Thinkspace Art Gallery
6009 Washington Blvd.
Culver City, CA 90232
(310) 558-3375
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Red Forest
New works and an installation from
Ekundayo and KMNDZ
Also showing in our project room:

Moments of Bliss featuring new works from Jeaneen Carlino

+ Select New Works will also be on view from Michael Alvarez
Opening Reception: Friday, Oct. 10th  7-11PM
On View:  Oct. 10th – Oct. 31st, 2008

(Los Angeles, CA) - Thinkspace Gallery is proud to present Red Forest. This exhibition will feature new paintings, drawings and installation based works from Los Angeles, CA area based artists Ekundayo and Johnny “KMNDZ” Rodriguez in their first two-person exhibition together, following very well received solo shows from both at our gallery.

The Red Forest is considered to be the most radioactive place on earth. Like a horrific folk tale come true, a Ukrainian nuclear power plant combusted and now children are born with limbs four times their normal size and indigenous birds walk with 3 legs. In their new exhibition at Thinkspace, painters Johnny “KMNDZ” Rodriguez and Ekundayo comment on the ever changing relationship of man vs. his vices. Drawing comparisons between the nuclear effect on the Red Forest and the effect of decadence upon man, the array of American delicacies of cocaine/beer/drugs/debauchery are strong in Los Angeles, with lust, hate & greed running rampant throughout. It is the vice of the green goo (a common theme running through the exhibition) which serves as a visual metaphor to one's own internal power plant, with the potential of eventually combusting and morphing an individual into their own private monster.


Ekundayo (Dayo) was born in Honolulu, Hi, in 1983 where he lived with his mother and father until the age of five when his mother and father could no longer get along. Ekundayo's father snuck him out of the state without his mother’s knowledge, and for seven years Ekundayo and his father moved from place to place living a life on the run. Meanwhile in her desperate need to find her son, Ekundayo's mother helped start Hawaii's first clearing house for missing children. The life on the run ended in 1994 when his father moved to California with Ekundayo's sister because his father was dying from cancer. In early 1995, Ekundayo's father passed away from lung cancer; Ekundayo was eleven…

Ekundayo lived with his sister, brother in-law, four nieces and his sister’s mother in a small three-bedroom and one-bath house in Pacoima, Ca. It was in this house at the age of 13 that Ekundayo discovered his love for art. After being involved in school fights, stealing and hanging with the wrong people, he was suspended from school. One day while in the garage, he found one of his uncle's black books. This uncle wrote for a graff crew in L.A. called C.H.B. This book completely changed Ekundayo’s life. He became obsessed with drawing and copied every single page in that little book. Meanwhile, the Dept of Justice had located Ekundayo at his sister's home and returned him to the custody of his mother. Ekundayo went back to Hawaii to live with his mother. His drive to create didn't stop, and the encouragement from his family only fueled that ambition. Shortly after graduating high-school, Ekundayo moved back with his sister and brother in-law in much more spacious accommodations. He attended Pierce College in Winnetka, Ca, where he practiced his craft and worked on his portfolio until 2003 when he was accepted into Art Center College of Art and Design on a scholarship. Although the teachers he studied under and the friends he met while going to Art Center were priceless to his development, Ekundayo dropped out after completing his foundation courses in order to create his own path in the fine art world. He combines both subversive graffiti aesthetics in combination with art-historical erudition using acrylic, gouache, watercolor, ink and various carving techniques. Ekundayo's work expresses the struggle of life and how those struggles and burdens can either inspire us to change in a constructive way or weigh us down by our own inability to change.

Artist website:
Ekundayo Interview:
Show Sneak Peek:
Show Info:

Johnny “KMNDZ” Rodriguez bio:

The idea behind ‘KMNDZ’ is built upon the premise of reflection, hope, and a burning desire to live life to the fullest.” A successful leader in the graphic design community, this Los Angeles based artist, has worked for some of the world’s premier design agencies and top entertainment companies. With brands like MTV Networks, Universal Pictures, Microsoft, Lexus, Disney, and Activision populating his resume, Rodriguez has built an impressive portfolio of both artistic and technological accomplishments in the world of graphic design and new-media. However, primarily, Rodriguez is an artist.

He attributes his success in commercial design as a direct result of his passion for art. “I didn’t choose a career in visual design. It chose me. Draw, paint, design, take pictures… it’s what I do and always have done.” KMDNZ is about both the past and the future. “Anyone who’s ever touched a Mac, knows that the keystroke combination ‘command’ + ’z’ = ‘undo’. After using it day in and day out at work, I started wishing that I had an ‘undo’ action for everyday life. We’ve all done things that we wished we hadn’t, and said things that we would like to take back.”

Rodriguez’s personal work is quite different from his commercial endeavors. When he sits down to paint, he puts aside the pressures of mass appeal and commercial accessibility, and instead focuses on creating art for himself. Drawing from his own life, his paintings brim with memories of family and friends, religious undertones, and iconic elements. A recent piece features a drawing of an audio cassette embedded into a hand grenade. This represents a tough look back at the time when his father left their family to fight a war in Nicaragua, and left only an audio recording to explain his actions. Other paintings depict the biblical stories of Jonah and King David. Yet another deals with a strange coincidence that reminds him of a close relative that recently passed away from cancer.

“I’m overwhelmed by the reaction that I’ve received about my art. I paint about the things that have meaning in my life, and it is amazing to know that it touches others. The messages are simple. Be honest to yourself. Hold yourself accountable for your actions. Never forget. And live your life fully without wishing to hit ‘KMNDZ’.”

Artist Website:
KMNDZ Interview:
Show Sneak Peek:
Show Info:

Also opening on Fri, October 10th in our project room:
Jeaneen Carlino – Moments of Bliss

I have had a long-standing interest in Mexican motifs, Indian miniature painting, textile designs, and graphic patterns. My work has been increasingly informed by graphic media and design and reflects an ever-growing contrast between both the organic and the geometric. The geometric patterns have contributed to an increasingly flattened plane as seen in my most recent piece Shroomdiety. There is a dynamic visual balance between boldly colored patterns used for the butterflies and dress of the female figure, with the curved lines of the grass, mushrooms, and the roughly rendered fur of the monkeys. The blending of both organic and geometric design contributes to attempt to harmonize these elements within my work.

Shroomdiety is one of a series of works that depicts what I refer to as euphoric jungles. The jungle here is not dangerous, but is instead a conduit for the imagination. I consistently depict images of brightly colored mushrooms, butterflies, and snails that coexist in landscapes that seem to be the product of a fantastical daydream. These landscapes are meant to entice the viewer into a world that transcends the canvas and enters into the realm of the viewer.

What is integral to these environments and to the core of my practice is the female subject. In many cases the presence of the female figure evokes a sense of calm and serenity to the scene. These women represent to me ethereal gypsies or bohemians that often engage in simple activities like playing musical instruments, washing clothes or sewing. Although these activities are seemingly mundane, these women take pride in their work, and it is intended that the inner serenity they possess will translate into the viewer's experience of my art. The attempt here is to present an environment that will visually stimulate and excite the viewer while simultaneously sending them into a meditative state of tranquility once their eyes rest on the central female figure.

Artist website:
Show Info:

+ Select new works will also be on view from Michael Alvarez

Artist website:

Coming up in November:

Audrey Kawasaki & friends “The Drawing Room”
+ “The Place I Call Home” featuring new works from Timothy Karpinski in our project room

Exhibition run dates: November 7th – November 29th
Opening reception: Fri, November 7th 7-11PM

Thinkspace Gallery is located at 4210 Santa Monica Blvd (near Sunset Junction), in the Silver Lake area, Los Angeles , CA 90029. Gallery hours are Thursday through Sunday, 1:00 to 6:00PM. and by appointment. For more information, please call 323.913.3375, visit, or email

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