Coming in August – New Works by Fernando Chamarelli ‘Secret Code’

Fernando Chamarelli

Fernando Chamarelli – Secret Code
August 15th – September 5th, 2015

Thinkspace (Los Angeles) – is pleased to present new works by Brazilian designer, illustrator and artist Fernando Chamarelli in Secret Code, the artist’s second solo exhibition with the gallery. Chamarelli combines diverse graphic and cultural references to produce stunningly dense acrylic paintings. His distinctive use of line work and color reflect an eclectic graphic sensibility informed by everything from design, tattoos, street art and ancient history. Schooled in graphic design, Chamarelli creates complex mosaic like surfaces, filled with hybrid imagery and symbolism he has drawn from the varied aggregate of aesthetics, visual cultures and philosophies that inspire him. Recurring references in his works include Brazilian culture and music, astrology, occultism, and ancient pre-Columbian cultures. He creates an immersive and storied visual world that with each revisitation offers a new discovery. By merging contemporary influences with ancient and historical elements, Chamarelli creates a visual language that suspends past and present.

Inspired by his Brazilian heritage, Chamarelli channels the disparateness of his cultural environment through his work, tapping into his country’s rich history of contrasts and coexisting diversities. He incorporates elements of Brazilian folklore, carnival, indigenous costume and myth, while borrowing imagery from Aztec, Incan and Mayan histories, among others. Fascinated by sacred geometries and the symbology of ancient cultures, Chamarelli builds beautifully anomalous and surreal iconographies with hidden meanings and intersecting significations. By drawing from different philosophies, and seemingly divergent aesthetics, he creates something entirely transformed from the appropriated parts of existing traditions.

Chamarelli’s works are filled with mystical creatures, organic flora, totemic animals and geometric motifs, knit together in dense interconnected compositions that are brought to life with vibrantly psychedelic color palettes. These compositions are thick with visual information, line, shapes, geometries and figures. Their individual parts, however, are completely absorbed and integrated into the whole of an indivisible design. Incredibly stylized and optically intricate, the work at first reads as seamless overall pattern until, upon closer inspection, the elements are disentangled and individuated by the viewer. Chamarelli successfully unites several stories and traditions into a single image, encouraging a multiplicity of tangential readings and discoveries.

As the exhibition title, Secret Code, suggests, Chamarelli’s works present hidden narratives and mysteriously adapted iconographies. Like intricately constructed tessellations, each minute element in each composition is an integral piece of a larger puzzle. The cryptic symbolism of these works feels somehow infinite and universal; simultaneously contemporary and ancient, historical and yet entirely new. Chamarelli offers us a dense and evasive world of appropriated histories, and inventive new ones, all held together by the harmony of beautifully continuous and uninterrupted lines.

Coming in August – New Works by Carl Cashman ‘An Edited Version of Life’

Carl Cashman Postcard

August 15th – September 5th, 2015

Concurrently on view in the Thinkspace project room are new works by UK-based artist Carl Cashman in An Edited Version of Life. Cashman creates vibrant neon colored op-art, a genre he has coined “neometry”, or neon geometry. The works are hypnotic, at times bordering on the hallucinatory, and blur the distinction between digital and analogue forms. Entirely executed by hand, the paintings are crisp, precise and graphically decisive, though clearly hand crafted rather than digitally produced. Cashman creates his imagery in the absence of any digital means, relying exclusively on a sketch pad, pencil, tape and acrylic paint. These electric hued pieces sit on the cusp somewhere between grid-inspired modernism and contemporary psychedelia. His process relies on the detailed draftsmanship he has perfected in recent years, an emphasis he decided to discipline following an abandoned foray into stencil-based work.

Based out of Devon in the UK, Cashman paints primarily on wood panel. He has recently expanded this practice to include works on found objects and repurposed surfaces, such as skateboards and cricket paddles. Using UV reactive paints at times to create an added dimensional effect, Cashman’s abstract geometric imagery often produces the illusion of emitting actual light and movement. Visually hypnotic and entrancing, they’re optically fascinating pieces that seem to hum with energy and depth, interrupting our expectations of real space in a wash of color and illusion.

Interview with Nosego for “Along Infinite River”

Nosego Murals LBMA

Nosego working on his mural for ‘Vitality and Verve: Transforming the Urban Landscape’ at Long Beach Museum of Art. 

SH: What inspired your new work for “Along Infinite River”?
NG: There’s a good bit of inspiration from all over the place but ultimately it was based around the idea that we’re all apart of something bigger. The fact that we all have living organisms and communities of bacteria that are apart of us is as if we have little worlds that make us complete. Simultaneously we live in a world amongst other worlds or the possibilities of other worlds. Either way this idea intrigued me and pushed the work forward.

SH: How did your signature creatures come into fruition? When did you feel you developed your artistic voice?
NG: I’m actually not sure what creatures of mine are signature ones, but the inspiration to create them can come from anywhere.

SH: Your work keeps evolving with each new show. It seems you really push yourself whenever you sit down to create. Was there an exceptionally challenging piece in “Along Infinite River”?
NG: I usually notice my flaws in prior work so I try address the things that I think needs improvement in the following work. Ultimately I just want the work to have a feeling. Yeah every piece has a personal challenge I don’t enjoy the work if it comes easy I feel that I learn from the challenges.

Nosego Painting Welcoming

SH: Are you on team provolone or cheese whiz for your Philly Cheese Steak?
NG: Provolone, but I’m not a huge fan of Cheese Steaks*.

SH: Which Ninja Turtle has the most presidential candidate potential?
NG: I would say Michelangelo for president and Donatello for vice.

SH: What do you do when self-doubt or inspiration dry spells hit you?
NG: Keep painting! Only way to get through it.

Welcoming Along Infinite River

SH: What is your process? How long does it take you to finish a single piece?
NG: It varies from piece to piece.

SH: What are your favorite artists at the moment?
NG: Too many to name

Home Nosego

SH: What advice would you give a fledgling artist who looks up to your work?
NG: Enjoy your work and share the work you enjoy.

SH: What is your spirit animal?
NG: I’m still searching.

*Nosego prefers sushi

Sharing Light Nosego

 

New works by Nosego will be on view at Thinkspace Gallery July 18th – August 8th. Gallery hours are Tuesday through Saturday noon to 6pm. Please visit the Thinkspace Gallery website for more information and to view all available works from ‘Along Infinite River’.

London Calling! ‘LAX/LHR’ – Thinkspace X StolenSpace

LAX LHR ad

Get ready London!!!

‘LAX / LHR’ – Thinkspace X StolenSpace
Co-curated exhibition featuring 12×12 inch works and more from over 130 artists spanning the globe.

Opening Reception: Thursday, Se ptember 3rd 6-10PM

Taking Place At:
StolenSpace
17 Osborn Street
London, England E1 6TD

Coming up this September at London’s StolenSpace Gallery will be “LAX/LHR”. For the ninth iteration of Thinkspace’s traveling group exhibitions, we have teamed up with D*Face and his crew to present the largest survey of the New Contemporary Art Movement to ever take place in the United Kingdom.

This special exhibition will feature over 130 local and international artists co-curated by Los Angeles-based gallery Thinkspace and London-based gallery StolenSpace. The massive group exhibition serves as a survey of the burgeoning New Contemporary Art Movement for art lovers in the United Kingdom, handpicked by two of the scene’s most prolific galleries.

“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,” Thinkspace co-founder Andrew Hosner said.

Featuring 12×12 inch (30x30cm) works from:
Aaron Nagel
Adam Caldwell
Alex Yanes
Ale xis Diaz
Allison Sommers
Amanda Marie
Andrew McAttee
Andy Kehoe
Angry Woebots
Anthony Clarkson
Arth Daniels
Atsuko Goto
Baghead
Beau Stanton
Bec Winnel
Ben Frost
Ben Turnbull
Brian Mashburn
bumblebeelovesyou
Carl Cashman
Casey Weldon
Charles Krafft
Charlie Anderson
Chie Yoshii
Chris Stead
Christine Wu
Cinta Vidal
Cleon Peterson
Craig ‘Skibs’ Barker
Cryptik
Crystal Wagner
Curtis Kulig
David Bray
David Cooley
Derek Gores
Drew Leshko
Drew Young
EINE
Ekundayo
Erik Siador
Evoca1
Felipe Pantone
Frank Gonzales
Fumi Nakamura
Haroshi
Herakut
Hueman
Jacub Gagnon
Jana & JS
Jason Thielke
Jeremy Fish
Jeremy Hush
Jim Houser
Joanne Nam
Jolene Lai
Jorge Rodriguez-Gerada
Joseph Martinez
Josie Morway
Kari-Lise Alexander
Kelly Vivanco
Ken Flewellyn
Kevin Peterson
Ki Sung Koh
Kikyz1313
Kojiro Ankan Takakawa
Kozyndan
Kwon Kyung-Yup
Kyle Stewart
Lauren Napolitano
Lindsey Carr
Linnea Strid
Liz Brizzi
The London Police
Low Bros
Luke Chueh
Mari Inukai
Mary Iverson
Matt Linares
Matt Small
Matthew Grabelsky
Meggs
Meryl Donoghue
Mike Egan
Monica Canilao
Mysterious Al
Nosego
Nychos
Nylon
Okuda
Ozabu
Pam Glew
Paul Barnes
Paul Stephenson
Persue
Peter Adamyan
Ramon Maiden
Reka
Rone
Ronzo
Ryan Callanan
Sandra Chevrier
Scott Listfield
Sean Mahan
Sebastian Wahl
Seth Armstrong
Shepard Fairey
So Youn Lee
Snik
Stinkfish
Sylvia Ji
Tony Philippou
Tran Nguyen
Troy Lovegates
Twoone
Von
Will Barras
Yosuke Ueno

X-OPLUS 32×32 inch (81x81cm) works from:
Audrey Kawasaki
Alexis Diaz
C215
Curiot
Cyrcle
D*Face
David Cooley
Erik Jones
Joram Roukes
Kai & Sunny
Kevin Peterson
The London Police
Low Bros
Maya Hayuk
Nosego
Word To Mother-Thinkspace X StolenSpace-
On View: September 4th – October 4th

Interview with Drew Leshko

Drew Leshko Rusty Icebox

New works by Drew Leshko will be on view at Thinkspace Gallery July 18th – August 8th. The opening reception for Drew’s work along with artists Nosego and Brian Mashburn is from 6-9pm on Saturday, July 18th.

SH:  What is your process?
DL: I’m a sculptor that works mainly with paper so a lot of the process is knife work with a variety of X-acto blades. For the Dumpsters and small works, the process begins with a large sheet of hot press illustration board. I like hot press papers for their smooth textures and use illustration board as it accepts paints and pigments very well. By making a series of cuts and scores on the flat sheet, eventually the dumpsters fold into the desired shape. At this point, I’ll use some PVA glue to set the forms. Once dry I’ll fill all of the seams with plaster, then sand clean. Very heavy-handedly, I’ll apply enamels to the dumpsters, one side at a time allowing the paint to pool a bit so that they dry without brush strokes – I try to achieve the look of a real dumpster which most likely was sprayed with wet paint from an air gun. Once dry, I’ll start adding on the details — handles, wheels, hinges, lids, etc.

The most difficult part of the dumpster works is prepping the wheat pastes. I have them printed on a nice heavy, acid-free Matte photo paper so that the paper receives the ink nicely, but the scale of the paper is all wrong. It’s way too thick at this point, so I peel layers of the paper apart trying to isolate a very thin top layer that I then distress that with sandpaper, and manipulations by hand. This takes time and a whole lot of patience.

SH: How long does it take you to finish a single piece? For example, a dumpster and a small two-story building.
DL: The buildings are large undertakings. Even a small two story building takes me about a month, and I work around 40 hours a week in the studio… A lot of the work is the preparation of the paper building materials. Cutting, painting, and gluing bricks is a slow grind. Nothing is prefabricated, so everything is sculpted from a stack of blank papers and wood. In a way, each component of a building is worked on as an individual sculpture, then applied to the custom panel (building shaped) similar to a collage.

Dumpsters and small works are created in downtime while I’m waiting for glue or paint to dry on the big projects but are typically completed over a week or two. I like to have a couple different projects going at the same time so that i can bounce between them. My work involves a lot of very delicate and precarious glue joints, so I’ve come to terms with stepping away from them at certain points to protect the work I’d just put in. As the work is mainly paper, stray glue can be devastating and really wreck what I’d been trying to accomplish.

SH: Do you work from your own source photography?
DL: Yes, I photograph all of the buildings myself for reference images. There have been a couple of projects where artist friends have shared photos they’ve taken for me to use.

All of the wheat pastes are photographs that I’ve taken while wandering Philly. Most of them are from right in my neighborhood.

Drew Leshko Yams

SH: Who are your favorite artists at the moment?
DL: Alex Lukas, Jen Stark, and Erin M Riley

SH: What is the biggest misconception about being an artist?
DL: I’m not sure what the biggest misconception would be, but i know its not an easy lifestyle. I’m not able to make my living just off of my artwork, so i have to balance between studio work and work-work. So when i say that i work 40 hours a week in the studio, thats on top of the 30 hours a week i work to pay the bills. For an outsider it seems kind of crazy, but after doing this for almost a decade, it just is what it is.

SH: What is the most fulfilling part of being an artist?
DL: The most fulfilling thing for me is when someone really connects with my sculptures. I love to watch people getting excited about the work, but also getting confused about the materials being used. In particular, Swizz Beatz was really blown away by my buildings and the attention to detail. He said to me that he really connected to the work, as the building reminded him of his roots in New York. Though none of the buildings were from NYC, the architectural styles are mostly the same through Northeastern cities…. So by working with an architectural style like “Colonial Revival” or similar, the buildings tend to be more ambiguous and less Philly-centric.

Drew Leshko Counter Punch

SH: Dream project, if time and money were not an issue?
DL: The Divine Lorraine Hotel here in Philadelphia. Its massive and has it all — the architectural details, various states of decay and preservation, and a rich history. I think it would take me 2 years to sculpt it and it would probably be about 12 feet tall, so i’d need a bigger studio. hahaha

SH: Any plans to spend time in other major cities to help inform future bodies of work, or will Philadelphia be your muse for foreseeable future?
DL: My environment has really shaped my work, no doubt about that. But yes, I’d love to make a trip to LA and start thinking about building a new body of work for my next show with Thinkspace. The only problem is that i don’t know other cities well. My works are capturing a moment in time — buildings that are being torn down, re-purposed, and modernized, so without being a local and really in tune with the dynamics of particular areas, its tough to identify these types of places. I don’t just make buildings that are striking, its more than that.

SH: What do you do when self-doubt or inspiration dry spells hit you?
DL: Yea. self-doubt is a real thing for sure. Most of the time I’ll just put the work away for a few weeks and come back to it. I’ll start something new or different. This Venn-diagram seems about right.

creative venn diagram

 

Please visit the Thinkspace Gallery website for more information and we hope to see you out Saturday, July 18th. 

Interview with Brian Mashburn for “Witness”

Brian Mashburn Witness Mild Spring

Witness‘ will exhibit new works by Brian Mashburn in the Thinkspace Gallery project room. The opening reception is from 6-9pm on Saturday, July 18th and the show is on view till August 8th.

Warm Up Round (Quickies):
Coffee or tea?
Coffee
Rock, Paper, or Scissors?
Paper
Sweet or Savory?
Sweet

SH: What was your inspiration for “Witness”
BM: The inspiration behind witness was more of a slow build rather than a singular event, no epiphany as is most often the case for me.
My work is an aggregate of influences that evolve within the framework of the type of landscapes I usually paint. These influences, I guess you could call it inspiration, stem from whatever I am exposed to at the time of production: the books I’m reading, the day’s news, the weather, and so on. Each piece individually has a more definable source but when viewed as a whole the inspiration behind this show more vague, fluid.

I will say there were a handful of things that seemed to stand out over the course of making ‘witness’. Namely, I’ve been fascinated with Camille Paglia’s introduction in her relatively recent work Glittering Images. Also been trying to wrap my brain around some of Zisek’s rantings on ideology which I’m pretty sure are profound but a little over my head at times. Finally, I spent some time at the natural history museum in DC and at the national zoo. Both places were immensely helpful in gathering reference. Anyone who is familiar with the Smithsonian NMNH will recognize some to the subjects in these paintings.

SH: Have you ever been to Dollywood?
BM: I’m sorry to say I have not, at least not that I can remember. It’s possible I went when I was younger. That may be something I need to remedy. I have some friends who go somewhat regularly, almost as a pilgrimage. Pigeon Forge (amazing name btw) is pretty close to Asheville, it really is a beautiful place.

SH: What is your process for a painting? Do you work on multiple paintings at a time?
BM: My process is pretty drawn out and labor intensive. I paint in layers, wet on dry, so drying time is always a concern. These days for the most part I can use this to my advantage. I generally have at least a dozen canvas going at any given time and I move between them while waiting for paint to dry. This works for efficiency’s sake but it also allows me to step back, get some distance and reevaluate a work several times during the course of painting.

Brian Mashburn Witness Old Revolution

SH: Favorite brush and paints right now?
BM: I generally use Gamblin oils with a few exceptions, I like a dense titanium white so I’ll often go Winsor & Newton for that. That said, I’m not super particular about the brands I use. I learned to paint using all sorts. I used to go on eBay and find these lots of random used oil colors from various makers and just roll with it. These days I try to keep some consistency only because drying times can really screw me. If something unexpected happens with a brand or medium I’m unfamiliar with it can throw off my whole rhythm and schedule. Gamblin colors have been pretty reliable in this regard.

I’m a little more particular about brushes. I just had to retire one I’ve had for 20 years. It’s hard to replace something like that. Usually I’ll have a handful of brushes that I’m trying out alongside my tested ones. Loew Cornelle has some nice nylon flat brushes that suck for a while then something happens and they get good. No idea what that’s about, it’s kind of weird. My most treasured brushes are all pretty old and have acquired a sort of bristle pa tina that informs the way I paint. If a brush I use for painting clouds dies, on some level I’ll need to relearn how to paint clouds.

Silver brush mops for blending are decent, always on the lookout for a good mop. I’m pretty obsessed with liners, they are the hardest to be satisfied with because there’s no room for error or defect. Furthermore they need to be cheap because the tip will dull regardless of hair and they need to be replaced often.

I was introduced to Trekell during the La Familia show, the 5/0 and 0 golden taklon liners have been awesome and will be a staple from here on.

SH: Your pieces have an insane amount of detail, your eyes must be perfect or your optometrist hates you. Are the details in your paintings having an effect on your physical health?
BM: I usually have either a shoulder, elbow, or wrist issue – repetitive motion injuries, pinched nerves, etc. My eyes are alright, I think. Haven’t had them checked in a minute. I think my back is sacrificed a bit to compensate for my eyes – I tend to lean in and trade posture for clarity. I have a few tricks that involve my easels and studio setup that help.

In general it’s really not too bad, though. I’ve always been accident prone and the risk is limited in the painting studio. I love wood working, have been a picture framer for over 10 years and grew up in lumber yards and cabinet shops. I have had way too many close calls and minor to moderate injuries involving wide range of power tools, so not going to complain about a sore back or elbow (at least not publicly).

Brian Mashburn Witness The Stranger

SH: Has Bob Ross influenced your clouds?
BM: That’s funny. I was obsessed with Bob Ross growing up. I would attempt to paint clouds like him when I was about 11 or 12. It was probably a really formative experience. I remember how disappointing they would always be close up but at a distance they would look fine. This drove me crazy, felt disingenuous somehow. Since then I’ve had this compulsion to make the painting function better, get tighter, the closer you get to it. This is a core tenant of what I do. It’s an odd thing because many of my favorite artists are quite gestural. I guess it’s easy to admire a skill set that is, on a deep seeded level, beyond my grasp.

SH: What is the biggest misconception about being an artist? What is the most fulfilling part of being an artist?
BM: I’d say the biggest misconception is in the sheer workload involved. Being an artist is very hard work, and not always very romantic. At this stage in my career, I am a sole proprietor of a business. 100% of production, r/d, marketing, customer service, and so on is up to me. I know talking about art making in these terms is a bit gross and somewhat counter-intuitive, wherein lies the misconception.

That said, in a way this is also the most fulfilling part. I love not having those sort of authority figures you find in 9-5 environments. I have not always been great with authority figures. There is a lot of stress associated with what I do, but it’s my stress. It’s a burden of my own making and I nurture it. I like that.
I also love the interdisciplinary nature of art. I am very curious and have a lot of interests. Being a painter allows me to dive into various topics that I’d like to know more about and see what if any fit has within the framework of my paintings.

SH: Who’s work are you geeking out over at the moment?
BM: Jacques Louie David and George W Bush. Seriously. Shit’s fascinating.
I also just read the Mary Iverson interview in Juxtapoz. I really admire what she’s doing, although the people problem has me a bit freaked (not a bad thing).

Brian Mashburn Witness Two Elephants

SH: What do you listen to while painting?
BM: Mostly spoken word, audiobooks and podcasts. I get a little obsessed with this sort of stuff. While working on this show I listened to several Malcolm Gladwel l books, some Noam Chomsky essays, some Zisek rants on ideology, biographies on Brian Wilson, Phil Spector, and Mao, and always tune into WTF with Marc Maron.

SH: What is your Mad Max (end of the world) strategy?
BM: Haven’t seen the new Mad Max yet and all I remember from when I was a child is Tina. So my answer is more Walking Dead strategy…

When zombies are concerned, I always thought drop ceilings were underused. I had a possum die in the ceiling of my last studio. It was rank, but almost impossible to pinpoint exactly where it was. If zombies (walking dead zombies at least) go on smell this would be a good way to buy some time or maybe just post up for a while. They’re not going to jump up there with you and you’d have the perfect angle to go at their heads, if you’re into that sort of thing.

If it all went down I’d probably climb up in a drop ceiling, maybe in a Walgreens.

Please visit the Thinkspace Gallery website for more information and we hope to see you out Saturday, July 18th. 

HEAVY DREAMERS with Nosego and Hot Tea

This beautiful short film ‘Heavy Dreamers’  from Jeff Hamada interviews several artists who were invited to create murals and installations at Pow! Wow! Hawaii. Nosego, who’s solo exhibition Along Infinite River opens Saturday July 18 at Thinkspace Gallery, can be seen towards the end of the video. Also, one can see the various manifestations of Hot Tea’s work that are as equally incredible as his installation down at the Long Beach Museum of Art for “Vitality and Verve: Transforming The Urban Landscape.” Don’t miss out on Nosego’s opening Saturday and when visiting the Long Beach Museum of Art, explore the surrounding area to discover James Jean’s Pow! Wow! Long Beach mural.