Gary Ward uses charcoal, graphite, oil pastels, and an overall sharp wit to examine humanity’s mess of emotion over the confusion of body and identity.
His Archeology Series, collected here, is a playful response to the quandary of life after death: how, despite fame, class, or notoriety at the end of it all, we are basically just a slew of skulls with slight form variations.
Regarding process, Ward, a self-taught artist based in Los Angeles, says he is “interested in how the mind and hand talk to each other in one uninterrupted sitting.” He likes to see the authorship of a flawed line and honors how each mistake can spontaneously charge the work in a new direction.
Rune Olsen has created an installation for Johansson Projects in Oakland, CA. The piece addresses the issue of children on leashes, with a nod to Duchamp’s Mile of String. Apparently, Olsen and myself have both become skeptical of this rather primitive method for controlling one’s child. I mean, this is 2010, Lindsay has a scram bracelet, Coco the Pomeranian is accosted with high-pitched buzzing from her collar every time she barks–where are the similar techie solutions to child rearing? Oh right, normally we reserve that sort of methodology for criminals and dogs.
Olsen approaches the issue with a similar sense of humor, while creating a highly confrontational space for the viewer to interact with. A playful installation, addressing a serious concern.