POW! WOW! Long Beach 2016 Around The Corner

The following is pulled from POW! WOW!’s blog discussing Pow! Wow! Long Beach. The Long Beach Museum of Art is already starting to be transformed by the installation artist, and you can get a peak of it on Thinkspace Gallery’s snapchat, username: thinkspace_art. We hope you’re just as excited for this year’s Pow! Wow! Long Beach as we are! 

All photos by Brian Addison.

POW WOW LONG BEACH

Tristan Eaton painting his mural on the Varden Hotel.

Pow! Wow! Long Beach returns this year with a new assortment of artists to paint the walls of Long Beach in the name of spectacular, free art that is accessible by the public and ephemeral in the hands of time.

Six years ago in the warehouse-filled Kaka’ako district of Honolulu, a young Jasper Wong saw an incredible opportunity to create a spectacle that harkened more to the power of humans rather than the excessiveness of human partying.

Coachella he was not seeking. EDC? Absolutely not. He was creating what would soon become a phenomenon that the art world could not ignore. This is Pow! Wow!—and last year, the famed art collective made its first stamp on Long Beach.

Eschewing hipster antics—those popularity-contest-driven events where the partying is slowly eclipsing the art—Wong wanted to bring together his beyond cool friends as “an excuse to make an area better with art.”

We are talking talented street artists that are beyond respected in their own right, from James Jean to Ekundayo, Wu Yue to Will Barras. The result of his “excuse”? Massive mural after mural that has now created a public, outdoor collection of the some of the world’s finest street art, with some walls oftentimes altering year after year. Last year’s Pow! Wow! in Hawaii? It brought over 100 artists the U.K., Germany, Egypt, Israel, Mexico, Lithuania, and the States.

And last year’s event in Long Beach? It turned, in the words of some, DTLB into one of SoCal’s finest outdoor museums, etching names James Jean, Tristan Eaton, Nychos, Cryptic, Fafi, Low Bros, Jeff Soto and more to the streets of Long Beach. On walls. For the public to explore.

POW WOW LONG BEACH

Assistants help create Fafi’s piece on 4th between Elm and Linden; it has since been removed and is stored at interTrend Communications.

“Every year, every time, we tell ourselves that we are gonna scale it a bit back—y’know, it’s not easy managing all these artists taking on all these massive walls“ Wong said. “But each year we grew substantially—including to other cities [such as Taiwan, Singapore, and D.C.] has become a different kind of beast altogether.”

The ultimate point of Pow! Wow! is simple: create a global artist collective that seeks to alter the public landscape by providing the world’s leading street artists the largest canvases possible—the walls of buildings—while bringing together creative spirits in a way that is otherwise not possible. It has additionally brought forward musicians, photographers, and videographers to bring their own artistic flair to the event as it has expanded over the years.

POW WOW LONG BEACH

This year’s dais includes a plethora of the world’s finest street, graphic, and traditional artists (including Long Beach’s own Yoskay Yamamoto and David Van Patten as well as Long Beach-connected Andrew Hem) and, more impressively, a wonderful array of women and duos.

Aaron Li-Hill: This Toronto native was raised in California but lives in New York and has ancestry in China—making his art one that is culturally captivating and wonderfully hypnotic. Li-Hill has an obsessed with “arresting motion,” where birds are halted mid-flight and creatures stare directly into your eyes.

Brendan Monroe: Monroe hails from Oakland and he isn’t just a painter… Sculptor, illustrator, and husband, Monroe’s interpretations of the world are rooted in science then executed through painting and sculpting.

Andrew Hem: The child of Cambodian immigrants, Hem is no stranger to Long Beach—or the horrors that his parents experienced under the Khmer Rouge. His works are somber, their temperatures cool—as if Hem’s environments are perpetually viewed through a blue lens—and incredibly engaging.

Cinta Vidal Agulló: Based in Barcelona, her work plays with geometry and architecture in a way reminiscent of M.C. Escher but with a colorful and playful quality that makes her definitively unique.

David Van Patten: This famed Long Beach artist’s work is prolific. He demonstrates visuals ranging from dreamlike absurdism, psychedelic surrealism, childlike-storybook simplicity, ethical fables, to disturbingly dark humor—and you can find his work on everything from album covers to cider bottles to art galleries.

DEFER: One of LA’s most respected graffiti artists since the 1980s. Leading the way for future writers, DEFER’s letter-forms create beautifully complex, pattern-like expanses where street meets fine art.

Edwin Ushiro: This Maui-born, California-raised artist attended the Art Center College of Design and attained a BFA in Illustration. His work, almost always revolving around hypnotic female figures, bounces between graphic-like design and the images of Hawaiian charm and color.

Ernest Zacharevic: Zacharevic is that artist where medium comes into question, where his work provokes not just philosophical questions about the state of the world but basic art questions like, “Is that a painting or a sculpture?” Whether its a barrel of monkeys (with a physical barrel embedded into the wall of the mural) or two children racing in shopping carts (where, once again, physical shopping carts are embedded into the wall), Zacharevic is as humorous as he is challenging.

Felipe Pantone: Straddling the line between graphical and hand-drawn, typography and graffiti, Felipe’s work “draws on our concerns of the digital age and the speed at which technology is developing, like looking several light years ahead into the future and discovering a new language in which to communicate.”

Gail Werner: Werner’s work reflects the landscape and cultural imagery related to her Native American background. Her tribal affiliation is with the Cupeño, Luiseño, and Kumeyaay tribes located in southern California. Many of the elements found in her work such as color, light, and plant and animal life are influenced by the southern California desert and mountain landscape.

HITOTZUKI: The collaborative name of husband’n’wife team Kami and Sasu, where Kami’s free-flow wavey composition is juxtaposed (and incorporated into) Sasu’s eerily perfected geometric shapes.

Hula: This Hawaii-grown artist is now based in New York. Self-taught, he travels the world creating paintings which capture the emotions and interactions between the figures and their environment. With each piece, Hula merges his backgrounds in both street and fine art.

Jaime Molina: Molina is an artist based in Denver, Colorado. He makes mixed-media paintings, sculptures and murals that often display a folk art influence. This artist is a multi-talented professional whose aesthetic is well-defined and evokes a ruminative yet dynamic atmosphere.

Kaplan Bunce: Artist, wood-maker and the 2015 President of the Kaua’i Powwow Council in Kauai. Boom.

KASHINK: Following in the footsteps of Fafi, the other French street artist who appeared in last year’s event in Long Beach, KASHINK paints huge four eyed characters (all male, usually hairy’n’fat), with thick lines, vivid colors, in a very distinctive style–all while wearing a fake mustache.

OG Slick: Slick is one of the most respected street artists on the West, from the streets of Honolulu to Los Angeles since the mid 1980s. And we’re not just talking graffiti; we’re talking murals, sneaker design, typography, video games…

OG23: Combining nearly a decades worth of painting experience, Melbourne artist OG23, is finally dipping his paint covered feet into the professional art world. Fusing precise visual connections, a multifaceted colour palette and design heavy aesthetics, OG23’s work welds an array of influences to produce a body of work, completely of his own.

Pantónio: Hailing from the Azores Islands of Portugal, he describes his work as “the intuitive drawing movement and fluidity between elements.” Animals, interweaving elements, and high contrasts define his aesthetic.

Sarah Joncas: This Canadian artist has garnered a name for herself by skipping animation (where she started) and joining the forces of the fine arts, creating images that harness the power of femininity and street smarts.

Sket One: Sket is no stranger to Long Beach; you can find murals of his in both the East Village in DTLB and on the front-facing wall of Fine Feathers Kombucha Co. along Long Beach Blvd. at 23rd. Playful, clean, and distinct, his obsessed with toys and fantasies always comes to life in his murals.

Telmo Miel: Netherlanders Telmo Pieper and Miel Krutzmann are the duo behind Telmo Miel, both of whom create realistic, giant murals with nothing but spray paint. Whether its blow-up pink flamingos or beautiful children, Telmo Miel’s mass-scale murals are captivating.

Yoskay Yamamoto: This Japanese-turned-Long Beach native ventured to the US at the age of 15, teaching himself the art of illustration while falling for the urban life of the West Coast. Call his work Japanese American urban pop art.

For more information, visit www.powwowlongbeach.com

All photos and copy are ©2016 Downtown Long Beach Associates unless otherwise stated. For inquiries regarding use of photos or copy, email info@dlba.org

Jeremy Fish, Jim Houser, and Troy Lovegates Opening Reception

Opening Reception of Jeremy Fish, Troy Lovegates, Jim Houser

This past Saturday our gallery was filled with the creative and colorful personalities of Jeremy Fish, Jim Houser, and Troy Lovegates. This merry band of artists brought into the gallery their latest body of work commenting on their observations and interpretations of life as they see it, their compositions always filled with a sprinkle of humor and a dash of sarcasm. You can view all available works from Jeremy Fish, Jim Houser, and Troy Lovegates on the Thinkspace Gallery website. We invite you to come see the current exhibition Tuesday through Saturday noon to 6pm, on view until July 16th.

Jeremy Fish Opening Reception Jeremy Fish Opening Reception Jeremy Fish Opening Reception Jeremy Fish Opening Reception Jeremy Fish Opening Reception Jeremy Fish Opening Reception Jeremy Fish Opening Reception Jeremy Fish Opening Reception Jeremy Fish Opening Reception Jeremy Fish Opening Reception Jeremy Fish Opening Reception Jeremy Fish Opening Reception Jeremy Fish Opening Reception Jeremy Fish Opening Reception Jeremy Fish Opening Reception Jeremy Fish Opening Reception Jeremy Fish Opening Reception Jeremy Fish Opening Reception

Jim Houser Opening Reception Jim Houser Opening Reception Jim Houser Opening Reception Jim Houser Opening Reception Jim Houser Opening Reception Jim Houser Opening Reception Jim Houser Opening Reception Jim Houser Opening Reception Jim Houser Opening Reception Jim Houser Opening Reception Jim Houser Opening Reception Jim Houser Opening Reception Jim Houser Opening Reception Jim Houser Opening Reception Jim Houser Opening Reception Jim Houser Opening Reception Jim Houser Opening Reception Jim Houser Opening Reception Jim Houser Opening Reception Troy Lovegates Opening Reception

Troy Lovegates Opening Reception Troy Lovegates Opening Reception Troy Lovegates Opening Reception Troy Lovegates Opening Reception Troy Lovegates Opening Reception Troy Lovegates Opening Reception Troy Lovegates Opening Reception Troy Lovegates Opening Reception Troy Lovegates Opening Reception Troy Lovegates Opening Reception Troy Lovegates Opening Reception Troy Lovegates Opening Reception Troy Lovegates Opening Reception Troy Lovegates Opening Reception Troy Lovegates Opening Reception Troy Lovegates Opening Reception

Photos are courtesy of Birdman Photography.

Jeremy Fish Opening Reception

New Troy Lovegates Mural in Culver City

Troy Lovegates

A new Troy Lovegates mural can be discovered in Culver City on little La Cienega  in conjunction with his current exhibition, “Tales From The Riverbank”.  Visit Thinkspace Gallery Tuesday through Saturday from noon to 6pm to view Troy Lovegates new body of work and view all of Troy’s available work here.

toy lovegates at Thinkspace Gallery

Jeremy Fish Interview on PROHBTD

Jeremy Fish PROHBTD

Online culture magazine PROHBTD interviewed Jeremy Fish for his upcoming exhibition at Thinkspace Gallery. The article covers Jeremy’s health scares, art installations, and the mythical beasts which will be featured throughout the work. Check out the full interview on their website.

Can you tell me about the mythical beasts in the new show?

Some of the themes came from things I knew and loved about LA as a little kid. I grew up in upstate New York, and LA always seemed so fucking cool in film and television in the ’80s. I loved Fast Times [at Ridgemont High], Cheech & Chong, The Big Lebowski and The A-Team. At that age, I was also deeply fascinated with BMX, skateboarding and all things Disney. So I started by making lists of things I loved about LA and went from there. The ideas for the lurky “beasts” grew from my list of things about LA I loved, combined with some very inspiring friends who live there and past experiences I have had over my 22 years living in California. My imagination went from there and delivered these 22 new beasts in the form of drawings and paintings.

New Works by Jeremy Fish and Jim Houser featured on Juxtapoz

Jux Banner

Juxtapoz featured our upcoming exhibition of new works by Jeremy Fish and Jim Houser online, hop on over to their website and read the full write up and get ready for Saturday!

Two phenomenally influential and distinctively stylized artists, Jeremy Fish, and Jim Houser both came to their love of art making through drawing, music, and skate culture. – Juxtapoz

Interview with Troy Lovegates for ‘Tales From The Riverbank’

Lovegates Banner II

Troy Lovegates wanders the world with eyes wide open absorbing his surrounding and soaking in inspiration, his brain firing with ideas faster than he can record them. We’re excited to be showing Lovegates latest body of work ‘Tales from the Riverbank’, opening Saturday, June 25th. Our interview with Lovegates covers the days before the internet, his creative process, and what the life of this artist looks like.

SH: What is the inspiration or narrative behind the latest body of work?
TL: It is hard to say, every little piece in the show is something different i think … trying to express one separate thing. I don’t really have a blanket inspiration or narrative. Consider the body a variation of all the trials and tribulations of the last 6 months.

Troy Lovegates Tales from the Riverbank

SHWhat does being an artist mean to you?
TL: Here in San Francisco it is very strange to be an artist. I work on an odd schedule comparatively to the 9-5ers, most of my days are searching for frames and wood and wandering. Looking for references and ideas out on the streets to incorporate into my work. To me wandering is a huge part of being an artist, just getting on the train to a different part of the bay area and wandering up mountains and thinking alot. I find that all the parks and hills and lakes and streets are dead in the day everyone is on a hard grind here to afford SF, so i experience a weird quiet shell of a city . Then i usually work all night, I don’t know i guess being an artist to me is thinking way-way too much.

SH: What is your favorite and least favorite aspects of being an artist?
TL:  (favorite) Painting murals on the street is amazing because you meet people and they want to know what you are up to and engage with you and give you feed back …. painting in the studio can be a really lonely experience

Travelling for exhibitions and murals … new places … really the most inspiring thing is a fresh view and new faces and energy

I can and have moved anywhere as my work can be created wherever.  It is not dependent on one-time zone or one office or city; therefore I have lived in Toronto, Montreal,Vancouver, Victoria, Berlin, Taipei, Buenos Aires and now San Francisco

(least favorite) Getting the funding to make the work you really want to be making. I find it hard to truly 100% concentrate on what I want to be doing as an artist because shit like rent, food and the money you need to make get in the way.

I spend so much time applying for grants and sketching proposals trying to get big projects on the go and 95% of the time it never comes to be. Actually, some of the drawings in this show are rejected murals.

Troy Lovegates Tales from the Riverbank

SH: You have a lot of fun with patterns and color in your work? Do you map out how it will be first or just let it flow?
TL: In the last years a lot of my color drawings are like those ink splotch cards that you see in movies, look at this one what do you see? An axe murderer! And this one? A butterfly. I just splootch down some paint and fill in what I see in the various shapes; a lot of them come out just terrible so I leave them on the streets or on the train or wherever. Most of the time when I am doing patterns I just wing it, no outline no color palette, I like things looking off … while i admire the work of people such as say the Low Bros and their ability for perfection i am just way to messy and impatient to focus the way they do …

SH: What is your creative process?
TL: Oh man it is the dance of procrastination. I am the unfocused artist fighting to get something finished. I will have like 5 paintings or drawings on the go at once and be eating and texting and watching a movie and battling someone at scrabble, then take the dog for a walk, then back to painting and listening to a podcast and doing the laundry and scrolling Instagram. I really need a cabin in the woods to escape all the city out there dragging me away from my work

Troy Lovegates Tales from the Riverbank

SH: How do you work through creative blocks and self-doubt?
TL: I have the opposite of a creative block I have too many ideas. Really, I am always thinking down the line to the next thing I want to do and I get really excited. I need to calm down and put in the work on my current painting before I can move on.

Self-doubt is a motivator for me. Nothing is ever good enough, and that propels me to do better or just do more and more until I get it right. But I never get it right and that is what keeps me on and on.

SH: What drew you to painting on trains? Do you have a good story to share from the yards?
TL: Way back in the early 1990s before smart phones and high speed internet, graffiti artists used to trade photos with each other through the mail. Someone gave me one address and when I wrote them they sent me more addresses in the package. Also in these letters would be photos of local graffiti, stickers and sketches of lettering etc. The names and dates of the artist would be written on the backs of the photos. I wasn’t really into painting trains at that time but had done a couple with some friends on nights we couldn’t find good walls. Anyways, this one friend of mine got a package from some writer in San Diego and it had a photo of one of my trains that I had painted in Toronto that he had photographed in Mexico. That was three time zones away and a 24 hour drive south in a country that at that point I had never set foot in. After that I almost only painted trains, the North American train system was like a giant bulky internet sending random messages out to who the hell knows where.

 

Troy Lovegates Tales from the Riverbank

SH: Today it’s more common for street artists to be exhibited in galleries, but when you started there was still a push back. What was that transition like for you? How did you figure out how to translate what you were doing outside to indoors?
TL: I started scribbling on walls way back in 1988-89 it must be so different for a person starting today. People intentionally do street art now as a way to break into the gallery world or mural world. I never imagined I would have turned into an artist from skateboarding around and drawing on walls and trains. These days I try less and less to associate the two things together at all; art outside and art inside are two completely different beings. One is clandestine and quick and fleeting a lot of it is not documented and probably nobody even sees it or if they do, really cares. The other is super detailed and thought out and planned in a safe peaceful environment listening to music and relaxing for an intentional audience.

SH: What would be a perfect day in SF be like for you?
TL: Get up early take the train out to some random mountain, hike with the dog for a few hours perhaps find a train line or a random spot to draw on a bit. Come back down into the city and check some thrift stores on the way back to the train. Then meet up with the wife on the train back home and have dinner and work late into the night, possibly another night time adventure with the puppy. Maybe a beer up in the hills as the fog rolls in or a long bike ride somewhere? swimming? beach walk… San Francisco to me is all about the nature surrounding the city. There are so many different perfect days to have out there!

SH: Congratulations, you get to throw the most epic dinner party for 5 people dead or alive! (Loved ones get an automatic in) Who is on the guest list? What’s on the menu? And what would be your ice breaker question?
TL: Gosh, I think i would like to have dinner with New Order and Richard D James. Actually, I think I would like to get pissed with them. I think we would all forgo dinner as to let the alcohol go right to our heads. Just a night out on the town or something. I think my icebreaker would be wanting to know what music they are listening to these days and what are their favorite bands and groups of all time. Maybe they have some hidden gems that I know nothing about … ( i really need some new music)

Troy Lovegates

Join us this Saturday, June 25th from 6-9pm for the opening of ‘Tales from the Riverbank’ in the Thinkspace Gallery project room. For more information on Troy Lovegates, please visit the Thinkspace Gallery website.

Interview with Jim Houser for his Upcoming Exhibition

Jim Houser Banner

Jim Houser will be showing his latest body of work alongside Jeremy Fish in their upcoming exhibition opening Saturday, June 25th. Jim Houser’s work is an analysis of self and the world, stripped of pretense and broken down into its most simplistic form of communication. In turn creating work that is both playful and thought-provoking. Our interview with Jim Houser discusses the inspiration behind this latest body of work, his thoughts on the art world, and a basic day in the life of this Philadelphia artist.

SH: What is the inspiration or narrative behind the latest body of work ?
JH: It is all just continued self-examination , but hopefully has elements to it that are universal and that people can relate to. Looking back over what I have made over the last few months, my health comes up a lot in there. My son has started to work his way more and more into things, I think maybe appropriating ideas of how he sees things. Also, there’s some meditation in the work about the work itself, the how and why I make what I make.

Jim Houser New Work

SH: How do you work through creative blocks and self-doubt?
JH: I make work because of that stuff, not despite it. It seems like the periods where I feel good about myself and my work is usually when I sit back and rest. That zone of feeling frustrated and or anxious is kind of a sweet spot for getting things out for me, unfortunately.

SH: As you are showing alongside Jeremy Fish, what are a few of your favorite aspects of his works?
JH: His craftsmanship and attention to detail. I constantly see things from Jeremy that boggle my mind from a technical standpoint. And also his work ethic, he is incredibly prolific.

Jim Houser New Work

SH: You’ve been a part of the New Contemporary Art movement for well over a decade, what are your feelings about the movement, your place in it, and where it is headed ?
JH: The older I get, the less energy or interest I have to look around at what direction that stuff takes. I just do my thing and keep my head down, really.  As far as my place in anything goes, if I am thought of as a good person who makes honest work then that is really all I could ask for.

Jim Houser New Work

SH: Your work possess different reoccurring symbols that connect to deeper meanings, care to elaborate on any of the “regulars”? Definitely, tell us a lil’ about my favorite, the Lurker please.
JH: The Lurker references those feelings of doubt and anxiety that you referred to, for the most part. But most of those reoccurring icons have multiple meanings.

SH: Your work has been described as visual poems, do you have a favorite poet? If not, do you have a favorite author?
JH: No, I don’t have a favorite poet. In fact, I like writing poetry but don’t really enjoy reading formal poetry as such . I’m drawn to a particular type of poetic prose,  like a specific type of well crafted evocative sentence. It’s hard for me to put a finger on exactly what that is. But if I find three or 4 of them in a book, then to me that’s a pretty good book. As far as what I like to read, I read a lot of science fiction and historical non-fiction.

Jim Houser New Work

SH: When did you first find your artistic voice, when did it all click? How have you grown over the years?
JH: Man, I don’t know. I’ve written and drawn my whole life. I guess once I noticed that other people were drawn to what I made and were responding to it? Maybe my mid -twenties ? But iIdon’t feel any differently about what I make now than I did when I was 10 years old .

SH: Your work has a playfulness to it and you’re very open about sharing your son’s artistic aptitude, has he influenced any of your work?
JH: I think the playfulness people perceive may come from trying to execute an idea in the simplest way possible. Even my more complicated paintings are just a collection of single simple thoughts. In a lot of ways, the best things my son makes or does will capture that concept perfectly. I’ll look at things he draws and think never in a million years would I be able to pare things down to that, and yet here it is .

Jim Houser New Work

SH: What is the biggest misconception about being an artist?
JH: It makes me sad when people refer to themselves at “not artistic”, but in the same breath they can prepare a spectacular meal or use some novel way to fix their car or their water heater. Everyone is creative, it’s part of the human condition.

SH: What does a day in the studio look like and your creative process?
JH: Get the kid ready for school, get him out the door. I usually work from 9am -1pm then eat something and take a nap. Seamus gets home at 3pm and we hang out until Jess gets home at 7pm. We eat dinner as a family. Once he is in bed, I work some more , 8-10pm. That’s a pretty standard day.

Jim Houser New Work

For more information on the exhibition please visit the Thinkspace Gallery website. The opening reception is from 6 – 9pm on Saturday, June 25th.