn.

Naddeo is originally from São Paulo, Brazil and has also lived in Lima, Peru and New York City and currently. These urban environments have helped to shape the artist’s memory and permeate most of his work. The artist is partly self-taught and partly homeschooled. His father is an illustrator, and as a child Alvaro would spend many hours drawing and watching him work. His father was a constant source of inspiration and encouragement, but having an artist as your father also proved frustrating at times. At 17, Alvaro compared his work to his and thought that his own drawings and paintings were not good enough. so he quit. Naddeo went on to pursue a career in advertising as an Art Director, something that still allowed him to exercise his interest in art, but without requiring mastery with the pencil or brush. 20 years later, while living in New York City and being exposed to its many contrasts, Naddeo’s desire to pick up the brushes intensified. He is now a full-time artist, exhibiting his works around the world.

“The subject matter of my work is waste, overconsumption and social inequality. Trash and objects found in the street are valuable, and not only for aesthetic reasons. The brands, logos and packaging depicted in my work are objects with an inherent duality, both desirable and despicable, a clear byproduct of having worked in advertising for more than 20 years.”
– Alvaro Naddeo

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KOBUSHER
Come Out and Play

Thinkspace is pleased to present the debut North American solo exhibition from pop artist Kobusher, hailing from the Philippines. Being a child of the 80’s, the artist was raised on pop culture and, in turn, his visual narrative has been honed with the help of Sesame Street, Keith Haring, Lee Quiñones, Run Dmc, and MTV.

Kobusher attended the University of the Philippines where he received his Fine Arts degree (majoring in painting). Sadly, like many a young art school graduate, he went into advertising and marketing to make ends meet, while never loosing site of his first love, painting.

In 2015 he literally walked out from his work and decided it was time to pursue his dream of becoming a full-time artist. He felt that he had done everything he could as an artist during his stint as a Creative Director at one of Philippines’ top ad agencies. One by one he was able to produce a series of paintings for his debut solo show. Secret Fresh Gallery in the Philippines gave him his first break, and in January of 2016 they hosted his first solo exhibition.

Since then, Kobusher has been busy building an ever-growing legion of fans the world over. From sculptural editions to screen prints, the artist continues to explore new avenues of expression on a regular basis. For his North American debut, the artist has delved heavily into the memories of his youth and the new body of work is a celebration of pop culture in all its many forms.

_________________________________________________________

NICOLA CAREDDA
God Save My Sweet Pusher

Thinkspace is pleased to present the debut North American solo exhibition from Italian artist Nicola Caredda. The artist was born in Cagliar, Italy in 1981. Caredda studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Sassari.

Caredda’s dreamlike acrylic works on canvas blend eroded landscapes and structures with playful elements of pop culture and mystical iconography. Each painting’s vague narrative is ripped from the artist’s subconscious. The artist’s aim is to transcend reality using his own dreamy, visionary language.

By creating densely layered paintings that blend elements from distant vocabularies with the metaphysical, the artist aims to exorcise his own fears and provide an escape from reality for all