Photo Tours of ‘Common Ground’ group show, Floyd Strickland ‘Higher Learning’ and ABARS ‘Beware of Dawg’

Thinkspace presents a photo tour of ‘Common Ground’ group show curated by Kristy Moreno, which includes ceramicists from her clay community in Gallery III. Thinkspace is proud to present Floyd Strickland‘s sophomore solo exhibition Higher Learning in Gallery IV, which depicts a collection of portraits of African Americans students at HBCUs or aspiring towards higher education.   Last but not least, in the Dog House Gallery ‘Beware of ‘Dawg,’ a new collection of paintings, works on paper, ceramics and photographs from Abars, the mastermind behind Bloody Gums.

All exhibitions are on view at Thinkspace Projects now through April 27, 2024. The Thinkspace Projects compound is open Tuesday through Saturday from noon to 6pm. Please note the Dog House Gallery and our courtyard are only open for viewing on Saturdays.

Photos by @BirdManPhotos.

On view April 6 thru April 27, 2024

Thinkspace Projects
4207 W. Jefferson Blvd.
4217 W. Jefferson Blvd.
Los Angeles, California 90016

Continue reading Photo Tours of ‘Common Ground’ group show, Floyd Strickland ‘Higher Learning’ and ABARS ‘Beware of Dawg’

Video Tour & Opening Reception of April 2024 Exhibitions at Thinkspace Projects

Thank you all so much for coming out this past Saturday!!! What a night! Many thanks to all that came through. Much love to all of this month’s exhibiting artists, as well. Very special vibes all evening long. Shawn Forever.


Thinkspace presents a video tour and opening reception of ‘A Better Tomorrow’ Group Show in Gallery I. Along with the debut North American solo exhibition from artist Buakow Phasom ‘My Precious Things’ in Gallery II. In Gallery III, ‘Common Ground’ group show curated by Kristy Moreno includes ceramicists from her clay community. In Gallery IV Floyd Strickland is back for his sophomore solo exhibition Higher Learning.’ Last but not least, in the Dog House Gallery ‘Beware of ‘Dawg,’ a new collection of paintings, works on paper, ceramics and photographs from Abars, the mastermind behind Bloody Gums.

A BETTER TOMORROW
Group Exhibition
Gallery I

BUAKOW PHASOM@buakow_phasom
My Precious Things
Gallery II

COMMON GROUND
Group Exhibition
Curated by Kristy Moreno | @kristy.moreno
Gallery III

FLOYD STRICKLAND@floyd_strickland
Higher Learning
Gallery IV

ABARS@abars
Beware of Dawg
Dog House Gallery

Shout out to all that rocked GoopMassta’s Night Market in our courtyard with us including Crux, Fabez, Upset Mind, CatGods, Anthony Patrick Manorek, Venice Beats, Mad Barista 1989 and Kabob Senpai.

On view until April 27. Our main two spaces are open Tues. through Sat. from 12-6pm. Please Note: our Dog House Gallery & courtyard are only open on Saturdays from 12-6pm.

Thinkspace Projects
4207 W. Jefferson Blvd.
4217 W. Jefferson Blvd.
Los Angeles 90016

Video + photos courtesy Birdman Photos

Continue reading Video Tour & Opening Reception of April 2024 Exhibitions at Thinkspace Projects

April Exhibitions featuring works from Buakow Phasom, Kristy Moreno and friends, Floyd Strickland, Abars, and ‘A Better Tomorrow’ group show open this Saturday April 6, 2024

Thinkspace Projects presents the collector previews for our upcoming April 2024 exhibitions. In our main gallery we are thrilled to introduce one of our biggest group shows to date with our ‘A Better Tomorrow’ group exhibition, alongside our debut solo show from Buakow Phasom in Gallery II In Gallery III we welcome back Kristy Moreno and this time she’s brought along some friends ini ‘Common Ground.’ Upstairs in Gallery IV we welcome back Floyd Strickland for our sophomore solo show together plus out in our courtyard a new collection of work from Abars lines the walls of Brek’s Dog House Gallery.

Thinkspace Projects presents:

A BETTER TOMORROW
Group Exhibition
(Gallery I)

BUAKOW PHASOM
My Precious Things
(Gallery II)

COMMON GROUND
Group Exhibition
Curated by Kristy Moreno
(Gallery III)

FLOYD STRICKLAND
Higher Learning
(Gallery IV)

ABARS
Beware of Dawg
(Dog House Gallery)

Opening Celebration:
Saturday, April 6 from 6-10pm

  • many of the exhibiting artists will be in attendance

When attending one of our opening celebrations, please be sure to also check out the Thinkspace Night Market located in the courtyard between our two spots featuring an artist mini-mart, DJs, an open bar, a weed bar, amazing food, murals, art installations and so much more!

On view April 6 – April 27, 2024

A BETTER TOMORROW
Group Exhibition
(Gallery I)

Our new group exhibition is named ‘A Better Tomorrow’ and we have aimed to inspire all those in the show to create a work that showcases how we can all work towards a better tomorrow for ourselves and for future generations. Be that via community activism / service, building on family traditions to keep one’s culture alive, fighting climate change, helping our animal population, teaching our youth, inspiring change in perspectives towards cultures unfamiliar to our own, saving our ecosystem / nature… whatever constitutes ‘A Better Tomorrow’ for them and their loved ones.

Featuring new works from:
Antonio J. Ainscough
Estefania Ajcip
Alex Face
Fajar Amali
Adrian Armstrong
Vincent Arnold
Reen Barrera
Benzilla
Blic
Destiny Branay
Brek
Ezra Brown
Stephanie Buer
Phoenix Chan
Cham Cristobal
Emilia Cruz
Cryptik
Dragon76
Dullk
Leo Eguiarte
Sofia Enriquez
Jordan Ferguson
Liz Flores
Priscilla S. Flores
Jacub Gagnon
Brian “Dovie” Golden
GoopMassta
Shinnosuke Hariya
Willem Hoefnaggel
Anjastama Hp
Anthony Hurd
Charlie Immer
Ronald Jackson
Tosin Kalejaye
Leon Keer
Jolene Lai
Young Lee
Scott Listfield
Huntz Liu
Lucas Lobo
Lonesome Town
Yu-Chun Ma
Kiara Aileen Machado
Sean Mahan
Mando Marie
Steve Martinez
Eli McMullen
Millo
Vanessa Morata
Mister Toledo
Mr. B Baby
Alvaro Naddeo
Bell Nakai
Fumi Nakamura
Taylor Lee Nicholson
Jerry Pena
Kevin Peterson
Gustavo Rimada
Euan Roberts
Roja
Fandi Angga Saputra
Byun Sehee
Stom500
Andie Taylor
Yusuke Toda
TRNZ
Melly Trochez
Shar Tuiasoa
Jacqueline Valenzuela
Roos van der Vliet
Michael Vasquez
Daisy Velasco
Nuno Viegas
Brian M. Viveros
Cy Wang
Brad Woodfin
Wang Yalong
Yokoteen
Cheong Yoon
Jaime Zacarias (aka GERMS)
Manuel Zamudio

BUAKOW PHASOM
My Precious Things
(Gallery II)

Thinkspace Projects is honored to be hosting the debut North American solo exhibition from artist Buakow Phasom from Thailand. In ‘My Precious Things’, we see Buakow bringing together a collection of work focusing on the adventures of her beloved cat.

Show Statement:
My works often talk about my own emotional experiences or observations of people around and put their story in my paint.

I enjoy considering simple feelings such as sadness and loneliness, mixed with the stories that originate from these feelings. and put my own imagination into it. It makes me happy and excited every time I get to work.

The concept of this work is about taking care of our hearts or our feelings. I think the main thing that controls who we are is our mind and heart.

And perhaps the best cure for feeling bad inside is a small, cute thing. In this series, I drew my cat. Her name is Ungpung. She is a mischievous cat but she is cute. When we are sad, we are with a cat and we feel better. When we feel sad or discouraged, we naturally have to find a way to heal ourselves in some way.

Artist Bio:
I am an ordinary person who has liked to draw since childhood. Until at a certain age in life that very down.

I didn’t expect that painting just one picture would help heal our hearts this much.

That was the starting point of deciding to paint. Painting makes me feel better from sad things in my brain because when I concentrate on painting I will stop to think about anything. It feels like my brain relaxes like when I sleep.

Pictures that can connect stories, feelings and yourself. We want to write it. Write as much as I can in this one life. Cuteness, mystery, melancholy, or any of the many feelings that viewers can relate to through my work. It is nonverbal. That I want to communicate to you, but you don’t have to understand.

I’m so glad I was able to connect with myself, my feelings, and my passions. Mix all of this together and create my paintings.

It was like I knew myself completely.

It’s very important for me because I used to be a person who never saw any value in myself. Until I knew I could paint.

My paintings come from all my mind, I hope you guys like them.

COMMON GROUND
Group Exhibition
Curated by Kristy Moreno
(Gallery III)

Featuring new works from:
Renata Cassiano Alvarez
Soojin Choi
Brooke Felix
Michelle Im
Haylie Jimenez
Sydnie Jimenez
Gabo Mortinez
Kristy Moreno
Tracy Wilkinson

A few words from curator Kristy Moreno:
When I was presented with the opportunity to curate a group exhibition of my choice, I knew exactly who I wanted to include. I decided to round up these artists because they are people who freely share their knowledge of the material, provide guidance to me and others concerning studio practices and they make an effort to think outside of a scarcity mindset. The artists on this roster all come from different backgrounds, vary in their aesthetics and come from different regions around the world. Although we have our differences as a group we do share a common ground of wanting to build a community of inclusion within the field of ceramics.

‘Common Ground’ includes the artists I’ve had the honor of meeting within the clay community over the past few years. I’m fortunate enough to call these artists my friends, peers and mentors and I’m delighted to share space with them this upcoming month. Thanks again to Andrew and the Thinkspace family for this amazing opportunity.

FLOYD STRICKLAND
Higher Learning
(Gallery IV)

Excited to welcome Floyd Strickland back for his sophomore solo exhibition with us here at Thinkspace Projects.

Show Statement:
‘Higher Learning’ depicts a collection of portraits of African Americans students at HBCUs or aspiring towards higher education. The collection aims to reinvigorate positive portrayals of HBCUs in pop culture, highlighting their historical resilience and empowerment. It underscores the significance of preserving and elevating these institutions as pillars of leadership and social progress. Additionally, three of the paintings prominently feature my son. I hope that through these portraits, he can envision himself as a successful college student, contributing to the normalization of higher education within him and my community.

This body of work serves as a progression from my previous show, ‘Super Rich Kids,’ by further portraying young black individuals in a positive light. It aims to highlight the positive aspects of our culture and emphasize the significant contributions of African Americans to society.

Artist Bio:
Floyd Strickland, a versatile artist based in Los Angeles, CA, offers an introspective and critical exploration of American culture, particularly through the perspectives of black and brown children. Inspired by his own childhood environment, Strickland employs realistic figures that intertwine with aspects of American cultural imagery, resulting in ethereal and figurative paintings.

Strickland’s artistic journey is a testament to the distinctiveness of his work. Having previously engaged in building and renovating elementary schools nationwide, he observed a troubling lack of confidence in many black and brown children—a struggle he himself experienced during his own upbringing. To address this issue, Strickland embarked on a mission to create large-scale figurative oil paintings that depict the beauty, strength, and untapped potential within these children.

Strickland’s own children often serve as focal points in his artwork, reflecting his deep care and emotional connection to them. He strives to portray them as larger-than-life figures, conveying the immense love he feels for them.

ABARS
Beware of Dawg
(The Doghouse Gallery)

A new collection of paintings, works on paper, ceramics and photographs from Abars, the mastermind behind Bloody Gums. ‘Beware of ‘Dawg’ pays homage to the backyard guard dawgs of America, the often overlooked and forgotten dawgs who live a hard life, but still deserve the love and attention of a good human.

Abars has spent years working on developing and building worlds with his friends based on their creative projects in his role as production lead for DIY underground art collective, Bloody Gums. About 2 years ago he started making work of his own after a long hiatus from creating. He started painting dogs for the simple reason that they made him happy, and they were a form of distraction from all the recent traumatic events the whole world has been experiencing these past few years.

In preparing for this show, a whole world was born from Abar’s early comic style paintings of dogs in back yards hanging out next to fences and dog houses. The featured installation in ‘Beware of Dawg’ is meant to take you into the world of the Dawgs.

Some Beautiful Words From Longtime Gallery Family Member Bekka Koontz

In the back pages of the August 2006 issue of JUXTAPOZ there was an announcement of Thinkspace’s relocation from its original spot on Melrose, leased through a handshake, to artist Logan Hick‘s studio space on 4210 Santa Monica in Silver Lake, the re-located gallery headed up by L. Croskey and the Hosner brothers. A published mistake that would be rectified in later issues of JUXTAPOZ clarifying the relationship between Thinkspace co-founders Andrew Hosner, wife Shawn Vezinaw (Hosner), and close friend L. Croskey, who was the founder of underground art event Cannibal Flower that underscored the LA Art Scene in the early aughts. Andrew and Shawn connected with L. Croskey through mutual friends as the couple documented the burgeoning scene within the digital pages of their art blog Sour Harvest, which, at the time, provided regular updates on gallery openings, artist interviews and exhibitions of note to several thousand art lovers each month well before any other site was doing so and before many of today’s go to art sites had even launched.

Nearly twenty years later, Thinkspace has fostered the growth of emerging artists and leveraged established names to solidify the importance of New Contemporary work within the greater art landscape. Yet, the history and legacy of this LA establishment and third space for the Los Angeles creative community is threatened by the ramifications of having cancer in America and, with it, the opportunity to recognize one of the most genuine gallery owners in the art market. A fierce woman and gallery mother with a genderless name. Collectors often assumed Shawn to be a man and others that were unfamiliar with Thinkspace, and at times, the tone would shift, but people quickly understood Shawn was not one to be a pushover.

Andrew Hosner highlighted the impact of co-founder and wife Shawn Mary Vezinaw Hosner, who acted as the gallery’s Senior Director and Financial Coordinator in interviews and on social media by expressing how her contributions helped to propel the spaces forward with every growth spurt. The yin to his yang, a balancing force that ensured Thinkspace Projects was in a position to participate in art fairs that brought forth recognition to the movement and collaborative projects with galleries and museums developing curated exhibitions across the country and abroad.

Andrew, Shawn, and L.C. photographed by Estevan Oriol

The 20th-anniversary museum exhibition for JUXTAPOZ at the LA Municipal Art Gallery in 2015 was a milestone moment for Thinkspace, as the show was coordinated in tandem with the debut museum solo exhibition from the esteemed Robert Williams with ‘SLANG Aesthetics!‘. William’s show going on to tour four other museums across the U.S. 

The momentum growing with curated exhibitions at the Honolulu Museum of Art and Long Beach Museum of Art as part of our ongoing partnership with Jasper Wong, founder of Pow! Wow!, a non-profit organization of contemporary artists committed to community enrichment. Thinkspace’s intervention pushed Executive Director of the Long Beach Museum of Art, Ron Nelson, into this Contemporary art world subsect as he was “already looking down the rabbit hole of New Contemporary art and street art.” The show ‘Vitality and Verve‘ pulled in a record number of visitors over the museum’s 60+ year history, as the Long Beach Museum of Art became host to the first-ever all-ephemeral mural exhibition in the USA, which was executed by internationally recognized street artists and muralists who painted directly on the museum walls.

The New Contemporary Art Movement’s institutional recognition is part of Thinkspace Projects‘ continued mission. Ensuring living artists are being supported and able to be seen by a hungry audience of art enthusiasts who are looking for voices that reflect their unique experience. Our second special collaborative exhibition alongside Ozzie Juarez‘s Tlaloc Studio at Muzeo Museum and Cultural Center in Anaheim, ‘TRADITIONS: Honoring Heritage, Ritual, and Family‘ pays homage to the many familiar and cultural facts of our diverse Southern California landscape. The celebration of life for our family member, Shawn Mary Vezinaw Hosner, was held just a day before this meaningful show’s closing, the culmination a bittersweet echo of how our community influences our voice. Shawn’s influence is seen amongst the hundreds and hundreds of faces who came to celebrate her brilliant life and rich contribution to the LA art and music scene.

The belief that a gallery needs to earn and maintain an artist’s respect through ethical and proactive investment in their growth has been a key component to the sustaining business model. Andrew, Shawn, and LC maintained secondary income streams for years to ensure the gallery’s profits were reinvested into its advancement in the LA art scene. The Thinkspace owners’ collective passion aligned with providing a platform for artists to be seen and exposed to a collector base that is more concerned with building an art collection based on personal taste and not potential resell value. Unlike gallery spaces that operate on the intergenerational wealth of the artistic elite that comes with gratuitous praise and prestige. Thinkspace had been running for 6 years before co-owner Andrew Hosner was able to leave his role at Century Media, and the gallery was able to hire full-time staff with Associate Director Ken Flewellyn. Shawn continued to uphold her role at Ipecac Records til 2017. L. Croskey, Head Preparator, a known Westside DJ with independent expansion of his entrepreneurial role with Art Bar LA in Mar Vista where he continues to provide portfolio reviews, a page from Thinkspace’s early days in Silver Lake where artists like Dabs Myla were discovered.

The wisdom of Shawn Vezinaw has accompanied each expansion of Thinkspace Projects, currently located in the growing West Jefferson district, is a factor that would be limitedly acknowledged by the art establishment as her husband and figured head Andrew Hosner has been the face and voice of Thinkspace Projects for a majority of the last 19 years. Shawn was never one to draw attention to herself. But ask any of the artists who have come through the gallery’s doors, and Shawn’s impact is felt through their ongoing career developments and outpouring of love. Shawn, like most mothers, her contributions can go widely unnoticed, and her influence is rarely seen, although experienced through the planned dinners, booked travel, and the cultivation of community through ensuring connections are made between the talented voices that will shape this next era of art.

Now, Thinkspace, in its 19th year, struggles to fully grasp where it may go from here as co-owner Shawn Vezinaw Hosner joined her ancestors on Wednesday, February 14th, after a courageous 15-month battle with stage 4 metastatic breast cancer. The illness exhausted the Hosner’s personal savings and cut badly into Thinkspace’s savings and safety net. A once lean gallery that’s made it through several fluctuations in the economy now relies on its community more than ever to help see a legacy founded and fostered by Shawn continue on and shape the future of the LA Art Scene, as inspired and determined as the landscape its carved out the last two decades.

Thinkspace was the first gallery to host a solo, two-person show, and/or provide institutional inclusion of several prominent artists over the last 19 years including Michael Alvarez, Joshua Petker, Peter Chan, Lola Gil, Felipe Pantone, Hilda Palafox (aka Poni), Roby Dwi Antono, Ozzie Juarez, Keita Morimoto, Giorgiko, Yosuke Ueno, Robert Pokorny, Julio Anaya Cabanding, Noritoshi Mitsuuchi, Hebru Brantley, Taylor Lee, Imon Boy, Perez Bros, Amy Crehore, Ryan Hewett, Willem Hoeffnagel, Kristy Moreno, Audrey Kawasaki, Esao Andrews, B. Robert Moore, Sydnie Jimenez, Dabs Myla, Seth Armstrong, Ozabu, Yasuhito Kawasaki, Kukula, Camilla d’Errico, Brandi Milne, Andrew Hem, Amy Sol, Joao Ruas, Brian M. Viveros, Sandra Chevrier, Michael Reeder, Alex Face, Brett Amory, Ana Bagayan, So Youn Lee, Ryol, Cinta Vidal, TRNZ, Kayla Mahaffey, Sainer, DULK, MILLO, Saner Edgar, and ROA. 

Thinkspace Projects has curated and collaborated with several major art institutions in the Los Angeles / Orange County areas, including:
Long Beach Museum of Art (Long Beach, CA.)
Lancaster Museum of Art and History (Lancaster, CA.)
Lancaster Museum of Art and History: MOAH CEDAR (Lancaster, CA.)
MUZEO Museum and Cultural Center (Anaheim, CA.)
Fullerton Museum Center (Fullerton, CA.)
The Brand Library & Art Center (Glendale, CA.)
Walter N. Marks Center for the Arts (Palm Desert, CA.)
Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery at Barnsdall Art Park (Hollywood, CA.)
The Muckenthaler Cultural Center (Fullerton, CA.)
Fullerton College Art Gallery (Fullerton, CA.)

In addition to numerous curated exhibitions abroad with various museums and institutions, including:
Urban Nation (Berlin, Germany)
STRAAT (Amsterdam, Netherlands)
Mesa Contemporary Arts Museum (Mesa, AZ.)
Fort Wayne Museum of Art (Fort Wayne, IN.)
Honolulu Museum of Art (Honolulu, HI.)
LSU Museum of Art (Baton Rouge, LA.)
Elmhurst Art Museum (Elmhurst, IL.)
University of Arizona (Tucson, AZ.)
University of Texas (El Paso, TX.)

Along with curated exhibitions with gallery partners in Hong Kong, London, Berlin, New York City, San Francisco, Chicago, Portland, New Orleans, and Detroit.

Please help us bounce back after Shawn’s cancer battle

Shawn Mary Vezinaw Hosner’s cancer battle exhausted the Hosner’s personal savings and cut badly into Thinkspace’s savings and financial safety net. We need the help and support of our worldwide art community now more so than ever, and can not let cancer take away what Shawn and the Thinkspace Family has spent the last 19 years building.

Any additional funds raised will go towards a future art award / fund we are putting together with JUXTAPOZ. Full details will follow on this in the coming months.

Your support can make a tremendous difference in making sure Thinkspace Projects is around for years to follow and that we also build towards a lasting annual award in her name. Any contribution, whether big or small, will be greatly appreciated. Here are some ways you can help:

Make a Donation: Your financial contribution will go a long way in helping us honor Shawn’s memory and legacy, helping us to rebuild our savings so that we can operate at full capacity and to build towards an annual artist fund / award / contest with Shawn’s favorite magazine, JUXTAPOZ.

Share Our Campaign: Please share this and our fundraising campaign with your friends, family, and social networks to help us reach a wider audience.

We want to express our heartfelt gratitude in advance for any support you can provide. Together, we can ensure that Shawn’s legacy continues to grow and allow another generation of emerging artists to be inspired by her vision, love and kindness, while simultaneously helping our family in this most difficult time.

Thank you for being a part of preserving the memory and legacy of one of the best humans ever (in our humble opinions).. If you have any questions or would like more information, please feel free to reach out.

SHAWN MARY VEZINAW HOSNER
3/11/66 to 2/14/24

SHAWN FOREVER.

Photo by BirdMan

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Help us bounce back with a donation via our Venmo
20% off all works on our print shop

March Exhibitions featuring works from David Kaye, Young-Ji Cha, STOM500, Andrea Guzzetta, and ‘FRESH’ group show open this Saturday March 9, 2024

Thinkspace Projects presents:

FRESH
Group Show
(Gallery I)

DAVID KAYE
Whispers
(Gallery II)

YOUNG-JI CHA
Dear My Dead
(Gallery III)

STOM500
Alliance Ethnique
(Gallery IV)

ANDREA GUZZETTA
Glass Houses
(The Doghouse Gallery)

Opening Reception:
Saturday, March 9 from 6-10pm

Plus be sure to also check out the Thinkspace Night Market located in the courtyard between our two spaces featuring live painting, DJs, open bar, a weed bar, an artist mini-mart, amazing food, murals, art installations and so much more!

On view March 9 – March 30, 2024

Thinkspace Projects
4207 W. Jefferson Blvd.
4217 W. Jefferson Blvd.
Los Angeles 90016

______________________________________

‘FRESH’
Group Show
(Gallery I)

‘FRESH’ returns with a new installment this year, showcasing a vast array of styles and mediums from around the world. The majority of the creatives featured all have solo shows or larger showings ahead with us in 2024 or 2025. This special presentation serves as a bit of a looking glass into our future. We fully believe in all of the artists featured and we are so excited to share them with you all. 

Featuring 2-4 new works each from:
Kim Borja
GNCH
Lucas Lobo
Yu-Chun Ma | aka Pony Ma
Janiece Maddox
Eli McMullen
Muebon
Janina Myronowa
Bell Nakai
Taylor Schultek
Sr. Papá Chango
Andie Taylor
Melly Trochez
Wang Yalong
Yokoteen
Cheong Yoon
Jaime Zacarias | aka GERMS

______________________________________

DAVID KAYE
‘Whispers’
(Gallery II)

Thinkspace Projects is honored to be hosting the debut North American solo exhibition from UK artist David Kaye. In ‘Whispers’, we see Kaye brining a together a collection of his precocious li’l characters for their first big trip together across the pond. 

About the artist:
David Kaye was born in Bradford, England in 1986, during the time when cartoons were at their best and going to play out in the morning and not coming home till the streetlamps came on was the norm. From an early age I was drawing the cartoons and putting my own little twist onto the things they were doing. Fast forward 10 years and I’m in the middle of Afghan with the British army, I found time to burn in between patrols so started drawing again. I practiced drawing objects that was in magazines that had been send out to us and mixed it with a cartoon aspect of the things I used to draw when I was a child.

When I left the forces, I found myself slightly lost and was told to turn to my creative side to help me. I started painting and this opened a new feeling of achievement and ambition. I took to the kitchen “that was my studio for a while” and started painting portraits where I taught myself the techniques that are seen in my work today with the realistic aspects of some of the objects in my paintings. I also started adding hidden and visible emotions within them to acknowledge some of the things that I have felt or been through. The works are also heavily influenced by my daughter who loves everything a young girl should like unicorns, animals and everything magical mixed in with some of the toys that I grew up with. The figure that is in all the pieces is a childlike figure wearing a helmet with big glossy spheres attached and is usually accompanied by an animal or object that has a realistic aspect to it. 

______________________________________

YOUNG-JI CHA
‘Dear My Dead
(Gallery III)

Thinkspace Projects is thrilled to welcome Young-Ji Cha back for her sophomore solo exhibition with us. With ‘Dear My Dead’, Cha continues to develop her universe and cast of characters that showcase underlying tropes of morality, life, and death.

Artist Statement:

‘Dear My Dead’ is a series I started with wishing for a way to deliver a message to loved ones who have passed. I wanted to create images where I could express to them how their families are doing and send them their favorite foods along with having one last drink with them. Translating death into images of my little world was my way of mourning and it lifted a lot of pure sadness when I thought of them. The process of creating this series helped me to remember them with joyful memories and believe that they are comfortably waiting for me on the other side until it’s time. I hope these paintings can be relatable to others who are missing their loved ones and bring some comfort to them as they did for me.

About the artist:
Young-Ji Cha was born in Seoul, Korea, and currently works in Los Angeles, California. She started her training in classical fine arts and later in illustration. Her recent works are inspired by traditional Korean elements, folktales, and various forms of animation. Within her paintings lies various characters which often are juxtaposed against a thin line between reality and fantasy. Although the themes are seemingly whimsical in nature, they showcase underlying tropes of morality, life, and death. 

Besides freelance illustration and gallery art, Young-Ji Cha also works with various studios within the animation industry as a visual development artist. 

______________________________________

STOM500
‘Alliance Ethnique’
(Gallery IV)

Excited to welcome Stom500 back for his sophomore solo exhibition with us here at Thinkspace Projects. ‘Alliance Ethnique’ is a reference to the name of a French rap group from the ’90s, whose songs are always very positive and defend respect and cultural diversity. It’s a play on words to define Stom’s new exhibition as a whole:

Artist Statement:

Alliance for the “living together” aspect, the team aspect through my animal compositions, which all seem to be moving in the same direction to become one. It’s a reference to tribes from a general point of view. Both from an ancestral point of view, through masks, jewelry and fabrics and from a modern point of view, with the reflection of what is a tribe today? Sports fans? Music fans?

Wearing a Chicago Bulls tracksuit today shows that you’re a fan of the team and belong to a specific group. Every country has its own culture, idols and modern crews.

In my new works focusing on masks, the hamster refers to an endangered species in my region, which for me is a strong symbol of animals to be saved. On the other hand, the sculpture of the owl represents a very strong animal from Native American culture and makes the link with the gallery in LA. In both works, I drew inspiration from various techniques and systems to create motifs inspired by tribes from all over the planet. The idea was not to steal a tribe’s culture, but to pay homage to them. Both masks are an opening to the world around us.

About the artist:

Cultivating a delirious and humorous universe nourished by the euphoric energy of cartoons, this self-taught virtuoso from a neighboring village in the Swiss municipality of Basel is multiplying his talents. Trained as a graphic designer, professional illustrator and renowned graffiti artist for In the Over the past five years, Stom500 has been, as he defines himself with humor, a veritable “Swiss army knife”. Spray, brushes, acrylic … Large murals or small canvases: he uses a variety of mediums and styles with a predilection for animal themes which, under the varnish of pleasure, carry a relevant message, often humanistic or ecological. Like his swirling bees or his seemingly incompatible bestiaries, such as the raven and the fox inspired by La Fontaine’s fables.

______________________________________

ANDREA GUZZETTA

‘Glass Houses’
(The Doghouse Gallery)

In Andrea Guzzetta’s new collection, ‘Glass Houses’, the work focus entirely on endangered species. In the centerpiece, “Mutually Assured”, several endangered species of the Amazon are encapsulated within the crystalline palace of a human skull. This piece is a reminder that the fate of humanity is intertwined with the fates of all animal life. 

The other skulls, housing endangered animals of the same species, reflect how delicate the continuation of their species is. The single outlier, a group of native Everglades animals resting on the backs of manatees, represent a more hopeful scene – how human efforts can help declining animal populations as we’ve seen manatee populations increase in the last few years. 

Despite all the skulls, Guzzetta’s message is a hopeful one – that the fragile beauty of the world can be preserved with the right effort.

About the artist:
Andrea Guzzetta is an LA-based artist obsessed with the harmonious relationship between love and death. She grew up barefoot in a remote part of the midwest picking berries for breakfast and spending summers laying in the grass listening to grasshoppers and watching for deer. Long enchanted by the beauty of nature, she has extensive bone, feather, and pressed flower collections from her youth and subsequent travels. 

Heavily influenced by Zoobooks, Lisa Frank, Polly Pocket and Littlest Pet Shop with a sprinkling of early childhood trauma, her work focuses on cultivating perfect little worlds for her animal families full of tranquil abundance even while the promise of eventual mortality encompasses each scene. Although each piece is, at its core, a reminder of mortality, the cheery palette reflects the artist’s opinions that all is as it should be, that the promise of death is integral to the nature of life.

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