Artist, musician, DJ, comic book writer – it seems there’s nothing that London-based artist, Babak Ganjei, can’t do! And now, we’re delighted to announce, that his art is available at Enter Gallery.
Since graduating with a BA in Fine Arts from Central St Martins in 2001, Ganjei has famously sold a set of twigs collected in his neighbourhood on eBay for £62, and tried to sell a painting back to Barclay’s Bank for the cost of his outstanding debt (spoiler: they didn’t go for it!), but it’s his scrawled musings on life, and bonkers film ideas that have really captured the imagination of the world.
In today’s blog, we chat to Ganjei to learn about his artistic beginnings and the inspirations behind his work.
Art school to breaking rules
Alongside artistic alumni like Gilbert and George, Martin Maloney and Richard Long, Ganjei attended the prestigious Central St Martins College, whose very tagline boasts being ‘alive with different ways of thinking, making and doing’ – an approach this artist clearly made his modus operandi.
Alongside playing in his bands, Absentee and later, Wet Paint, Ganjei applied his unique brand of sad-yet-happy humour to creating his graphic novel, Hilarious Consequences, Early Learnings and Twit – a collection of three-panel comic strips that have been described as: ‘funny, tragic, touching, silly, and often profound’. We asked Ganjei to describe his art, and he tells us:
“I always say I'm living in a real life sitcom and my art is just a by-product of what happens in it.”
Funny Film Fodder
While Ganjei’s entertaining art encompasses everyday musings, suggested menus, and For Sale ads for tribute band names, the series that catapulted him into the public consciousness was his ‘Film Series’. We asked Ganjei how the series came to be:
“I made a fart joke on Twitter, and American comedian Rob Delaney retweeted me. When I woke up, I had a handful of film producers following me. I didn't really use Twitter and still don't really understand it but at the time I thought it would be funny to use the opportunity to impress them with some film pitches. Back then, you only had 140 characters to work with so the ideas all had to be quite punchy. It was a nice structure to work to.”
“Years later I was ill for a week and stuck indoors and I started writing the film ideas out on paper and posting them on Instagram, and weirdly the text work really took off on a visual platform.”
Since the genesis of the project, Ganjei has created more than 200 genius ideas in his Film Series, with highlights including ‘Cat Flap Time Machine’, ‘Good Cop, Bad Dog’, ‘Don’t Mind If I Dude’ and ‘The Yoghurt Convention’. He tells us:
“I very much just write the ideas as they come to me. I've got over 200 now, some of them are fully ridiculous ...but I like to push what nonsense I can get away with. Often, I don't get away with it, and that's okay.”
Despite none of his ideas actually making it to the silver screen, the series is an extremely funny lampoon of typical Hollywood tropes, which brilliantly exposes our often ridiculous media culture.
The best policy
Beneath the humour, there is a distinct vulnerability to a lot of Ganjei’s work. In an interview with Brown’s fashion, Ganjei spoke about how honesty is central to his work…
“There are so many people making work and so many more ways of having it seen these days, and so it’s easy for people to make similar things. The only thing that then sets you apart is where your work comes from; if you can trace back the root of it. It’s not often apparent in the moment, but if it’s honest then over time, everything holds up.”
Besides making people laugh out laugh, we were curious as to what he hopes his art makes people feel:
“I personally use humour as a coping mechanism so if it gets a laugh or people feel connected I guess it's done its job.”
“It’s all very personal, and all the work, even the most nonsensical like the unicorn piece, is probably an attempt at making light of something difficult. Spoiler alert...I'm the unicorn in that one...but you can be too!”
Babak Ganjei’s work is now available at Enter Gallery. Check out his artworks here.