Plots Thicken

An exhibit of artwork by John Herndon and Andy Schansberg

Opening Saturday, Dec. 17th, 5:00 PM – 10:00 PM at A Blank White Box – 6189 N Figueroa St. Los Angeles, CA 90042

Plots Thicken is an exhibition of work by John Herndon and Andy Schansberg, two prolific artists who have been in creative dialogue with one another for the past two decades. 

John Herndon is a musician, painter, illustrator, and tattoo artist. He is the founding member of the genre-defining band Tortoise, in addition to his contributions to many other projects. His discography includes, Isotope 217, Five Style, Starlicker, Exploding Star Orchestra, Pulsar Quartet, A Grape Dope, Ray Barbee, and Poster Children.

His visual art includes album covers, skateboards, t-shirt designs, illustrations and paintings. He has done work for Anti-Hero Skateboards, The Quiet Life, Low Boy, Thrill Jockey, and Lex Records. This multidisciplinary artist continues to push the boundaries of his creative output, mixing the familiar with the surreal. 

Andy Schansberg’s practice spans various media with drawing and painting at the forefront. His paintings and objects function as fragments referencing the time they were born into, as well as a response to environments and existing narratives. Over the course of his career, he has created album cover art for Isotope 217° (of which John Herndon is a member), as well as on music packaging for iconic record labels such as Mo’ Wax and Thrill Jockey.

The two artists share a common creative vocabulary, with both contributing to, and being influenced by, maker communities in the midwest. The connective tissue of these artist outposts, from Wisconsin to Illinois, overlapped in Chicago, where both artists lived and worked. Through a mutual friendship with Dan Bitney (member of Tortoise) the two artists met when Andy was running “All Systems Gallery” on the westside of Chicago’s Wicker Park neighborhood, and John was planting the seeds for what would become Tortoise. With music and skateboarding being the cultural Venn diagram of their work, the two artists use these as a jumping off point to explore uncharted creative territory.