Yosuke Ueno – Beautiful Noise

Yosuke in studio

Yosuke Ueno – ‘Beautiful Noise’
Opening Reception with Artist: Saturday May 23, 6-9pm
May 23rd – June 13th

Thinkspace is pleased to present Beautiful Noise, the gallery’s fourth solo exhibition for Japanese artist Yosuke Ueno. A self-taught painter, Ueno has been creating fantastic worlds and characters as long as he can remember. Highly stylized and beautifully imaginative, his works are surreal and emotional; an alternate reality expressed through a quasi-mythological orbit of his own making. Like tightly knit universes unto themselves, his bizarre and wonderfully unhinged worlds feature a recurring cast of characters and repeated motifs. An intensely emotive painter who, by his own admission, allows his cathartic approach to dictate the development of his works as they’re made, Ueno’s take on pop surrealism is at times explosive and at others meditative, but is consistently seeking the reconciliation of darkness and whimsy.

Inspired by Japanese graphic cultures such as manga and anime, and drawing on the unique stylization of Japanese street fashion, Ueno’s graphic paintings are galvanized by his love of visual culture. Channeling both anger and optimism in the creation of his creatures and surreal landscapes, he seeks the transformation of the negative by invoking hope and positivity through his imagery, even when it betrays trauma and distress in equal parts. Ueno approaches painting as a communicative conduit, and as something powerfully invested with the capacity to make people feel. Because of this implicit responsibility, he has actively sought love and redemption in his imagery rather than indulging in destruction and sadness. Painting is a process of discovery for Ueno, one that he likens to scientific experimentation and unknown variables. He allows his paintings to evolve intuitively, not knowing what the end result will be.

His interest in striking a balance between light and dark imagery is immediately apparent in some of his more recent works. These manage to reconcile the suggestion of sweetness and innocence with the presence of something more sinister and foreboding. Wide-eyed, plushy, rainbow-colored characters are offset by skulls and abject anatomical references, and cotton candy landscapes are punctuated by the suggestion of something harder and menacing, or deeply melancholic. Despite a recurring invocation of love and hope that verges at times on a plea, the works clearly convey the coexistence of often irreconcilable oppositions. Ueno has spoken openly about how his work and imagery were greatly affected by the earthquake, and resulting Tsunami, that devastated Japan in 2011; an event that has left an indelible trauma on its culture. His work, following this tragedy, became less about his omission of negativity, and more about his attempt to summon love and hope in its midst.

The multiplicity of characters in Ueno’s works, and there are over a thousand, hails from the artist’s connection to Japanese Shinto; the polytheistic spiritual tradition in Japan that reveres the greatness in all small things in nature, and seeks the presence of the divine in the minute. In this belief system, there are millions of individual god figures, a veritable plethora of characters and personified energies for even the smallest of natural elements. Each individual part is as important as the whole. This spiritual pluralism is woven throughout Ueno’s work, as the artist builds complex symbolic systems, holistic worlds and recurring metaphors to reinvent a personal spiritual iconography.

Yosuke Ueno’s works, though beautiful, contemporary and graphic, are loaded with a symbolism that betrays the artist’s deeper spiritual connection to making. Giving his imagination free rein to create on impulse, Ueno builds a surreal cosmos with infinite possibilities.

yosuke ueno beautiful noise

 

Ariel DeAndrea – Chasing the Current

Ariel DeAndrea studio shot

Ariel DeAndrea – ‘Chasing the Current’
Opening Reception: Saturday May 23, 6-9pm
‘Chasing the Current’ will be on view May 23rd – June 13th

Concurrently on view in the Thinkspace project room are new works by Ariel DeAndrea in Chasing the Current. Working primarily in oils on linen, DeAndrea’s paintings are beautifully serene expanses of water, gently travelled by delicate paper birds. By focusing on the recurring symbol of the origami paper crane, a talismanic object she reiterates in several aquatic contexts, the artist emphasizes the power and beauty of its unassuming simplicity. In a precisely realistic and understated style, DeAndrea renders the paper birds in a variety of patterns and colors, and stages them in open fields of rippling water. DeAndrea creates a stunning repertoire of images by exploring the subtle movement and variety in these repetitions. Not unlike hazy dreamscapes, her works feel intensely personal and heavy with meaning, conveying a feeling of arrested calm that borders on the uncanny at times. We are left with the feeling of having witnessed something simultaneously quiet and intensely poignant.

These inanimate objects become vessels for meaning that far exceeds their tangible significance. Vulnerable and beautiful, something ephemeral haunts the impermanence of the fragile paper bird. Finding resilience and beauty in small, humble things is a concept DeAndrea derives from her interest in the Japanese spiritual tradition of Shinto; a tradition that upholds the spiritual value of nature. By placing the little paper likenesses back into a depiction of the natural world, DeAndrea offers a powerful visual metaphor for a spiritual communion with nature.

Ariel Deandre Chasing the Current

Long Beach Museum of Art – Vitality and Verve

vitality and verve

The Long Beach Museum of Art is set to open ‘Vitality and Verve: Transforming the Urban Landscape’ on June 26th.

The exhibition will focus on current developments in the growing field of urban contemporary art. It will feature site-specific ephemeral murals and multi-media installations by established and emerging cutting-edge artists who will be demonstrating the skilled and nuanced application of their craft. The exhibition will run through September 27, 2015.

‘Vitality and Verve’ aims to illuminate the sensory value and powerful practice of these artists as they transform the urban landscape around them. The meticulous renderings, the hyper-realistic imagery and patterns and the gestural strokes assert the diversity in a fully immersive experience.

Participating artists will include:
Aaron Horkey, Alex Yanes, Andrew Schoultz, Audrey Kawasaki, Brendan Monroe, Brandon Shigeta, Cryptik, Esao Andrews, Greg ‘Craola’ Simkins, Hot Tea, James Bullough, Jeff Soto, John S. Culqui, Low Bros, Meggs, Nosego, Nychos, Saber, and Tristan Eaton.

“One of the goals behind ‘Vitality and Verve’ is to spotlight artists who are stepping out of their studios to paint on a grand scale using outdoor walls as their canvas as well as urban artists who are beginning to work in a traditional studio setting.” said Ron Nelson, Executive Director of the Long Beach Museum of Art. “Most of the works in this exhibition will be created on our gallery walls using both traditional and non-traditional art media resulting in an immediacy that extends well beyond the confines of a picture frame. Once the exhibition ends, the walls will be repainted and prepared for the next exhibition. Therefore, it is important for art enthusiasts to see this amazing exhibition before it closes.”

The ‘Vitality and Verve’ exhibition will be one of several locations in Long Beach this summer that will feature mural art. POW! WOW! Long Beach 2015, celebrates an inaugural art festival that will feature mural projects, gallery shows, and exciting programming – throughout downtown and nearby locations, which is slated to run the week of June 21 – June 28 featuring internationally renowned artists.
‘Vitality and Verve’ was made possible in collaboration with Thinkspace and Pow! Wow!

In conjunction with the opening of the Vitality and Verve exhibition, the museum will also be hosting its famed LBMA After Dark on Friday, June 26 from 7pm – 10pm located on the museum campus. Admission is $10 for non-members.

For more information please visit www.lbma.org

POW! WOW! Long Beach … Coming Soon in June!

 

Honored to once again be partnering up with the fine folks of POW! WOW! for the inaugural edition of POW! WOW! Long Beach taking place between June 22nd and June 27th.

The lineup includes: Jeff Soto, Low Bros, Bumblebeelovesyou, Tristan Eaton, Hueman, Fafi, Nychos, Cryptk, Jeff McMillan, Madsteez, Aaron De La Cruz, James Jean, Benjie Escobar, Push, and Jeff Staple.

Made possible with the help of  IntertrendImprint LabRVCAFlex FitMontana Cans, Jet BlueKnockaround Sunglasses, Meet In Long Beach, Long Beach Museum of Art, The Seventh Letter, and Thinkspace Gallery.

POW! WOW! Long Beach logo designed by Matthew Tapia.

Robert Williams on WTF with Marc Maron

WTF!? Robert Williams is on WTF with Marc Maron podcast! Well, it isn’t that surprising as Robert Williams is an intense creative force and deserves all the attention and accolades he can get. As Marc Maron refers to him, a genius artist and original mind blower. Listen to the episode on Marc Maron’s website.

Opening Night of Gumbo, Beautanica, and Contenders

Thinkspace hosted a gallery full of art lovers for the opening night of Gumbo, Beautanica, and Contenders. Gumbo is a group exhibition featuring works by Alex Yanes, James Bullough, Matthew Grabelsky, Ryan Hewett, Sergio Garcia, Troy Coulterman and Troy Lovegates. A diverse group of artists that reflect the diversity of our steadily expanding gallery roster. It’s a fantastic exhibition showing various styles, from sculpture to figurative abstract portraiture. Australian artist Bec Winnel exhibited her new work in our project room, featuring ethereal beauties who mesmerized guests. Forcing collectors to stare on, torn between which pieces to purchase. And sold out before doors opened, Brian Mashburn’s new work for ‘Contender’ is a captivating teaser for his upcoming show in July.
You can view all the photos from the opening night on Flickr or Facebook. The exhibitions are on view from April 25 through May 16 during gallery hours.


Above photos and all opening night photography is by photographer Sam Graham.

An Interview with Troy Lovegates for ‘GUMBO’

Troy Lovegates Canada

A short but sweet interview with Troy Lovegates for his upcoming show ‘GUMBO’ at Thinkspace Gallery. ‘GUMBO’ will be featuring new pieces from seven Thinkspace artists who all bring a different style, voice, and flavor to their art. ‘GUMBO’ opens Saturday April 25th from 6-9pm, and will be on view till May 16th.

SH: What artist in the upcoming ‘Gumbo’ show would you want to collaborate with and why?
TL: It would be great if we all could collaborate on some giant mutation of all our works together … Some sort of large scale exquisite corpse

SH: When do you get the most work done; morning, noon, or night?
TL: My schedule could be described as “out of control” … I will wake up at 6 am one day and maybe work until 3 in the morning never leave the house … the next day sleep in go for a giant bike ride to find stuff that will become future works … Maybe not work for a day … Then 8 h the next day … Then start late at night the next … Sometimes I set up for working and end up searching for new music all night and get nothing done … But once I get going I usually can go through morning, noon and night …

SH: In three words, describe your artwork.
TL: Clutter … Found … Diverse

SH: How long does it take you to finish a piece? What is your processes?
TL: It is the stupidest process ever I just keep starting new pieces have so many half-finished pieces laying around and every couple of days I feel this panic to get something done and I go for it … But I always have many things on the go at the same time … About a dozen at once …

Troy Lovegates huggers

SH: Do you remember the first time you showed your work to the public? Where was it?
TL: I scribbled late at night on the exterior of my high school in Canada … It caused quite a stir but ended up staying there for years

SH: Do you have any wise words for a fledgling artist who admires your work?
TL: Have Patience … Go on Adventurers … But also staying at home and work when everyone else is “having fun” …

SH Bonus Question: Speaking of gumbo, have you ever been to New Orleans? If so, tell us a tale! If not, tell us another tale.
TL: I was there last summer for one night … I went for a walk and found a dumpster full of an old toy train town … All the buildings, lampposts, streets, train tracks, people and trees… someone got to all the boxcars, hoppers and engines before I got there (aaaargh) but it was still a fun garbage to dig through … Found some good comics for my train ride out the next morning

gumbo postcard