Netherlands based Joram Roukes and Los Angeles based Joanne Nam are two artists who look to nature for their inspiration, but in strikingly different ways. Previously featured on our blog, Joram Roukes’s inspiration generally comes from elements of animals, which he combines with his everyday experiences in a collage-like way. Joanne Nam, whom we featured in Hi-Fructose Vol. 29, however looks at it through the filter of her childhood, spent growing up near forests. They each debuted a new series at Thinkspace Gallery in Los Angeles last Saturday night, Roukes with “American Ornithology, and Nam with “Hiatus”.
Joram Roukes, showing in the gallery’s main space, found himself particularly fascinated by birds while preparing for his show. His paintings stitch parts of birds like wings and beaks together with fragmented, anonymous figures. Titled “American Ornithology”, referring to the study of birds, Roukes has a personal connection to watching birds, a favorite pastime of his as a kid. “The series in a way is a result of watching my current environment through an ornithologists view,” he says. It’s a skill that Roukes now applies to his artwork, where he frequently makes commentary about American popular culture, consumerism and violence.
While Roukes offers a birds-eye perspective, Joanne Nam’s exhibit “Hiatus” in the gallery’s adjacent space takes us inside of her subconscious. Her new oil paintings continue to portray mysterious young girls resting in dark forests, appearing to be “lost in the woods”. Nam, who describes herself as a generally shy and private individual, allowed herself to get lost in her own emotions. “I wanted to let things flow, and decided to represent a bit of my strong and unstable emotions such as fear, anger, and disappointment,” she says. “I wanted to focus on things that I cannot see but definitely exist.”
Joram Roukes’s “American Ornithology” and Joanne Nam’s “Hiatus” is now on view at Thinkspace Gallery in Los Angeles through October 31st, 2015.