Ward Goes is an artist who puts great stock in the news. If anything, he treats reading the daily headlines as a hobby.
A graphic designer and self-described 'beeldmaker' by trade, Goes splits his time between Paris and Amsterdam. (Why Paris? The answer, with charming Gallic simplicity, is “love”)
His new collaboration with Pieza marks a determined step for him as an artist, telling me that “this was the first time somebody asked me to sell my own work, not as a graphic designer.”
Goes tells me he has long had a “broader interest in journalism, something deeper and more profound, I guess”. In a recent triptych, he used headlines from three sources covering the same topic (in this case, the moving of the American embassy in Israel).
Truth Triptych by Ward Goes, Image courtesy of Ward Goes
A complex subject, no doubt, but it wasn’t the articles that attracted Goes. Instead, it was the simple fact that the three headlines directly contradicted each other.
He says that “I read a lot of different news sources that come from different places- and when you can see discussion, you can see the discourse”.
In terms of discourse, of personal interest as a Brit fleeing Brexit, is Goes’ frequent use of the dreaded ‘B word’ as a topic. I’m interested to find the impact the ongoing UK political crisis has on a Dutchman in France, EU-domiciled twice-over.
He tells me it’s a matter of universality. If he worked in Dutch, Goes says, it would make his work “smaller”. Indeed, it’s almost a matter of globalised ‘FOMO’: in this era of endlessly-updating online journalism, Goes tells me honestly that he finds “international news more interesting”.
Regardless of the topic, for Goes, “news is itself a commodity, and because of this, it’s interesting to incorporate it in an art piece”. After all, today’s headlines have always been used to wrap tomorrow’s chips, even more so in the age of the endlessly-breaking news story.
By putting a headline on canvas, Goes hopes to break that cycle by preserving a day’s news as it is for future consumption. After all, art is as much a commodity as the news. “In my silkscreens, most people just look at the colours! Of course, this is an effect of the game- something that is both decorative and informative”
Ward Goes's studio, Image courtesy of Ward Goes
From posters to furniture to VR, there seem to be very few mediums in which Goes hasn’t at least dabbled, and he speaks enthusiastically about his many collaborators. Delightfully, the topic of collaboration segues nicely into Goes’ work for Piezā.
It is standard practice in these interviews to ask what brings an artist to Pieza- in this case, the artist credits Pieza with heralding an entire new type of form.
In his own words, Goes tells me he was “doodling throughout lockdown”, working on his own artistic practice by working with repeating lines.
This, in a roundabout oh-so-2020 way, was reposted, and reposted, and finally spotted by our founder Carolina’s keen eye. There, they worked together to produce two print runs, “Obelisk Loops”, and the limited edition collaboration “Meanwhile in 2020”, an exciting first for Piezā.
For Goes, they mark his first step as an artist, moving away for the first time from the constraints and briefs of graphic design. As to what the future brings? More art, he hopes. And more collaboration. One thing’s for certain: he’s never going to run out of material.