Drawing Attention

Drawing Attention

Several of the works were exhibited earlier this year in the exhibition Shades of Existence at Teckningsmuseet, Laholm, Sweden featuring the work of Ojanen alongside Klara Kristalova and Ragnar Persson. Drawing is a continual thread that weaves itself throughout the evolution of Ojanen’s work and forms the foundations of his artistic practice. Ojanen’s early drawings were small doodles within the pages of his sketchbooks, with these gradually developing into early screen prints and self-published zines. These sketches and zines offered a tantalising glimpse into the world that Ojanen would later go on to develop through his drawings, paintings and ceramic sculptures. With Cartoonish exuberance, Ojanen’s diverse and inventive drawing style can be seen as much related to the figurative distortions found in the work of artists such as Peter Saul, Philip Guston and R. Crumb as it can the aesthetics of contemporary cartoons such as Futurama, Garfield or The Simpsons. This playful and sophisticated artistic see-saw between fine art traditions and contemporary pop culture give Ojanen’s drawings their unique singular voice and encourage the viewer to delve deep into Ojanen’s imaginary world. Each drawing is improvised with Ojanen having no set idea or agenda as to where the drawing will finally end up. One mark or form will lead to another, with the characters and creatures gradually appearing and morphing in ever-more surreal directions. Ears can function like arms, cheeks begin to stretch and flop, full human lips morph into duckbills and elongated noses sprout from their faces creating a narrative world where anything seems possible. Ojanen uses his work to communicate the full spectrum of complicated human emotions. Through an ever evolving visual vocabulary of oddball figures, creatures and expressive line, Ojanen’s art depicts essential human emotions, relations and insecurities, reflecting feelings that can often be hard to express but are given space to explore within the four corners of the papers surface.

Drawing Attention

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