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Opening Night: Erik Jones and Tran Nguyen’s “New Works” at Thinkspace

Last weekend, Thinkspace Gallery debuted "New Works" by Tran Nguyen and Erik Jones, who both treat the classic human form with abstract elements. Although separated by choice of color and medium, this exhibition seamlessly merges their illustrative styles. The new work of Brooklyn-based Erik Jones clothes his nudes in highly saturated patterns and geometrical shapes. The happy, bright colors of the foreground seem to mask a melancholy expressed by Jones’s subjects. This tension is intentional; Jones offers the idea of opposing visual relationships by merging beautifully rendered portraits with mixed media “fashions." With fashion serving as an inspiration, his “models” convey the indifference of one caught off guard or a moment in time. In some cases, the figure disappears completely. Read more after the jump.


Erik Jones with his work.

Last weekend, Thinkspace Gallery debuted “New Works” by Tran Nguyen and Erik Jones, who both treat the classic human form with abstract elements. Although separated by choice of color and medium, this exhibition seamlessly merges their illustrative styles. The new work of Brooklyn-based Erik Jones clothes his nudes in highly saturated patterns and geometrical shapes. The happy, bright colors of the foreground seem to mask a melancholy expressed by Jones’s subjects. This tension is intentional; Jones offers the idea of opposing visual relationships by merging beautifully rendered portraits with mixed media “fashions.” With fashion serving as an inspiration, his “models” convey the indifference of one caught off guard or a moment in time. In some cases, the figure disappears completely.

Where Jones’s subjects don’t know they are in front of an audience, Tran Nguyen’s look straight at the viewer with raw emotion. Her portrayal of smiling faces and anguished tears are all part of a shared realm of experience. Interested in the therapeutic possibilities of art, Nguyen explores a variety of psychological themes and symbols. Even in the most cheerful portrait, To My Deep-seated Abyss, her subject is consumed by dark, unsettling shapes. In the project room, Alex Yanes lightens the mood with his playful 3D mixed media portraits, “Better Than Yesterday.” “New Works” by Tran Nguyen and Erik Jones exhibits at Thinkspace Gallery March 1 through March 22, 2014.


Paintings by Erik Jones.

Paintings by Erik Jones.

Painting by Erik Jones.

Painting by Erik Jones.

Painting by Erik Jones.

Gallery goers look at Tran Nguyen’s work.

Paintings by Tran Nguyen.

Painting by Tran Nguyen.

Painting by Tran Nguyen.

Painting by Tran Nguyen.

Paintings by Tran Nguyen.

Paintings by Tran Nguyen.

Erik Jones and Tran Nguyen in front of Tran Nguyen’s work.

Alex Yanes’s install in the project room.

Alex Yanes’s install in the project room.

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