Thinkspace Family on Instagram: RFK Mural Edition

On Instagram, you will always find us posting sneak peeks, studio shots, and the work of our Thinkspace family from around the world. Follow the accounts of those artists and you’ll get a sneak peak into their lives and creative process. To continue our series, Thinkspace Family on Instagram, we’re highlighting a few of the artists participating in the RFK Mural Festival and our current exhibiting artists Curiot, James Bullough, and UR New York.  The Instagram accounts below are in the following order; Andrew Hem, Jeff Soto, Curiot, James Bullough, and UR New York.

Painting next to @aaronhorkey @davidchoe @esao. #rockthekasbah

A photo posted by Andrew Hem (@andrewhem) on

🚨🔷⏩🖲 #act1warpedpassage #thinkspacegallery

A photo posted by 🌑🍙🗿⏳ (@curiotli) on

New Print from Matthew Grabelsky’s Underground Exhibition

Matthew Grabelsky’s Underground exhibition received a great response and we’re thrilled to release our first print with the artist. This foxy print 18 x18 inch print “Franklin Street” is now available on thinkspaceprints.com as an edition of 30. Each giclee print is on archival cotton rag paper and signed by the artist. Unfortunately, if you were not able to make it the opening and view Grabelskys full body of work please visit our recap of the opening reception and the Thinkspace Gallery website.

Matthew Grabelsky Print

Grabelsky’s works depict couples on subways, often nonchalantly reading magazines or newspapers, but the male figures in these dyads are strange, quasi-mythological human hybrids with animal heads. Deer, bears, elephants, tigers, and everything in between, make a suited appearance in rush hour. By contrasting the platitudes of the day-to-day with the presence of the extraordinary and unlikely, Grabelsky stages the unexpected within the most unassuming of circumstances.

 

Interview with Curiot for “Act 1: Warped Passage”

interview with curiot

Thinkspace Gallery is proud to present Curiot’s solo exhibition Act 1: Warped Passages, in the gallery’s main room. In anticipation for the show, we have an exclusive interview with Curiot that is a soundbite into the artist’s mind. Short and sweet; discover the inspiration behind the show, a symbolic day in the studio, and what he wishes was invented.

SH: Last year in an interview with The Hundreds, you go into detail about your California upbringing and wanting to move to Mexico, care to share some of that story with our readers here?
C: Yeah, after high school I wasn’t doing much so I decided to move back to Mexico and ended up studying art.

Curiot New Work

Curiot New Work

SH: You’ve mentioned that you’re outside environment and Mexican culture strongly inspires your work, is your studio a blank slate or do you surround yourself with inspiration within the studio as well?
C: I just go with the flow with whatever interests me at the moment. The work itself takes me down different paths, just try to stay open as possible.

SH: What is the inspiration or narrative behind the current exhibition?
C: The strangeness of life and this question of what is real, are we all just part one highly elaborate simulation? Some little kids project from some super advanced race haha.

Curiot New Work

SH: A handful of your pieces involve mixed media and elements of folk art, like weaving or carpentry, did you collaborate on those pieces or teach yourself the trades?
C: I like to make everything myself but there are some exceptions, like the pieces I’ve made in the past that incorporate knitting, my friend Julieta helped me out with that. I try to learn as many skills as I can so I have full control over the creative process.

SH: What does a day in the studio look like?
C: Like a leaf in a pond

Curiot New Work

SH: Your pieces involve a lot of detail from subtle shifts in tones and to different patterns, is it safe to say your process is almost meditative?
C: Very, it’s what I love the most, the loss of time and the thought process that surges from that state.

SH: Favorite Mexican folktale?
C: Popol Vuh, so good!

Curiot New Work

SH: The beasts in your work possess a god like quality and interaction with the human-like figures in your work, can you elaborate on the dynamic of these creatures to the rest of the world they inhabit? Or outline what their presence symbolizes?
C: Always considered them as creatures from the spirit realm.

SH: Favorite Color?
C: It’s always fluctuating, right now it’s lavender before it was indigo haha

SH: What do you wish was invented? Would it help your artwork, your life, or the world?
C: A real fucking spaceship! None of this rocket bs. Let’s see what’s out there!

Curiot New Work

Please join us this Saturday, May 28th from 6-9pm for the Opening Reception of Act 1: Warped Passage. The show will not only feature a collection of new paintings but two new digital editions and an adventurous installation component, including musical accompaniment from Franz (Pira MD Records).   To catch a sneak peak of what is happening inside the gallery, add us on snapchat at thinkspace_art , as we’ve already shared Curiot shopping through yards and yards of brightly colored fabric. What could he be making?

 

Interview with UR New York for “Destroy’ed and Rebuilt”

UR New York Banner

Thinkspace Gallery is proud to present UR New York taking over the galleries office for Destroy’ed and Rebuilt. UR New York is the New York-based duo Ski and 2esae, in anticipation for the show we have an exclusive interview with the duo discussing their artistic mission, a perfect day in New York, and their creative process.

SH: How did you guys meet and start working together?
Ski: 2esae and I met in New York around 2006. He was going to court for graffiti and I was working for a newspaper doing Merchandising and Sales. We started hanging out a lot and realized that we had similar work ethics so we started painting together. We began selling small art pieces in Soho NYC around 2007 with a few friends and we were fueled by the love we got from everyone which lead to me quitting my job and spending the next 4yrs standing in Soho finding myself thru art.

2esae: Me and Ski met thru the art of graffiti, at the time circa 2006-ish I was bombing the city, and Ski was filming a graff video at the time. A mutual friend told me he wanted to film me and at that time I was facing a 43 count indictment of graff charges; so last thing I wanted to do was meet anyone new none the less to have myself being filmed. Let’s just say I’m very glad I agreed to it, I got me meet my best friend and business partner.

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SH: Who were your artistic influences growing up? Who are you stoked on right now?
Ski: Growing up in New York I was into graffiti and only graffiti. My favorites were and still are GHOST, MQ, TRAKE, KET, SEEN, JOZ&EASY, VE, SEUS/SPOOK, GAZE, SUB to name a few. Today there is so much great talent which continues to inspire me but I will not mention any names with respects to the ones I may forget.

2esae: Maaan that’s a loaded question I’m super inspired by the greats from Mucha to Rauschenberg, Magritte to Calder, way too many to name as for right now I’ll always be stoked on my NYC graffiti heads but in a finer aspect people like Bk the artist, James Bullough, Distort, to name a few.

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SH: What is your creative process? Can you walk us through a day in the studio?
Ski: When I’m in the creative zone I think about what I want to say. Meaning, what do I want you to look at, and how do I want you to feel. Sometimes it’s as easy as mixing some colors and images but other times I want to go deeper into the piece. We start with a warm or cool palate, followed by some line work to create volume and depth and then the magic starts happening once we lay down the first image which sets the tone for the piece.

It’s a series of back and forth flow of creativity when we’re building our scene piece by piece. Our image library is very extensive. We document every detail in our days which finds its way into our work from people to a lamp post, cars, water towers, and all types of architecture. Sometimes you create the piece and other times it’s the piece that creates you. Either way, I love finding every piece within and all the challenges that go along with it.

2esae: Shit my creative process truly is dependent on the type of day I’m having. Most the time I stay up late conceptualizing, at times so many things rush thru my brain that I can’t physically do anything, so I become overwhelmed and stare at my studio walls for hours. Other times I can blink and already see the work finalized. So those pieces usually get completed
fairly quickly, I like to get it all out on the canvas while it’s still fresh in my mind.

UR New York

SH: A part of your artistic mission is to connect with youth and encourage self-expression; in that kind of work every kid you meet is important but do you remember a single incident that changed you in some way that you could share?
Ski: As a youth growing up in NY, I was exposed to things I care not to talk about at this time, but they were fucked up. For some reason, I gravitated to graffiti as a way to channel my inner frustrations and thru that I was able to express myself. I created an identity and ran with it. I tried so hard to move up the ladder but the more I did, I realized I needed to do, know and learn more. The only problem was that is no one older than me was willing to show me the ropes, so I was forced to figure things out on my own. My friends and I grew up watching video graff or graffiti magazines to show us style and also gave us an insight on how to paint trains and this is how I learned. In PS84 I had an art teacher who let me use spray paint and she changed my life and I want to be able to do that for others.

Since art came into my life it’s given me a platform to where I can be an outlet for others, which is why we formed UR New York in 2009. It stood for individuality and being happy with who you because you are your greatest asset. I want to be able to help young kids embrace their creativity thru art and marketing.

2esae: Why wouldn’t any artist dedicate a portion of their brain power and influence to inspire and activate the youth! I feel who better to show these kids a way of expression brighten up their lives a bit and explain to them the business side of things at the same time having fun. One incident that truly changed me was third grade career day, one of the artists from Marvel comics showed up and blew my mind I was never the same after that.

SH: What’s your perfect day in New York?
Ski: My perfect day in NY is waking up and it’s as warm as you wearing your favorite sweater. I get a coffee and roll 2 joints. I enjoy one with my coffee and the other for when I walk the bridge into the city. I walk around for a couple hours and take a lot of photos and eat random NY food like pizza, bagel, smoothie, latté and of course plenty of Snapple ice tea. After I walk thru SoHo to see if I see anything interesting to buy from my local artist friends, I then go home and roll another couple J’s. At this point, I’ll either stay at home with my 2 dogs or go out and paint. Either way, it’s a great day.

2esae: Definitely summer time. I enjoy June, my birth month, Gemini season the weather’s usually perfect. Maybe a long bike ride exploring some sort of abandonment writing my nome de plume or positive affirmations on the way.
Then some more exploration at night maybe a rooftop or two, I truly enjoy being places we are not supposed to be in!

UR New York

SH: It seems every artist is born with the desire to create, but what was the moment you decided it would be your life’s work?
Ski: They say that if you love what you do you’re never working. I’ve always loved creating whether it’s legible or not, written or sculpted, but when I learned about Marketing it changed my life and helped me put being an “Artist” in perspective.

2esae: I truly think it was in third grade after career day, I remember going to art class that next day and swiping a Picasso book and a stack of construction paper going home and recreating all of Picasso characters. I came back to school the next day and my teacher was so impressed she took me up stairs to the 6th graders to offer my drawings for sale which I ended up selling them all for 3 bucks a pop!! So ultimately I’d love to be able to inspire as many kids as I can and assure them that if art is their passion it is possible to be successful at it.

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SH: What’s worse a paper cut or splinter?
Ski: For me a papercut. Splinters can be taken out but papercuts linger.

2esae: Splinters suck! We are truly self-sufficient building our stretchers screens etc, I also really love found weathered material usually made of wood hence why I usually more often than not end up with one or more splinters on the regular! So fuck you lil tiny shards of wood!!

SH: Rays or Original Rays?
Ski: Neither. Too much cheese for my taste. I like Gino’s near W4, Grand Ave pizza in Astoria, Jimmy’s on Amsterdam Ave to name a few.

2esae: Funny thing is as sensitive as my eyes are I never wear shades, don’t want to block all the beautiful colors of life!

SH: Are you constantly on the hunt for awesome found objects or only when you have a particular piece in mind?
Ski: I think that lost object find you. Even when your looking for it, it’s always been there waiting. It’s when the pieces come together that a piece is made.

2esae: I am constantly on the hunt for everything new ideas, adventures, knowledge it’s all intertwined let’s just say I never turn off this life we live in every aspect is truly a work of art!!

We invite you to the opening reception of Destroy’ed and Rebuilt this Saturday, May 28th from 6-9pm. UR New York’s new works will be showing in the Thinkspace office, so make sure to explore the entire gallery to see all of the fantastic artists showing this month. For more information on our current exhibition visit the Thinkspace Gallery website.

James Bullough’s “Breaking Point” Previewed on Arrested Motion

James Bullough Arrested Motion

Arrested Motion is excited for James Bullough’s upcoming exhibition “Breaking Point” opening this Saturday, May 28th at Thinkspace Gallery. Check out their preview of James Bullough new work on their website.

“Entitled Breaking Point, the paintings represent four months of work for the Berlin-based artist and feature his signature glitchy fragmented aesthetic of portraiture” – Arrested Motion

Opening Reception of Entry Point: Exploring The New Contemporary Movement at the Fullerton Museum

Fullerton Museum

We invite you out to the opening reception of Entry Point: Exploring The New Contemporary Movement at the Fullerton Museum of Art, Saturday, May 21st from 6 – 9pm. Admission is $12 and free to museum members.

*Reception in tandem with opening of “The Late Drawings of Andy Warhol”

Taking Place At:
Fullerton Museum Center
310 N. Pomona Avenue
Fullerton, CA 92832
Phone 714.738.6545

Curated by Thinkspace Gallery and on view through July 15th.

Cryptik FullertonCryptik ‘E Ho Mai (Grant Us)’ – acrylic on wood panel

‘Entry Point’ brings together the work of 40 internationally renowned artists that serves as an amazing introduction to the burgeoning New Contemporary Art Movement. With roots firmly planted in illustration, pop culture, comics, street art and graffiti, put quite simply the New Contemporary Art Movement is art for the people.

Alex Garant 'Fragments Of Her Mind' - oil on canvasAlex Garant ‘Fragments Of Her Mind’ – oil on canvas

Featuring 16×20 inch (40x50cm) works from:
Aaron Li-Hill
Adam Caldwell
Alex Garant
Amanda Marie
Ben Frost
Benjamin Garcia
Bumblebeelovesyou
C215
Carl Cashman
Chie Yoshii
Craig ‘Skibs’ Barker
Cryptik
Derek Gores
Drew Leshko
Ekundayo
Erik Siador
Frank Gonzales
Gaia
Henrik Aa. Uldalen
Hueman
Jaime Molina (aka Cuttyup)
Jeremy Hush
Jim Houser
Kari-Lise Alexander
Kelly Vivanco
KiSung Koh
Low Bros
Meggs
Mary Iverson
Nevercrew
Nosego
Okuda
Ratur
Reka
Ricky Lee Gordon
Sarah Joncas
Sckaro
Stinkfish
Tony Philippou
Yok & Sheryo
Nosego 'Infinite' - acrylic on wood panel
Nosego ‘Infinite’ – acrylic on wood panel

Interview with James Bullough for “Breaking Point”

James Bullough Interview

Thinkspace Gallery is proud to present James Bullough’s solo exhibition Breaking Point, in the gallery’s project room. In anticipation for the show, we have an exclusive interview with James Bullough sharing with us his process of moving through creative blocks, moving to Berlin, and a dream dinner party.

SH: Artists explore many different styles before finding their voice, what inspired you to explore altered reality and what about it clicked as this was your voice?
JB: When I first started painting back in my early 20s and for probably the first 5 years or so I was painting entirely abstract works with no real direction or voice. These early paintings in retrospect were basically just studies and experimentations in composition and graphic layout. I soon realized that none of them ever felt like finished paintings and they were all missing a vital element. With some guidance from a local painter in Baltimore Matt Zoll, I basically taught myself how to use oils so I could add some elements of realism into my abstract paintings. Almost immediately I realized that the realism was the star of the show and became the main focus of the work but the abstraction never left. as my oil skills increased, I began concentrating on portraiture and that’s when it all started clicking for me. The mixture of realism and abstraction has been my thing ever since.

James Bullough Breaking Point

SH: What does a day in the studio look like, from morning to night?
JB: My work day is very different depending what stage of the process I’m in. Some days are spent with models and photographers doing photo shoots, others spent on the computer day after day manipulating photos and sketching out potential paintings. In the summers, I spend a lot of time outside painting walls, but in the studio with a brush in hand is where I like to focus most of my attention.

A typical studio day starts with a strong coffee and an hour or so at home on the computer getting any administrative stuff out of the way. I don’t have the internet at my studio which really helps with focus and attention; so once I get to the studio around noon it’s all business from then on. I’m a very slow painter and some days I might only paint a few square inches in an entire 8 hour work day… the hair, a face, a leg, exc.. It can be frustrating but it’s the only way I know how. I normally paint my backgrounds first and then sketch out my figures on top of that. Once the sketch is set in place, I do a quick and somewhat loose underpainting that normally takes a couple days. From there I meticulously paint the final image on top of the underpainting. For the most part, once I’ve put the second layer on any given spot, that section is finished and I move on to the next section. At 8 o’clock I go home and cook with my wife, have a late dinner and then up early the next morning to do it all over again.

SH: You really explore the human form in your work with your models showing extensions or collapse of form, do you take reference photos yourself or find the form elsewhere? Are your models’ dancers?
JB: With this current body of work I had a very clear idea for about a year that I wanted to create an entire series of figures floating in the air. I’ve worked with a few dancers in Berlin before on different projects and through them I met a few more and everyone was super keen to come work on the project with me so I assembled a team. I found a photographer in Hamburg named Florian Gobetz (www.graphic-to-go.de) who had done a series of photos with dancers jumping in the air and asked him to come to Berlin to work with me on the project. I am horrible with a camera but good with directing, so together with Flo’s photography skills and the incredible dancers who gave everything they had to get me the images I wanted we were able to get some amazing photos.

James Bullough Breaking Point

SH: How do you battle self-doubt or creative blocks?
JB: This is a great question and one of the most difficult parts of being an artist, especially one that works alone. It is not uncommon for me to go weeks in the studio without anyone seeing anything I’ve done. This can be jarring and the self-doubt can really start to fester. I normally get to a point with almost every painting where all I can see are the problems and mistakes, a point where another artist might move on to a different piece and come back later with fresh eyes after some time has passed. I on the other hand approach painting more like sport and each new piece as a battle, once I’ve started, there’s no turning back. Through years of painting this way I’ve learned that if I just plow through, eventually I’ll figure it out.

SH: What made you decide to move to Berlin? How do you think that has shaped you as an artist?
JB: In 2001 I was living in Australia and met a girl from Berlin (now my wife). In the five years that followed my visit to Berlin often to see her and it didn’t take long for me to fall in love with the city. It’s always been hard for me to put my finger on exactly what it was that I fell in love with but there is a sense of freedom and creativity in Berlin that I had never experienced anywhere else. At that time in my life, I needed a change and I knew that Berlin, because of it’s cheap living and creative vibe could provide me with what I needed to make the leap from being a gainfully employed middle school teacher to a basically unemployed full-time painter… and I was right.

In Berlin, I was able to live cheaply and get a studio and just experiment without the pressure of making money and getting a “real job” At the time I still hadn’t found my voice as a painter and I needed a couple of years of trying different things in order to find it. I spent a lot of time in the studio figuring things out and I began painting in the many abandoned spaces in and around Berlin and experimenting with painting on walls for the first time. Those first two or three years in Berlin were extremely important for me and In the end, I think the greatest gift Berlin ever gave to me was time.

James Bullough Breaking Point

SH: What’s been a WOW moment for you thus far in your career?
JB: In 2015 I was invited to paint a wall inside the Long Beach Museum of Art in California as part of the Vitality and Verve show put on by the LBMA, Thinkspace Gallery, and POW! WOW! Long Beach. The other participating artists were some of my biggest influences in the art world and people I had been admiring for years and years… legends like Craola, Audry Kawasaki, Tristan Eaton, Nychos, Jeff Soto and basically everyone involved. I felt like it was a mistake that I was even invited, that I didn’t belong in such a group, but I also saw it as an opportunity to show people what I could really do. I made it my mission to paint my best mural to that point and really go for broke. As I worked there throughout the week and built friendships with these people who meant so much to me, I also banged out a great painting that I was really proud of. There is no greater accomplishment in my opinion than gaining the respect of the people you so greatly admire, and that week I felt like I had done exactly that.

SH: What motivated you to do a podcast? What’s been your most favorite and least favorites part of that process?
JB: VantagePoint Radio was an idea I had after living in Berlin for a few years and meeting so many different and interesting artists. I found myself time and time again sitting in a bar or at a party with someone and because of my curious and chatty nature we often fell into deep conversations about their practices and how and why they do what they do. I found it really inspirational and informative. It just seemed logical that other people would be interested to hear these conversations so I set out to start a radio show. A friend of mine named Tom Phillipson (www.Auto64.com) had worked in radio before in Australia so I asked him to be my co-host and produce the show and it was that simple. Because Berlin is such a magnet for street artists and muralists, we were able to get some of the biggest names in the game and once the ball started rolling it never really stopped. I’m supra proud of what we’ve accomplished with VantagePoint. At this point, we’ve done over 60 interviews and thoroughly documented the scene in a way nobody else has done.

Visit www.VantagePointRadio.com to check out all of the past shows and videos.

James Bullough Breaking Point

SH: Where was your first mural? What was the prep and execution like?
JB: Oh man… my first mural was in Washington DC on the side of a bar back in 2004 or so. I painted it together with an artist named Andrea Wlodarczyk and we really didn’t know what we were doing. It was a super fun process but took us almost the entire summer, mostly because we painted during open hours and the drinks and food were free so we really didn’t try to rush things. Today I think I’d probably do that wall in an afternoon. It was kind of a cheesy beach scene with a crashing wave and all that but it wasn’t too bad. This was years before I would ever pick up a spray can so we did the whole thing with brushes and latex paint and it was kind of a nightmare. I recently passed by that wall for the first time in years and it’s still there and in pretty good condition. It wasn’t my best work, but I’m still proud of that wall

SH: If you through a dinner party for 5 people dead or alive, who would be on the guest list? What would be served? And what music is playing in the background?
JB: WOW! this is basically an impossible question but here goes…
Guest List: Moss Def, Adam Carolla, Conor Harrington, Erika Badu, and the 25-year-old version of my baby girl who will be born in September
Food: Maryland Blue crabs with tons of Old Bay seasoning and unlimited Natty Boh beer in a can on ice.
Music: The entire album ‘Circles’ by Adam F and a selection of Miles Davis, John Coltrane and Bob James.

James Bullough Breaking Point

SH: What do you think is the biggest misconception about being an artist and about your work in general?
JB: The work ethic! I think people have an impression of artists as relaxed maybe even somewhat lazy creatives. The fact is almost every successful artists I know is an extreme workaholic and a master of the hustle. Learning to paint and create an image from absolutely nothing is a skill and takes a lot of hard work, time, and focus, but the business side of the job is just as demanding. I don’t have an assistant or a manager or anything so every aspect of my business is done by me. Deciding what projects to take and which to turn down, who to work with or not, and knowing how many different projects you can handle at any given time is extremely important and can have massive consequences on your career now and in the future. I don’t think artists get enough credit for what they truly are, extremely driven, self-employed entrepreneurs who both produce and manage the product that their company and family live off of.

James Bullough Postcard

Please join us Saturday, May 28th for the opening reception of Breaking Point from 6-9pm. For additional information on Thinkspace Gallery and our upcoming exhibitions please visit the Thinkspace Gallery website.