redefining wanderlust

a life blog by Bekka

Posts for ART Category

Love Letter to Thinkspace Gallery

ART

I was totally lost with no direction when I landed on Thinkspace's doorstep, and they raised me up like a stray kitten.

thinkspace gallery

Thinkspace is celebrating their 10 year anniversary tomorrow, January 10, with the opening of ‘La Familia’ and I felt this was the perfect time to share my undying love for this gallery.  Here is my love letter with a personal backstory…

I had studied for 7 years to be a professional actress, and in the fall of 2007 I decided it wasn’t the path for me. This realization came when an ex-boyfriend of mine was signing up for art classes in college, and I was jealous of him because I had to sign up for another theater class. It was painful to accept that I didn’t want to be an actress. I graduated from High School early for acting, it was all I knew. I didn’t know what I was supposed to do, except I loved art and writing.  I felt more comfortable at art openings, than I did at film festivals. So I got a gallery internship after not signing up for my regular acting class, and started working at 01 Gallery.

The first Thinkspace opening I ever went to was Sarah Joncas and Camilla d’Errico in January 2008. This was a month after I decided to no longer pursue acting. As I drove away from the show, staring at the illuminated painted install shining out from the front window, I told my friend, “that’s the kind of gallery I want to be a part of.” I started my internship with 01 Gallery the following week, and was with them for 7 months before I knew it was time to move on. It was a Thursday when I sent out my resume to galleries around Los Angeles looking for a new internship; Monkey King, Gallery 1988, CoproNason to name a few. When it came down to Thinkspace, my dream gallery, I decided to call them instead. I think a part of me figured getting rejected immediately from them, would be easier than the torture of waiting for an email response.

thinkspace window camilla d'errico

LC, one of the owners of Thinkspace, picked up the phone and I nervously asked if they were looking for interns. He said he was looking for an assistant and if I could come in that day. I agreed, and jumped in the shower to be a presentable human being. I remember it wasn’t a convenient time for me, but when your dream gallery ask you to come in, you don’t say no.  We chatted, and by the end of the conversation LC told me he was going on a tour for a month, but when he got back we’d get started. I quit my internship with 01 Gallery, and a month later returned to Thinkspace to get started as LC’s assistant. 2 years after being with Thinkspace, LC shared with me that he hadn’t officially hired me that fateful Thursday afternoon, but figured “hey this girl keeps showing up, and working hard…why continue the search.”  For a moment I was embarrassed by my brazen assumption I had been chosen to be an intern, but then that assumption secured me a position with my dream gallery.

thinkspace silverlake

Now 7 years later, I’m no longer a Thinkspace intern, but occasionally a gallery assistant and solid family member. The title ‘La Familia’ of Thinkspace’s 10 year anniversary is so on point, as this gallery really developed a community and family in the ten years it’s been around. I came in a little late, but over the last 7 years I see familiar faces and seen artist grow from small pieces in a group show to practically selling out an entire large room (looking at you Jacub Gagnon). This gallery has helped to shine a spotlight on emerging artist and foster an environment for them to flourish.  I’m not an artist, but at one point in time I was curating art shows and it’s solely due to the conversations I had at Thinkspace. Man I remember the day Audrey Kawasaki said I could do anything I put my mind to, I had the energy for it. I might have been buzzed on beer, but I swear she said it!

familiar faces

I love my blood family, but my art family has really shaped who I am today. I was raised to be incredibly cautious and rational. To not just look before I jump, but to inspect the ground and make sure I have the right permits. To consider what the tax situation is going to be like and will I need insurance. For me, growing up with that kind of pressure paralyzed me from doing anything. It was overwhelming to just think about possibly trying something new, and doing something on my own. LC taught me to just do it. He encouraged me to curate my first art show, along with the other owners Shawn and Andrew. They were incredibly supportive, and always gave me a blast in the Sour Harvest newsletter.  Every Thursday for 3 years, LC listened to my romantic woes while I packaged art, spackled holes, and leveled paintings.  He gave me advice on guys, while we searched for artist to invite to Cannibal Flower. I’d share an idea with him while eating lunch; expressing how I wanted to interview artist with silly questions like ‘what’s your spirit animal’, and he’d just say – well do it. That’s how My Favorite MAOI came to be, and although I’ve moved away from that blog, it taught me a lot as well.  Some of the artist I had interviewed or worked with in my early art shows are now represented by Thinkspace, like Glenn Arthur and Kevin Peterson. What can I say, I think I have a good eye!

glenn arthur 2009

Picture from the show Black Market Sugar I curated at The Lab in Costa Mesa

Thinkspace was the catalyst in my life to a happier, more confident, and fulfilling path. LC, Valentine, Shawn and Andrew will stand in my future wedding photos like the important family members they are. If a terrible Si-Fi movie of my life was to be written and the plot was to ruin my existence, all the villain would have had to do was distract LC and prevent him from picking up my call that Thursday afternoon. I was totally lost with no direction when I landed on Thinkspace’s doorstep, and they raised me up like a stray kitten. I’ve grown and changed so much within the last seven years, and I truly attribute a lot of that positive growth to the people at Thinkspace.

I commend you if your attention span actually read my entire love letter. I could write a 1000 more words about how amazing this gallery is and the ways it has influenced my life, but then I’d really just have my heart bleeding all over this post.  ‘La Familia’ opens tomorrow and it’s going to be crazy, and amazing!

I love my crazy amazing art family.

Xoxo, Bekka

family portrait

sorry David Cooley (he’s being covered by Valentine)

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ART + MUSIC : El Jaleo with Iron and Wine

I’ve been reading An Object of Beauty and this painting “El Jaleo” by John Singer Sargent (1882) is shown in the book. Immediately the image reminded my of the “Boy with a Coin” by Iron & Wine music video.  Now I will introduce this beautiful combination to my readers, enjoy.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KHw7gdJ14uQ&w=560&h=315]

El Jaleo John Singer Sargent  Painting

 

 

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OKC : Birth of a Dream

womb gallery roadtrip

The saying, if you knew how powerful your thoughts are you’d never have a bad one, really is the best intro into what I’m about to share. Wayne Coyne, singer of Flaming Lips, lives in Oklahoma City and has a reputation for being very nice, giving, and open. A king of the freaks, he welcomes people, if you can find him. Knowing his gallery, Womb Gallery was located in Oklahoma City, Bowerbird and I decided on a whim to just see if we knocked on the door possibly we would be able to stay at the compound.  Unfortunately the freak storm in Oklahoma, caused us to pull off the road 16 miles from the gallery and all my hopes of running into Wayne washed away.

The next morning we went to the gallery, and as Womb is known to have fluctuating hours, I assumed we’d only be able to take pictures on the outside and it would put us 10 minutes behind schedule max. We also had the diamond crater of Arkansas on our list of things to do that day. Instead Womb Gallery turned into nearly an hour excursion and it was better than we could have imagined, we found a different kind of diamond that day.

Driving up to the gallery, there was a group of men taking down an installation of a nose on the outside of the building. I could tell the gallery probably wasn’t open, but I wasn’t going to let it stop me from asking. Approaching the gallery manager, we asked if it was open and after explaining we we’re on a road trip from California and wouldn’t be able to swing back for the show, Jake was very kind and offered to give us a tour. Their show Acid Off by artist Isis Fisher opens this weekend, October 11, and half the space was incomplete but the concepts mind blowing.

Glitter floors, fluorescent walls, textural and scent stimulating sculptures; the entire space awakens a creative spark within. Pushing norms, and mixing the absurd with post-modern fine art.  Jake and I geeked out on art, discussing past exhibits with Dalek and Bigfoot. I even shared with him an artist I had worked with before, Alex Chiu that I feel would fit in the gallery perfectly.

***photos and topics after the jump are graphic in nature, Bowerbird’s mom who is a loyal reader will most likely not enjoy the following – so you’ve been warned <3 ***

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FLASHBACK FRIDAY : Artist Glenn Arthur

 

First published on My Favorite MAOI – 6/5/2009

Name: Glenn Arthur
Nickname: Glenny
Sign: Aquarius

Favorite:
Ice Cream: Strawberry
Book: The kind I can color in.
Color: Black (but only until they come out with something darker)

Q1. What animal is your spirit guide?
A1.Not sure. I hope it’s a hummingbird…and if it’s not then I’ll just lie and say it is 😉

Q2. If you had a parrot what would you teach it to say?
A2.”Get off my lawn!”

Q3. What superhero would you make your sidekick?
A3.Wonder Woman for sure. But only if i get to fly the invisible jet!

Q4. What do you admire in a person?
A4.Intelligent vulgarity.

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LA ART SHOW 2014

ART

 

I’ve been developing a YouTube channel that is a funnel for my interests, another outlet to share my thoughts and be expressive. My goal is to have a lot more art and music related content posted on the channel, a part from the silly Tag Videos and Haul purchases. An example of this was my Vlog of attending the LA Art Show a few weeks ago, well a solid month ago.

The show was an incredible visual stimulation overload. By the time we left, I was almost completely desensitized. Seeing pieces and galleries we had missed on our four hours of art absorption on the way out, I felt only the slightest tug at my art heart strings saying “turn around and see what you missed.” The LA Art Show CAN NOT be done right in one day. Even if you give yourself enough time to not be rushed, you end up skimming over pieces because something else grabs your attention more. You miss just being with each piece and taking in all it has to tell you before your brain burns out.

While watching back at the pieces I filmed, I realized I have a strong affinity for mixed media and repurposed art. The structural and three-dimensional aspects of the pieces that really grabbed my attention were so well constructed. The artistry was balanced with this technical craftsmanship that was awe-inspiring. Yet there were post-modern paintings executed with classic techniques and touched upon today’s society, making them rich social artistic commentary on the world we live in today. There was so much I didn’t get on camera because I was shy. I’m getting better putting myself out there in public, and I just need to remind myself it’s for the greater good of sharing the art and the experience.

Hope you enjoy my LA ART SHOW experience!

More details on the pieces filmed after the jump.

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