Thinkspace presents a photo tour of our sophomore show with artist TRNZ ‘The Weight of Things’ in Gallery III. Gallery IV holds Jolene Lai’s ‘Secret Garden,’ a collection of oil paintings and drawings inviting viewers to gaze out of the window of their souls to see what lies within. And in The Dog House, the debut exhibition from TENSER ‘Three Halves,’ which was curated by Carmen Acosta.
All exhibitions are on view at Thinkspace Projects now through October 28, 2023. 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.
Thinkspace presents a virtual tour of Langston Allston is in Gallery I with ‘A Passing Love.’ The show conveys real stories and experiences with striking colors. In Gallery II, Fajar Amali brings his new show ‘Among Our Existence.’ The artist’s collection explores the worth of things that are often underestimated. TRNZ is showing ‘The Weight of Things’ in Gallery III. The show assembles visual imagery in uncanny ways drawing from the artist’s own memories. ‘Secret Garden’ by Jolene Lai is in Gallery IV and is inviting viewers to gaze out of the window of their souls to see what lies within. In the Dog House Gallery, TENSER takes an expansive look at his life up to now drawing on studio work, graffiti, and street portraits with ‘Three Halves.’ Lastly our Viewing Room holds ‘Spirit Ditch’, a special installation from Al Marcano, that represents finding a new religion through skateboarding.
Many thanks to all of the art lovers that flowed through our space this past Saturday to celebrate the opening of our October exhibitions. Much love to all of this month’s exhibiting artists for delivering such stellar bodies of work, what a special celebration it was!
On view through October 28, 2023. 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. Free and open to all.
Thinkspace Projects 4207 W. Jefferson Blvd + 4217 W. Jefferson Blvd. Los Angeles, California 90016
Thinkspace is excited to present their sophomore show with artist TRNZ ‘The Weight of Things.’ A few years ago, TRNZ developed a fascination with using mundane things and figures, arranged to loom over his work, presenting an awkward mystery. The artist from the Philippines uses ‘The Weight of Things’ to navigate the same process with an exceedingly charged relationship between the figures and the objects surrounding them. Taking cues and motifs from his own memories and experiences, he assembles visual imagery in uncanny ways.
Our interview with TRNZ reveals how he taps into his creative flow, who his creative influences are, and about his fantasy dinner party and guest list.
What themes were you exploring in this body of work? Did you have a piece that was particularly challenging?
A few years ago, I developed a fascination with using mundane things and figures misarranged to loom an awkward mystery over my work.
For this solo exhibition, I carried on the same theme but pushed further the charged relationship between my figures and the objects around them.
What does a day in the studio look like for you? How do you structure your days?
A day in my studio completely mirrors my work. There’s nothing special when you really look at it on the surface. There’s a cup of coffee, music/podcast in the background, and scattered paint all over. The interesting ideas come up during the lulls, when I remember certain objects, and places from old and try to incorporate them into my work.
Do you have any rituals that help you tap into a creative flow?
I just do a lot of biking around the city and recently, I’ve been into Magic the Gathering.
What is your most favorite and least favorite part of the creative process?
My favorite part is thinking of the ideas. The least would be cramming, because I feel like I am stifled when I work so closely towards a deadline. That’s why as much as possible, I really try to work ahead of time.
Who are some of your creative influences? Why do they inspire you?
Recently, I was able to purchase from a book thrift shop a copy of “The New Yorker, 15th Anniversary Cartoon Collection.” It was so inspiring to read it because it was overloaded with wit and irony. It was the right flavor I needed to splash over my art.
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?
Totally unrelated to art but this has been a frustration since I was a kid. I really wanted to be good at street magic. Haha.
What do you hope viewers take away or experience while viewing your work?
Anything really. I’d like to think that my work can be interpreted in a variety of ways just because most of the time, it doesn’t really make sense. As long as I don’t get indifference, I feel like I accomplished what I wanted to accomplish.
If you could collaborate with any artists in any sort of medium (i.e. movies, music, painting) who would you collaborate with, and what would you be making?
Collaboration is something that I’ve done and will regularly seek out to do. I did a few now with some local music artists and brands.
An animated short movie is something I’ve been itching to do though.
Who would be on the guest list if you could throw a dinner party for five people, dead or alive? What would be on the menu? What would be the icebreaker question?
Lionel Messi, Jean-Michel Basquiat and Tory Belleci, Kari Byron & Grant Imahara from Mythbusters, enjoying Filipino food on the menu.
A very random collection of people I know, but I just thought of the top 5 people I want to meet in real life.
What was in your musical rotation during the development of this body of work?
Opening Reception: Saturday, October 7 from 6-10pm
On view October 7 – October 28, 2023 at:
Thinkspace Projects 4207 W. Jefferson Blvd + 4217 W. Jefferson Blvd. Los Angeles, California 90016
Collector Preview will be shared on Monday, October 2.
LANGSTON ALLSTON ‘A Passing Love’ (Gallery I)
In the Main Gallery, Thinkspace Projects is pleased to present ‘A Passing Love,’ the gallery’s sophomore solo exhibition with artist Langston Allston. Allston conveys real stories and experiences with striking colors. He addresses his work with hope, with curiosity, and with the quiet sadness of knowing nothing is ever going to be the same.
Artist Statement: The show is sort of a return to some of the themes and ideas that I was working on in my 2020 show ‘No Peace.’ That body of work featured tight compositions with flames reflected on the relatively serene faces of the figures in my paintings. The summer of 2020 was full of fire and chaos for me, and I couldn’t help but dive into those feelings and visuals in the work I was creating during that time.
This summer has felt like a return to that pervasive feeling of chaos. With fires erupting in the swamps, and smoke clouding the skies across the country, it’s impossible not to wonder what the world will look like when the heat of summer passes and we are left to pick up the pieces yet again.
The title pays tribute to the Langston Hughes poem ‘Passing Love’
Because you are to me a song I just not song you over-long.
Because you are to me a prayer I cannot say you everywhere.
Because you are to me a rose – You will not stay when summer goes.
About Langston Allston: Langston Allston is a painter and muralist based in New Orleans, Louisiana. He splits his time between New Orleans and Chicago, Illinois and finds inspiration for his work in the everyday moments that make each city unique and beautiful. His work has been featured at the Contemporary Art Center, in New Orleans, the Museum of Contemporary African Diaspora Art, in Brooklyn, and is in the permanent collection of the City of New Orleans. Allston has also created public art throughout Chicago for community organizations like the Blocc, and the Mural Movement, and for major brands like the Chicago Bulls.
FAJAR AMALI ‘Among Our Existence’ (Gallery II)
In Gallery II, Fajar Amali’s debut solo show ‘Among Our Existence’ fills the space. The Indonesian artist explores a post-apocalyptic setting, featuring pop figures in the still life painting approach. Seeing how still life painting can bring an impressive depth in various times, Amali views it as a method of recording the momentum of time. Using iconic figures in popular comics as toys in still life style works, Amali explores the worth of things that are often underestimated.
About Fajar Amali:
Fajar Amali was born in Surabya in 1992, Fajar currently lives and works in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. He droped out from Hassan II Universite, Casablanca, Morocco, North African. Then he moved and studied in Indonesian Art Institute (Institut Seni Indonesia) Yogyakarta, Indonesia. His work mainly is a painting and Mix Media.
Fajar has graduated from art institute, Institut Seni Indonesia Yogyakarta and continues his career as an artist in Yogyakarta.
He has two tendencies in his work, first he uses the “What if the Multiverse exists?” pattern to see exixting perspectives as new possibilities. And another tendency in his work to use iconic robot figure in each of his work, these figure are deformation of Dwarapala form as a form of his local culture. Dwarapala is a statue of a gate or door guard in the teachings of Shiva and Buddha, in the form of a human or a monster. Usually the dwarapala is placed outside a temple, shrine or other building to protect a sacred place or sacred place inside.
For now he is deeply intrigued by Sci-Fi reality after apocalypse and relates it to our empirical experiences in popular culture. The pop culture style that accompanies his work for now is taken from adapting and appropriate the cyberpunk genre of comics and cartoons.
TRNZ ‘The Weight of Things’ (Gallery III)
In Gallery III, Thinkspace Projects presents their sophomore show with artist TRNZ. A few years ago, TRNZ developed a fascination with using mundane things and figures, arranged to loom over his work, presenting an awkward mystery. The artist from the Philippines uses ‘The Weight of Things’ to navigate the same process with an exceedingly charged relationship between the figures and the objects surrounding them. Taking cues and motifs from his own memories and experiences, he assembles visual imagery in uncanny ways.
About TRNZ: Born in Manila, TRNZ (pronounced ‘Terence’) was introduced to art through dubbed Japanese anime which aired daily on his family’s local television. After receiving a BFA Major in Advertising, he spent his early years as an art director at TBWA/SMP, a global network advertising agency. In 2017, he shifted directions and started dabbling in visual art. His time in advertising taught him to embrace a multimedia approach in his work. Now, he creates a world with alluring narration while keeping characteristics that are unique to him and his style.
JOLENE LAI ‘Secret Garden’ (Gallery IV)
Gallery IV holds Jolene Lai’s ‘Secret Garden’, a collection of oil paintings and drawings that seek to ignite curiosity about the hidden stories we all carry within ourselves. What kind of magical landscape gets unfolded when you gaze out through the window of your soul?
“The unbearable tossing and turning from insomnia in the dead of the night led me to gradually sit up. I got out of bed and walked to the window in the room. The still night was immediately interrupted by flying insects spiraling towards the light from the street lamps outside of my window. From across the street, a flicker of light from another house drew my attention. I could see the silhouette of a woman, a willowy shadow framed with hues of bright tangerine illuminated from behind her. I saw her light up a cigarette and caught a fleeting glimpse of her face in the glow of the flickering flame. She rested her arms on the window sill and began to casually run her fingers through her seemingly tousled hair.
I watched her deliberately take long drags on her cigarette, as if she was sucking in the marrow of life. My mind was transfixed by this enigmatic figure that was becoming more familiar with each inhalation, hers and mine. The smoke drifted up into the night air and I traced it with my eyes and imagined that they were carrying along all of her secrets with it. Secrets that I longed to know.
I stood there for a long time, etching her contours into my mind, until finally she stubbed out her cigarette and turned away from the window. I gazed until her silhouette was a blur and the window turned into another gaping hole that was interwoven with the darkness of the street.
Everything was still again, lest for the insects that were still hurling themselves against the burning bulbs. I laid in bed, glancing at a window that now framed a lonely crescent in the sky. I tried to retrace her shape and for a brief moment seized a quick glimpse of her face in my mind again, before that fragment of her faded away. I knew that I would never forget her, the stranger in the night.”
About Jolene Lai: After studying painting at Lasalle-SIA College of the Arts in Singapore, Jolene studied graphic design at UCLA and spent a year working at movie-poster design house, The Refinery Creative, before returning to focus on fine art.
She works primarily with oil on canvas or mixed media on water color paper. With bold use of color, shape and intricate detail, she creates images with a seductive aesthetic and subject matter that weaves in emotions of whimsy, melancholy, irony and absurdity.
Lai seeks to engage her audience in works that are approachable, newly imagined spaces that the viewer is invited to explore on their own terms.
Lai is inspired by everything from mythologies, Asian culture, and children’s stories, to fashion editorials, cityscapes, and illustration. She is always seeking new “sets” and stages for her characters and their outlandish encounters. Aesthetically, her work combines the beautiful and the grotesque with the quiet and the excessive in fluid and unexpected ways, just as innocence in her imagery tends to be shadowed by the suggestion of something sinister or dark. Her previous work has included strangely faceted, marionette-like figures, faceless characters, doubles, automatons, and stylized doll-like girls. Her imagery remains universally accessible in its psychologically motivated nuance.
TENSER ‘Three Halves’ (The Doghouse Gallery)
In the Dog House, Thinkspace Projects presents the debut exhibition from TENSER. ‘Three Halves,’ curated by Carmen Acosta, is a true depiction of the life he has lived thus far, drawing on studio work, graffiti, and street portraits to highlight a theme he has developed over the last 13 years. TENSER’s work is expansive yet approachable enough to appeal to a wide audience. His classically trained background brings a level of refinement to all aspects of his work including his large-scale portraits on public structures to the elaborate yet temporary graffiti on billboards, rooftops, and alleyways.
About TENSER: Born and raised in Los Angeles, TENSER is an active figure in the Los Angeles street art culture and has been producing work locally and nationally for the last 13 years.
TENSER’s work is expansive yet approachable enough to appeal to a wide audience. His classically trained background brings a level of refinement to all aspects of his work including his large-scale portraits on public structures to the elaborate yet temporary graffiti on billboards, rooftops, and alleyways.
AL MARCANO ‘Spirit Ditch’ (Viewing Room)
Our viewing room holds a special installation from Al Marcano, an American contemporary artist currently working in the Joshua Tree area of Southern California. Marcano is inspired by his love of collectibles, his devotion to all things kitsch, and his love of skateboarding.
Marcano’s vibrant work is best described as modern day folk art. This new body of work features a vast array of small and medium scale pieces brought together to form his ‘Spirit Ditch’ installation.