Opening Reception: Thursday, September 28 from 4-7pm, open and free to all!
On view September 26 through October 27, 2023 at: Walter N. Marks Center for the Arts College of the Desert 43-500 Monterey Avenue Palm Desert, California 92260
Collector Preview will be shared this Friday, September 22.
Always in pursuit of uniting and elevating the New Contemporary Art community, Thinkspace Projects teams up with Tlaloc Studios and the Perez Bros to present ‘RAIZ II’. Building on the community created with our first ‘RAIZ’ exhibition that took place at the Brand Library and Art Center in Glendale, California earlier this year, ‘RAIZ II’ seeks to strengthen.
We are also excited to be able to provide Alejandra and Vicente Perez their first opportunity to curate as well. The brothers have helped to make ‘RAIZ II’ a true family affair and we are so honored to have them a part of this special showcase.
With nearly 60 artists in the group show alone, the extravaganza is sure to be diverse and varied, bringing universal appeal from so many incredible contributors. With a focus on local Los Angeles based artists, the lineup is as impressive as it is varied. A solo show from the legendary Carlos Ramirez (ex-Date Farmers) rounds out the exhibition, filling the walls with innovative and genre-blending pieces across several mediums from the Coachella Valley artist.
The surrounding grounds themselves will also be bursting with compelling content, from live screen printing with our friends at Blue Hill Studios to a mini-mart filled with local creatives put together by the Bloody Gums artist collective alongside installations and more from the Bloody Gums crew plus local low rider club Bajitos Del Valle will be on hand to showcase as well. Save the date and we will see you soon!
The show opens with a special celebration on Thursday, September 28th with a reception from 4PM to 7PM. The exhibition will be on view from September 26 through October 27 at the Walter N. Marks Center for the Arts, located at the College of the Desert in Palm Desert, California.
Featured solo exhibition from Carlos Ramirez (work shared above) alongside a group show with:
Thinkspace presents a video tour and opening reception of Dulk ‘Heritage’. Along with Charlie Immer ‘Glow Up and Down’ showing in Gallery II, Sentrock ‘Two Birds, One Stone’ in Gallery III, and Toyameg ‘The Pinkish Paradise’ in Gallery IV. ALSO new works from Mister Toledo showcased this month in our new Dog House Gallery (now live on our webshop for immediate purchase). The Dog House Gallery will be open during our monthly receptions and also each Saturday from noon to 6pm during the run of our monthly exhibitions.
Much love to all that came through this past Saturday to show such insane support for our June exhibitions. What an amazing night and epic turnout! All of our gallery spaces and courtyard were packed all evening long.
June 3 – June 24, 2023
Thinkspace Projects 4207 W. Jefferson Blvd + 4217 W. Jefferson Blvd. Los Angeles, California 90016
Thinkspace is pleased to present Mister Toledo as the 2nd artist to exhibit new works in Brek’s Dog House Gallery situated in our beautiful courtyard.
Daniel aka “Mister Toledo” is a Mexican Southern Californian artist, who now resides in Los Angeles. Before he took a leap of faith to follow his dreams, Daniel spent his 8-year artistic career in graphic artistry for several apparel companies like No Fear, Trinity Products, and Wattie ink. Daniel received his Associates degree in Graphic Design from Coleman University, and dedicates his art to his family for inspiring him to follow his journey. Volunteering with Backfence Society a non-profit art organization, Daniel helped elevate the importance of art/murals across the North San Diego area. Daniel continues to draw inspiration from his own life while deeply exploring personal and vulnerable themes regarding the human experience. Working with Artchemist Daniel learned the importance of cross-collaboration and team work. He wouldn’t have been as successful in his transition in Los Angeles if it wasn’t for that.
Our interview with Mister Toledo shares his creative rituals, his major creative influences and how he unwinds outside of work.
What themes were you exploring in this body of work? Did you have a piece that was particularly challenging?
I challenged myself to venture into new territory when creating this series. Drawing inspiration from the current social landscape, I decided to combine graffiti and street-art to explore engaging evocative themes that people can readily relate with. I would like to keep my creative gift a surprise till showcasing them to friends and art lovers, and I am very interested in observing how they perceive my works.
One of the most challenging tasks for me when painting this series is trying to paint 1-inch portrait with realism. Like the one painting of me buffing a wall I swear I repainted that face and head like 4-5 times. I usually like to hide the portraits in my personal work as way for the viewer to imagine themselves as that person in the painting.
What does a day in the studio look like for you? How do you structure your days?
A typical day at the studio begins with a struggle to arrive early, as avoiding morning traffic is high on my priority list. Once I arrive, I share the studio with another artist, Eric Michael, who loves to arrive at the ungodly hour of 4 am to paint. When I first started painting, I did so in my room or my aunt’s garage, so it’s such a luxury to have ample space and numerous art supplies at my fingertips. Painting at home was difficult because distractions were abundant.
It usually takes me a while to get in the groove, but once I start, I find myself absorbed in painting until late at night, even until 1 am. Sleeping after painting becomes a challenge. I typically spend 2-3 days at the studio due to a side job of being a painter assistant and painting murals, which can consume the rest of my time, often taking around four days to complete. Completing murals is taxing labor, so when I finish, recharging my batteries with a well-deserved break is critical. Despite the grueling nature of my job, I find solace in the fact that I can invest 8-10 hours into a long day of quality painting.
Do you have any rituals that help you tap into a creative flow?
In order to tap into my creative flow, I have a few rituals that I follow to help get the juices flowing. For example, I find that listening to music is especially helpful – particularly in the car. When I’m fully engaged in the music, my inner thoughts and feelings tend to drift alongside the melodies and lyrics – leading me to generate a plethora of random ideas. Additionally, I spend time leafing through art books and listening to podcasts that feature renowned artists, both of which serve to inspire and motivate me.
What is your most favorite and least favorite part of the creative process?
When it comes to the creative process, I have a favorite and least favorite part. My favorite part would undoubtedly be the rendering phase, where things start to take shape and appear more lifelike. At this point, I tend to lose myself in the process and simply have fun with it.
However, on the flip side, my least favorite part would be after I’ve finished the painting, as I have a tendency to nitpick and become overly critical of my work. Despite my efforts, I’m often unable to silence my inner critic completely, making this phase particularly trying and taxing.
Who are some of your creative influences? Why do they inspire you?
I draw inspiration from a vast array of individuals, but there are certain notable figures who have had an especially profound impact on me. The golden age illustrators such as Norman Rockwell and JC Leyendecker stand out among the rest. Not only were they exceptionally talented painters, but they were also masters of storytelling. Their art has the power to elicit a range of emotions within me – I can’t help but smile or become introspective upon viewing their works. I relate to their pieces on a personal level, as they’re reminiscent of my childhood experiences and the challenges we face as adults. Considering the sheer volume of paintings they produced over the years, it seems impossible for me to even dream of reaching their level of artistic prolificacy.
A common theme in your artistic journey is community and putting yourself out there in creative spaces that allow for dialogue with fellow artists; what advice would you give to someone who feels anxious about putting themselves out there in social situations? How did you find the spaces that were meant for you?
For fellow artists looking to participate in social events, my advice would be to take the leap and put yourself out there. There are numerous art events and shows to choose from, so simply select those that align with your interests. Conduct research in your area to locate venues that offer art workshops or classes – this can be a great way to meet local artists. If large crowds and strangers are not your typical comfort zone, I recommend starting small and working your way towards more populous events. It can take time to get comfortable socializing with new people, but pushing yourself to do so can be incredibly rewarding. Painting murals is another excellent opportunity for interaction, given the many individuals who will stop to chat about your work as they pass by.
You have a rich background in mural work. Is there a particular mural that is your favorite or a location that has stood out as exceptionally memorable? What is the biggest learning you’ve gained as an artist from the first mural to your most recent one?
Five years ago, upon relocating to Los Angeles, I began exploring my passion for murals. For two years, I worked alongside several artists, eager to refine my skills and improve my artistry – eventually arriving at a point where I desired to start creating my own luscious works of art. After much preparation and seeking out opportunities, I was accepted to attend Paint Memphis. This was a significant moment in my career, as I had never previously visited Memphis and traveled there alone. The festival was absolutely insane – featuring up to 150-200 artists working on murals across a specific area. While I recognized a few familiar faces, I was fortunate enough to connect with a multitude of fellow creatives, many of whom I am now proud to call friends. This festival provided an incredible platform for the development of my ‘Rain Jacket Man’ series, beginning with the first ever ‘Rain Jacket Man’ painting which was a full-length portrait of myself, tumbling down whilst birds flew out of my head. The piece was an expression of challenging times, symbolizing the power of reaching out to loved ones and the importance of connection in arduous situations. The mural helped me open up further and share some extremely personal emotions and feelings to the public.
The ability to create freely without restriction was liberating. I felt the community of artists and locals embraced not only their own craft, but also fostered greater camaraderie among each other, sparkling friendships that crossed geographical boundaries and led to collaborations in various future mural events that I would attend with them too.
If you could have any skill or topic downloaded into your brain, what would you want to be able to do/ be an expert at?
One skill that I wish I had expertise in is the art of color-mixing. Being able to accurately replicate the colors of my references would be a huge asset to my art. While I tend to do a lot of paintings and murals using grayscale or limited color palettes, I very much appreciate colorful works. I am aware that mastering color mixing requires significant time and effort, but I am determined to consistently hone my skillset and gradually improve my ability to mix colors.
What do you hope viewers take away or experience while viewing your work?
My sincere hope is that those who view my work during the show will take a moment to pause and truly immerse themselves into the depths of the pieces.
How do you like to enjoy your time outside of the studio? Do you celebrate the completion of a body of work? —
Upon completing body of work, whether that is a mural or a series of paintings, it is essential for me to take some time to relax and recharge for my next project. Despite my eagerness to dive into my next work of art, I understand that constantly pushing myself without taking a breather only leads to an inevitable burn-out, hampering my productivity further. Nature is my solace; I usually prefer to unwind in quiet and peaceful surroundings like the mountain ranges in San Gabriel as I feel my body and my mind relax with every active second spent amidst the natural surroundings. I find it a profound mental and physical release, helping me to let go of any nervousness or anxiety I have kept within.
Exhibition on view June 3 – June 24, 2023 at: Thinkspace Projects 4207 W. Jefferson Blvd. Los Angeles, California 90016
Thinkspace Projects 4207 W. Jefferson Blvd + 4217 W. Jefferson Blvd. Los Angeles, California 90016
DULK (aka Antonio Segura) ‘Heritage’
Antonio Segura, known internationally by the pseudonym Dulk, brings his worlds of stylized animalia and character creatures to Thinkspace Projects with ‘Heritage’. Striking an unlikely balance between the playful ease of children’s make-believe and the prescient threat of ecological doomsday, Dulk’s works celebrate the beauty of nature’s biodiversity while simultaneously mourning the imminence of its loss. Much in the same way that fantasy actively invites collusion with nightmare, Dulk’s extravagantly lush imagination, for all of its seductive warmth, is punctuated by premonitory distress, and poignantly aberrant, if not predictive, details.
Dulk’s work seems to evolve as quickly and drastically as the climate crisis itself. Dulk, always in pursuit of capturing the immensity of the moment, has assembled a series of work that represents a new level both in terms of its technical eloquence and its urgency. For all of their surreal elements and his immense gifts for personification, Dulk’s paintings are the immediate byproduct of his travels into remote areas.
Every one of these works in this collection is tied to his memories of a natural wonder and wildlife, some as close as the deserts of the southwest, to the mythical redwood forests of northern California to his travels into the arctic circle of Alaska. He has witnessed first hand both the beauty of these landscapes and the terrible collapse that is creeping over them like a fatal tide. He works hard to capture both elements because above all he is asking us to go out and do the same. By painting something beautiful he asks audiences to gather the strength to look away from art and toward nature, as painful as that may be. Dulk’s works always seem to possess their own magical dream, their own colors and narratives, but at the core every work has one single voice and one message; he is asking us to wake up.
With a specificity of imagery that rivals that of a miniaturist, with hidden vignettes, characters, subplots, and gems peppered throughout his tightly composed images, Dulk’s work is breathtaking. The breadth of his inspirations alone, including everything from contemporary illustration and graphics, graffiti and public muralism, ensures Dulk’s world is as expansive and elated as it is heartbreaking and wounded.
About Dulk: Valencian artist Dulk, Antonio Segura, is one of the most important names in Valencian painting of the moment internationally. His body of work begins to form in urban art and mural painting—to which he remains closely linked today— along with study work, but does not stop there. He continues to research and constantly create new forms of expression through different media, drawing, sculpture or photography among others. True to its essence —with a strong ecological conviction to defend ecosystems and the most vulnerable species— this work invites the viewer to be part of a unique imaginarium, full of energy and with a special sensitivity to color. A dream world with animals and natural spaces that tells personal, universal and unique stories.
CHARLIE IMMER ‘Glow Up and Down’
Thinkspace Projects is pleased to present Charlie Immer’s ‘Glow Up and Down’ in Gallery II. His spectacular and surprisingly inviting world of candy-coloured-gross-out-flavored mayhem offers truly wondrous visual feasts for those who are unperturbed by oodles of goo, slime, blood and the occasional severed head.
Due to the jubilant carnage occurring between Immer’s protagonists and their merry little victims, who incidentally range from dancing skulls dripping with jellied ooze, to fruity characters in varying stages of dismemberment, one cannot help but get swept up in the high spirited horror and overall exuberance on display. These expertly rendered gory happenings carefully tread the fine line between repulsion and attraction, exploring the duality that exists and striking an extraordinary balance; the result is a masterclass in titillation that also succeeds in tickling funny bones.
“Titled ‘Glow Up and Down,’ my upcoming exhibition encapsulates the joy of radiant exploration. Each piece aims to capture the allure and mystique of glowing forms, inviting viewers to bask in the radiance of peculiar characters as they navigate through ambiguous spaces. As with all my work I hope it makes the viewer smile.”
About Charlie Immer Charlie Immer is an American Postwar & Contemporary artist who was born in 1983 in the state of Maryland. In 2008, Charlie graduated with distinction from the Rhode Island School of Design in Providence, gaining himself a BFA in Illustration. His artwork has since been shown in prestigious galleries around the world, and has also been published in prominent art magazines, such as Juxtapoz and Hi-Fructose, earning him a large following and considerable acclaim.
SENTROCK ‘Two Birds, One Stone’
Sentrock’s ‘Two Birds, One Stone’ fills Thinkspace Projects’ Gallery III this June. In a collection of paintings and drawings, Sentrock reflects his mental perspective at this time in his career and stage in life.
‘Two Birds, One Stone’ highlights the dichotomy of who he is as an artist and who he is as a person, bringing to light the relatable internal struggle of simultaneously being more than just one thing.
The works highlight the times of his introspection, aiming to capture the raw energy or the fleeting moment. In works on canvas and on paper, Sentrock presents something that is deeply personal, but rings true to many. Further emphasizing duality and contrast, Sentrock presents large scale works as pivotal statements of the show and smaller sketches as a more intimate display.
Through his creation, Sentrock has become a catalyst for his community. His work presents undertones of hope, freedom and expression, encapsulating his background, history, upbringing, empathy, and compassion for his community.
About Sentrock Joseph Perez, best known as “Sentrock” is a self taught street artist. Sentrock witnessed street art as a form of expression, birthing his interest to pick a spray can and continue his artistic voice. His early works were developed from graffiti writing in Mexican-American neighborhoods. Sentrock’s signature bird-mask over a human figure has become his most recognizable declaration. Sentrock describes his bird-mask as analogous to humanity: a person who is able to find or escape to their freedom by placing them in a different reality.
TOYAMEG ‘The Pinkish Paradise’
Japanese artist Toyameg brings her own personal fantasy to life, filling Gallery IV of Thinkspace Projects. Known for her vicious pop illustration, she brings her signature style to a fictional world of her creation.
Drawing on her experiences in apparel and the music industry, Toyameg creates an engaging scape inspired by a dream. Affectionately called ‘The Pinkish Paradise’, the artist welcomes audiences to the pink desert she dreamt of.
Describing the scene, the artist says, “All people and animals love each other there. It was a very happy place and I thought it was paradise. I have created works that imagine the people and plants living in this paradise.” The resulting collection is heart-warming and vibrant.
About Toyameg Toyameg is an artist based in Fukuoka, Japan. She is self-taught and started her career in music culture and the streets. She describes her art as “pop with a pinch of poison.” She holds solo exhibitions throughout Japan and provides illustrations to musicians, apparel brands, and other clients.