POW! WOW! Long Beach 2016 Around The Corner

The following is pulled from POW! WOW!’s blog discussing Pow! Wow! Long Beach. The Long Beach Museum of Art is already starting to be transformed by the installation artist, and you can get a peak of it on Thinkspace Gallery’s snapchat, username: thinkspace_art. We hope you’re just as excited for this year’s Pow! Wow! Long Beach as we are! 

All photos by Brian Addison.


Tristan Eaton painting his mural on the Varden Hotel.

Pow! Wow! Long Beach returns this year with a new assortment of artists to paint the walls of Long Beach in the name of spectacular, free art that is accessible by the public and ephemeral in the hands of time.

Six years ago in the warehouse-filled Kaka’ako district of Honolulu, a young Jasper Wong saw an incredible opportunity to create a spectacle that harkened more to the power of humans rather than the excessiveness of human partying.

Coachella he was not seeking. EDC? Absolutely not. He was creating what would soon become a phenomenon that the art world could not ignore. This is Pow! Wow!—and last year, the famed art collective made its first stamp on Long Beach.

Eschewing hipster antics—those popularity-contest-driven events where the partying is slowly eclipsing the art—Wong wanted to bring together his beyond cool friends as “an excuse to make an area better with art.”

We are talking talented street artists that are beyond respected in their own right, from James Jean to Ekundayo, Wu Yue to Will Barras. The result of his “excuse”? Massive mural after mural that has now created a public, outdoor collection of the some of the world’s finest street art, with some walls oftentimes altering year after year. Last year’s Pow! Wow! in Hawaii? It brought over 100 artists the U.K., Germany, Egypt, Israel, Mexico, Lithuania, and the States.

And last year’s event in Long Beach? It turned, in the words of some, DTLB into one of SoCal’s finest outdoor museums, etching names James Jean, Tristan Eaton, Nychos, Cryptic, Fafi, Low Bros, Jeff Soto and more to the streets of Long Beach. On walls. For the public to explore.


Assistants help create Fafi’s piece on 4th between Elm and Linden; it has since been removed and is stored at interTrend Communications.

“Every year, every time, we tell ourselves that we are gonna scale it a bit back—y’know, it’s not easy managing all these artists taking on all these massive walls“ Wong said. “But each year we grew substantially—including to other cities [such as Taiwan, Singapore, and D.C.] has become a different kind of beast altogether.”

The ultimate point of Pow! Wow! is simple: create a global artist collective that seeks to alter the public landscape by providing the world’s leading street artists the largest canvases possible—the walls of buildings—while bringing together creative spirits in a way that is otherwise not possible. It has additionally brought forward musicians, photographers, and videographers to bring their own artistic flair to the event as it has expanded over the years.


This year’s dais includes a plethora of the world’s finest street, graphic, and traditional artists (including Long Beach’s own Yoskay Yamamoto and David Van Patten as well as Long Beach-connected Andrew Hem) and, more impressively, a wonderful array of women and duos.

Aaron Li-Hill: This Toronto native was raised in California but lives in New York and has ancestry in China—making his art one that is culturally captivating and wonderfully hypnotic. Li-Hill has an obsessed with “arresting motion,” where birds are halted mid-flight and creatures stare directly into your eyes.

Brendan Monroe: Monroe hails from Oakland and he isn’t just a painter… Sculptor, illustrator, and husband, Monroe’s interpretations of the world are rooted in science then executed through painting and sculpting.

Andrew Hem: The child of Cambodian immigrants, Hem is no stranger to Long Beach—or the horrors that his parents experienced under the Khmer Rouge. His works are somber, their temperatures cool—as if Hem’s environments are perpetually viewed through a blue lens—and incredibly engaging.

Cinta Vidal Agulló: Based in Barcelona, her work plays with geometry and architecture in a way reminiscent of M.C. Escher but with a colorful and playful quality that makes her definitively unique.

David Van Patten: This famed Long Beach artist’s work is prolific. He demonstrates visuals ranging from dreamlike absurdism, psychedelic surrealism, childlike-storybook simplicity, ethical fables, to disturbingly dark humor—and you can find his work on everything from album covers to cider bottles to art galleries.

DEFER: One of LA’s most respected graffiti artists since the 1980s. Leading the way for future writers, DEFER’s letter-forms create beautifully complex, pattern-like expanses where street meets fine art.

Edwin Ushiro: This Maui-born, California-raised artist attended the Art Center College of Design and attained a BFA in Illustration. His work, almost always revolving around hypnotic female figures, bounces between graphic-like design and the images of Hawaiian charm and color.

Ernest Zacharevic: Zacharevic is that artist where medium comes into question, where his work provokes not just philosophical questions about the state of the world but basic art questions like, “Is that a painting or a sculpture?” Whether its a barrel of monkeys (with a physical barrel embedded into the wall of the mural) or two children racing in shopping carts (where, once again, physical shopping carts are embedded into the wall), Zacharevic is as humorous as he is challenging.

Felipe Pantone: Straddling the line between graphical and hand-drawn, typography and graffiti, Felipe’s work “draws on our concerns of the digital age and the speed at which technology is developing, like looking several light years ahead into the future and discovering a new language in which to communicate.”

Gail Werner: Werner’s work reflects the landscape and cultural imagery related to her Native American background. Her tribal affiliation is with the Cupeño, Luiseño, and Kumeyaay tribes located in southern California. Many of the elements found in her work such as color, light, and plant and animal life are influenced by the southern California desert and mountain landscape.

HITOTZUKI: The collaborative name of husband’n’wife team Kami and Sasu, where Kami’s free-flow wavey composition is juxtaposed (and incorporated into) Sasu’s eerily perfected geometric shapes.

Hula: This Hawaii-grown artist is now based in New York. Self-taught, he travels the world creating paintings which capture the emotions and interactions between the figures and their environment. With each piece, Hula merges his backgrounds in both street and fine art.

Jaime Molina: Molina is an artist based in Denver, Colorado. He makes mixed-media paintings, sculptures and murals that often display a folk art influence. This artist is a multi-talented professional whose aesthetic is well-defined and evokes a ruminative yet dynamic atmosphere.

Kaplan Bunce: Artist, wood-maker and the 2015 President of the Kaua’i Powwow Council in Kauai. Boom.

KASHINK: Following in the footsteps of Fafi, the other French street artist who appeared in last year’s event in Long Beach, KASHINK paints huge four eyed characters (all male, usually hairy’n’fat), with thick lines, vivid colors, in a very distinctive style–all while wearing a fake mustache.

OG Slick: Slick is one of the most respected street artists on the West, from the streets of Honolulu to Los Angeles since the mid 1980s. And we’re not just talking graffiti; we’re talking murals, sneaker design, typography, video games…

OG23: Combining nearly a decades worth of painting experience, Melbourne artist OG23, is finally dipping his paint covered feet into the professional art world. Fusing precise visual connections, a multifaceted colour palette and design heavy aesthetics, OG23’s work welds an array of influences to produce a body of work, completely of his own.

Pantónio: Hailing from the Azores Islands of Portugal, he describes his work as “the intuitive drawing movement and fluidity between elements.” Animals, interweaving elements, and high contrasts define his aesthetic.

Sarah Joncas: This Canadian artist has garnered a name for herself by skipping animation (where she started) and joining the forces of the fine arts, creating images that harness the power of femininity and street smarts.

Sket One: Sket is no stranger to Long Beach; you can find murals of his in both the East Village in DTLB and on the front-facing wall of Fine Feathers Kombucha Co. along Long Beach Blvd. at 23rd. Playful, clean, and distinct, his obsessed with toys and fantasies always comes to life in his murals.

Telmo Miel: Netherlanders Telmo Pieper and Miel Krutzmann are the duo behind Telmo Miel, both of whom create realistic, giant murals with nothing but spray paint. Whether its blow-up pink flamingos or beautiful children, Telmo Miel’s mass-scale murals are captivating.

Yoskay Yamamoto: This Japanese-turned-Long Beach native ventured to the US at the age of 15, teaching himself the art of illustration while falling for the urban life of the West Coast. Call his work Japanese American urban pop art.

For more information, visit www.powwowlongbeach.com

All photos and copy are ©2016 Downtown Long Beach Associates unless otherwise stated. For inquiries regarding use of photos or copy, email info@dlba.org

Interview with KIKYZ1313 for “Progeny of Chaos”

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Thinkspace Gallery is proud to present artist KIKYZ1313’s debut solo exhibition with us, Progeny of Chaos. In anticipation of the show we have an exclusive interview with KIKYZ1313’s sharing with us her inspiration, fears, and creative process.

What was the inspiration behind this exhibition?
I am always inspired by the need to find certain explanation about human’s condition great contradictions such as the irrepressible violent and visceral urge against the limitless and vain pursue of modern man’s fulfillment in life.

I feel often unrelated and out of place from the usual way of modern life and I got frustrated most of time about the under-appreciation and misunderstanding of nature in man I see everyday. This is what makes me to be curious all the time to try to understand myself and consequently society, and leads me to observe and analyze human behavior, wether in the streets (when I manage to go out my tiny drawing world), personal experiences or through internet, with documental about disasters, wars, diseases, social issues etc. Those exceptional times where we show the duality of our existence: the iron beast and the crystal being.

‘The Progeny of Chaos’ is inspired by this feelings, very thin and spread in my head in the beginning, but after a drawing I entitled ‘The Disaster’s Heiress’ (which is a gloomy omen about Fukushima’s disasters) the idea become clear and I decided to make a series of chaotic drawings where will be shown the frailty and abhorrence of human nature.

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What were you scared of as a child? What scares you as an adult?
Oh boy.. there where a lot of things I was scared of as a child specially during night time! I was terrifyed by the idea of dying by spontaneous combustion, I couldn’t sleep well for several months for fear to be possessed by the devil (after watching the exorcist), I was afraid to stare to the night sky because of UFO sighting, big-eyed aliens, to be awaken when everybody was sleep, to see the witches’ green fire orbs rolling down the hills at night (after a tale my grandpa told me), dolls and teddy bears, and I could go on like this.
Guess I was a very innocent child and everything I heard seemed so real and possible to me.
Today some of those fears have stayed with me, but some others have grown in me with the age. And I think that the most scary thing that would happen to me would be to loose the love of my life and my artwork be forgotten.

Walk us through what a day in the studio looks like?
The studio is next to the bedroom, so as soon as I wake up , about 9:00 in the morning I like to go and check whatever I did last day in case my eyes where too tired and see if I messed it up in someway, relieved or worried I take a breakfast and start working in the drawing till 13:00 hrs approximately to do some grocery shopping for the day’s meal and go back home to cook. I like to take a little 20 or 30 min of rest and then I continue where I left the drawing. Around 19:00 hrs I take another half hour of spare time, play with the cat, social media, e-mails, etc. and go back to the drawing table for another couple more hours and finish the day with a nice cup of tea and movies. I usually do between 8 to 9 hours drawing, but when I’m in a rush for something I can even spend 12 hours drawing a day, and still it is hard for me to keep up with most of the artist out there, but really hope the effort stands out from every drawing.

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Aspects of your work are very light and inviting to the viewer, but the more detailed aspects of work are much darker; how did this balance develop in your work?
I think this is completely sub conscience, actually never thought about that before. I usually think very well everything before doing it, but with ‘The Progeny of Chaos’ the composition stage was a lot more organic and emotional, there are some key elements that leads the way into the meaning of each piece, but the other elements inside where picked solely by instinct and what I felt it would fit in that little new world. This series of work is a lot more emotional and true to my self.

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What were you listening to while creating this new body of work?
I listened to a lot of black metal, and drone doom but most of the time I found myself emerged into Ulver’s new album ‘ATGCLVLSSCAP’ and ‘Teachings in silence’
These albums where a huge inspiration for me to create my first silly musical experiment created for the show.

What’s your processes for conceptualizing a piece as it seems like you’re an observational sponge?
Haha, you could say that. Everything I see, hear or read that impresses me somehow I like to keep it. So I have a big collection of random images, sounds, and quotes in my computer that later turns into a title or an image. Most of time, the general concept of an artworks comes after something that I feel I need to talk about, or something that needs to be known and understand.
I have always believed that art must carry a social argument, as is the duty of the artist to show the flaws of its society in order to acknowledge them and maybe find a solution to them.

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Do different elements in your work hold symbolic meaning you’d like to elaborate on, for example the use of eyeballs in the center of flowers etc?
Definitely, it’s my goal to create a recognizable language trough symbols like that one. The symbolic meaning of the eye can be described as the indifferent but morbid curiosity of man towards the tragedy, the deformed and death.

If you hosted a dinner party, who would be on the guest list and what would be on the menu?
I’m a very wary and withdrawn person, so I would probably just invite a couple of close friends I feel comfortable with and make a barbecue in my house to talk about art, life and tell silly jokes.

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What advice has shaped you as an artist? What advice would you share with a young artist who admires your work?
The only advice someone has told me it’s been from my mother. Who advised me when I was 17 years old to spend the rest of my life doing something that I would do for free, after this I decided that drawing was the answer to this.
On the other hand, I would advice all the artists to think about what do they have to say to the world with their art, and if this something it’s relevant enough to transcend in history?

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The opening reception for KIKYZ1313 debut exhibition “Progeny of Chaos” is this Saturday, April 2nd. For more information on the exhibition please visit the Thinkspace Gallery website.

‘Back Talk’ feature with Tran Nguyen @ Juxtapoz…

Juxtapoz just posted their new ‘Back Talk’ interview segment with Tran Nguyen here. Tran is quite the character and it really comes out in this fun set of questions.
If you haven’t checked out the interview I did with Tran yet, you can check it out here.

Check out Tran’s blog here.

Artist website: http://www.trannguyen.org/

View the work from ‘Portraits of the Unknown’:

Currently on view through July 3rd

4210 Santa Monica Blvd. (near Sunset Junction) in Los Angeles

Thinkspace May News Update…

Kathleen Lolley‘s mural/installation as part of
‘…Away From The Things Of Man’

Currently on view at Thinkspace:

‘…Away From The Things Of Man’ featuring new works and an installation from Kathleen Lolley + ‘A Brief History’ from Allison Sommers & ‘Inner Myth Pt. 1’ from Joao Ruas in our project room. All current exhibits are on view through June 5th.

View works from our current exhibits via the links below:
Kathleen Lolley – http://thinkspacegallery.com/2009/05/works.php

Allison Sommers – http://thinkspacegallery.com/2009/05/project/works.php

Joao Ruas – http://thinkspacegallery.com/2009/05/project2/works.php

View opening night photos here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/thinkspace/sets/72157618023944392

Great video tour of all three exhibitions courtesy of mrvader24

Some of the press received thus far for our May exhibits:

Juxtapoz: http://www.juxtapoz.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=6127&Itemid=1

Fecal Face: http://www.fecalface.com/SF/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=1551&Itemid=90

Arrested Motion: http://arrestedmotion.com/2009/05/openings-allison-sommers-a-brief-history-joao-ruas-inner-myth-thinkspace-gallery/

Dailydujour: http://dailydujour.com/2009/05/09/seen-joo-ruas-inner-myth-part-1/
Dailydujour: http://dailydujour.com/2009/05/09/seen-allison-sommers-a-brief-history/
Dailydujour: http://dailydujour.com/2009/05/09/seen-kathleen-lolley-away-from-the-things-of-man/

Formag Mag: http://www.formatmag.com/news/kathleen-lolleys-away-from-the-things-of-man-exhibition/

Ekundayo tearing it up during last week’s Downtown Art Walk

Thank you to those that came down to the Downtown Art Walk last Thursday and said hey. We had a great time and Ekundayo and Mear One rocked some awesome pieces during their time at the Citizen Downtown Art Park.

Check out some coverage from Jack over at Dailydujour via the links below:

Mear One live painting at the Citizen Downtown Art Park: http://dailydujour.com/2009/05/16/seen-mear-one-for-thinkspace-downtown-art-park/

Ekundayo live painting at the Citizen Downtown Art Park: http://dailydujour.com/2009/05/16/seen-ekundayo-for-thinkspace-downtown-art-park/

Coming up at Thinkspace:
June 12th – July 3rd:
Sarah Joncas “Beneath The Seams” + Kelly Vivanco “The Conservatory” & Tran Nguyen “Portraits of the Unknown” as part of our ‘Fresh Faces’ series in our project room

July 10th – August 7th:
Stella Im Hultberg “Memento Mori” + Catherine Brooks “The Seeded Wind and Silent Motion; an Oeuvre of Beetled Beauty” & Hannah Stouffer “Twilight & Fate” as part of our ‘Fresh Faces’ series in our project room

August 8th & August 9th:
Dennis McNett “Year of the Wolf” (special weekend only event)

August 14th – Sept. 4th:
‘Point Of No Return’ group show curated by MODART Magazine with featured artist Mr. Jago

Sept. 11th – Oct. 2nd:
Camilla d’Errico & Caia Koopman + Lilly Piri, Fumi Nakamura + Yuka Yamaguchi in our project room and Nathan DeYoung as part of our ‘Fresh Faces’ series

Oct. 9th – Oct. 30th:
Esao Andrews solo + Tony Philippou in our project room and Joshua Mays as part of our ‘Fresh Faces’ series

Nov. 6th – Nov. 27th:
Timothy Karpinski solo + Turf One in our project room & Craig “Skibs” Barker as part of our ‘Fresh Faces’ series

Dec. 11th – Jan. 2nd:
Andy Kehoe solo + Jesse Hotchkiss in our project room & Rebecca Hahn as part of our ‘Fresh Faces’ series

Thank you all for the ongoing support!!!

Press coverage for Brandi Milne & Cherri Wood’s solos @ Thinkspace…

“…My girls are an endless narrative for me. She’s my way of voicing an emotion in a piece, sad, innocent, scared. The happy characters around her are flash and silly like the world we live in. The strawberries I draw are symbolic for my heart, or the hearts of people that I love. There’s a lot of strawberries in my recent work, for obvious reasons, they’re really special to me right now.” – Brandi Milne

Brandi Milne completely knocked it out of the park with Run Rabbit, Run and the press and fans agree. We had a huge turnout on opening night to support Brandi and many were out front waiting for the doors to open to take part in Brandi’s special ‘Easter Egg Hunt’ that was held during the opening reception. In all, over 50 eggs were hidden about the gallery, both inside and out, and over 40 lucky winners walked away with some amazing prizes, including one-of-a-kind original drawings from Brandi as well as special hand-knit stuffed Easter Bunny heads on lil’ sticks with ribbons and bells attached. Be sure to check out the opening night shots for many of the lucky winners and their prizes as well as pics of all the action, including shots of all the artists that came out that evening to support Brandi.

View the opening night photo set on our Flickr page here:


Interviews set up around Run Rabbit, Run:
’20 Questions’:


*Please note each of these interviews has a different vibe to ‘em and expose different elements of Brandi’s world… so please be sure to check ‘em all out if you’re a fan of her work or just discovering it for the 1st time.

Press previews of Run Rabbit, Run:
Arrested Motion


Coverage of the opening night of Run Rabbit, Run:


If all that wasn’t enough, she has a full interview in Vol. 11 of Hi Fructose now hitting stores and subscribers nationwide. If you are a subscriber, keep an eye out, you may be one of the lucky 100 to get one of Brandi’s special prints.

For more on that, check here:

THE Magazine also ran a nice preview in their April issue with an image accompanying the mention. View it here: http://www.thinkspacegallery.com/press/THE_pg1_apr09.jpg

Some amazing pieces are still on hand from the show. There are so many intricate levels of detail in each piece, many of which are hard to view online via a jpeg, so if you are local, please be sure to get out to view the show.

Brandi MilneRun Rabbit, Run works:

For all the latest, watch Brandi’s blog: http://brandimilne.blogspot.com/

Cherri Wood
trouble, clearly
On view in our project room through May 1st

Cherri Wood also debuted 22 new pieces for her debut Los Angeles solo show, opening in our project room, the same eve as Brandi’s show opened in our main gallery.

“This latest series is her best yet, with exploration of new techniques combined with a strong progression in the overall composition of her work.” Arrested Motion

Arrested Motion preview:

Cherri Woodtrouble, clearly works:
For all the latest, watch Cherri’s blog: http://cherridarling.blogspot.com/
Both exhibits run through May 1st.

Please be sure to get on out and view these great shows before they come off view next Friday, May 1st.