(Los Angeles, CA) – Thinkspace is pleased to present Trash Talk featuring new works by internationally renowned artists and street interventionists, Jaune, from Belgium, and Slinkachu, from the UK. Both critically acclaimed artists work on an atypically miniaturist scale, especially given the monumental standard demanded of public art in the deafening context of the city. Jaune and Slinkachu both challenge this paradigm of scale while incorporating the city’s refuse and garbage into their imagery as materials and themes. Jaune, with his ingeniously tiny, stenciled, fluorescent-clad city workers, turned agents of anarchic chaos and mischief, and Slinkachu, with his push pin-scaled plastic figures absurdly proposed in microscopic dioramas, turned abandoned public art installations. In a world overrun by accumulation and waste, both Jaune and Slinkachu consider our vulnerability, both accidental and conspired, in a city subsumed by trash.
Each artist brings a uniquely site-responsive approach to their introjections into existing city landscapes. Jaune, responding to the specific conditions of place while calling attention to its often overlooked recesses, and Slinkachu incorporating macro views of our world into the miniature vistas of his own. Both also respond to the collective social tendency to shut down perceptually and visually when caught in the fray of the city’s frenetic, alienating, and often existentially exhausting pace. Disrupting this tendency to cultivate inattention, both Jaune and Slinkachu engage city streets all over the world with the unexpected, staging surprise encounters on an almost invisible scale to spark curiosity and renew personal interest within the overwhelmed and desensitized city.
Belgian stencil artist Jaune has established himself internationally through an emblematic cast of tiny mutinying city sanitation workers ingeniously, and often hilariously albeit absurdly, integrated into the urban landscape. Using trompe l’oeil techniques, Jaune’s paintings and installations incorporate miniature stenciled figures made from four to six stencil layers and multiple applications of color. The destructive and often lawless behavior of these “mini dudes” as would-be city saboteurs seems to suggest something more sinister and foreboding than their innocuous scale might initially suggest. Jaune’s brightly, fluorescent-clad workers quite literally intervene in the architectural locations chosen by the artist, activating the environment itself in illusionistic and situational ways. Always seizing upon moments of tension and potential in the actions posited, Jaune proposes open-ended narratives for the viewer to complete, and questions the visibility of action in a city conditioned by avoidance.
London-based artist Slinkachu creates and photographs miniature public art installations in his ongoing series, The Little People Project, began in 2006. Staged and assembled from little train set figures the artist has remodeled and painted, these incredibly Lilliputian sculptural scenarios incorporate everyday objects and castaway materials as props, here a bottle cap boat, there a toy car crushed by a lollipop. He then shoots the tableaux, bringing these minute protagonists to life through incredible macro photography and then “abandoning” them into the landscape, left somewhat poetically to the onslaught of urban entropy and human destruction. Equal parts sculpture, installation, street art, and photography, Slinkachu’s funny yet microscopically poignant works are about the discovery of the unexpected on an unlikely scale, but their compelling absurdity also stirs a melancholic current belied by their diminutive size: they, like us, are dwarfed and forgotten by indifferent surroundings.
Trash Talk will feature individual works by both Jaune and Slinkachu, as well as collaborative pieces, new editions, and site-specific interventions in the streets of Los Angeles.