Artist Nicholas Bonamy is a native Angeleno and one of Cartwheel Art’s closest neighbors—we’re based in the same building of the DTLA Arts District, where Bonamy has lived and worked for the past 11 years. We’re excited about his upcoming solo show, “Gray,” which opens at Gabba Gallery on Saturday, September 8, so we stopped by his studio to find out more about it.
Nicholas Bonamy has led hands-on art workshops on some of Cartwheel Art’s tours. Above, participants pose with their work. Photo: Julie Faith
Curated by Jason Ostro and Elena Jacobson, “Gray” is Bonamy’s latest collection of mixed-media cityscapes. Bonamy says, “This is my third show at Gabba. I started by doing their group shows and connected with Jason. He offered me a bigger show and, at that time, I had it ready to go, and then we did another one last year. I really like Gabba. I really like Jason. I like growing with them.”
Since 2012, Nicholas has been committed to producing large and small scale, mixed media works, inspired by Los Angeles, and the people and places he grew up with. His work reflects a layered approach to the textures of life in Los Angeles. “Using a combination of stencils, layering, transparency, collage, and paint, I hope to capture the ephemeral permanence of the things we see every day while we drive around or sit on porches.”
Photography greatly influences and informs his work, as does exploring the nooks and crannies of different L.A. neighborhoods. He says, “I like driving up into the hills and parking, and then walking around someone’s neighborhood. I look at all the houses and find cool spots, things that I think are interesting or pretty. I then try to make something out of them that’s hopefully both of those things.”
As a longtime resident of the Arts District, Bonamy has witnessed its many transformations. He recalls moving to the area and, our building, specifically. “I moved here because I could get a big space that I could build sets in. That’s what I was doing at the time. And it was a great deal. Once I stopped building sets full-time, it gave me this great space that I could then turn into an art studio. I could make these giant paintings and store them, and make messes and not have to worry about the carpet.” On leisurely Sunday afternoons, he enjoys the many breweries the area has to offer with friends. He describes the Bread Lounge, and their delicious sandwiches, as a staple go-to.
“Gray” opens this Saturday at Gabba Gallery in conjunction with three other solo shows in the space by Mike Habs, Olga Ponomarenko and CANTSTOPGOODBOY. DJ Jonathan Williams will be spinning. Tacos by Norma will be dishing out plates, and Humboldt Distillery and Auspicion Wine will keep the bar flowing.
September 8 – September 29
Wednesday – Saturday (noon – 3 pm and by appointment)
Saturday, September 8 (7 – 11 pm)
3126 Beverly Blvd
Los Angeles, California 90057