The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

Got a tip? Have something you need to tell us? Contact us

Loading Recent Classifieds...

Carmichael gallery touts colorful and whimsical family art

For children, it is only natural to question everything about the world around them, and it is only natural to see parents as heroes.

In Ben Woodward’s new exhibit “Beep-boop beep-Boop,” at the Carmichael Gallery of Contemporary Art, Woodward explores the world of children through the eyes of a father.

Woodward uses ambiguous characters that resemble large Sesame Street puppets instead of little boys or girls. They are furry and colorful, but the expressions on their face are somber and quite depressing.

It is through the use of these characters that the viewer adds their own experience to the images.

In “Worshippers,” a large beige character is drawn in the center of the painting. This character seems indifferent to his surroundings and merely stares into space. Smaller characters are crowding around him and they provide a sharp contrast to the large characters because they are a burst of color. They are drawn in blue, green red, orange and magenta. These smaller characters are not as nonchalant to their surroundings as they vie for the attention of the larger character, at times overlapping each other to get closer.

“Intake” is another painting with the same ambiguous characters. In this painting there are a total of seven creatures, one yellow, three orange, and three purple. The yellow character, who has a large opening on his front, stands in the center welcoming the rest with open arms. Two of the orange characters stand behind him, using him as a shield against two purple characters that stand in front with mischievous grins. There is a purple individual who is being used as a stool by an orange one as he climbs into the belly of the yellow man. The entire painting resembles siblings who despite constant bickering, help one another when help is needed.

“Redo” is a painting of a large man sitting on a rock with a missing arm as a smaller man attempts to reattach his arm. A child who sees a parent as a hero realizes that it is sometimes hard to accept that they make mistakes, but this painting shows a child’s ability to forgive and forget.

One of the most intriguing pieces in the exhibit is “Heart Bandit,” which is a rag doll wearing a luchador mask and carrying a turtle shell. The shell has a detailed heart painted on its front and gives the impression of children who are tougher than people give them credit for.

Woodward’s exhibit explores the way in which children interact with the world around them as well as family.

For those with siblings, the feeling of vying for a parent’s attention is all too familiar. At times it feels like Woodward has taken one’s own family history and put it out for all to see. There are also the characters that take on the role of a parent, who welcome their children with open arms and always encourage children to pick themselves up when they fall. The ambiguous characters allow people to add to the story on the canvas.

Woodward is one of the founding members of Space 1026, a Philadelphia-based gallery and art collective. Founded in 1997, it is an artist-run community that hosts monthly exhibitions and serves as a space for underground artists. Woodward recently illustrated the children’s book, Sullivan’s Solo.

“Beep-boop beep-Boop” will be on display until March 30. The gallery is located in West Hollywood and is open Tuesday – Sunday from 2 p.m.-7 p.m. All of Woodward’s featured art is on sale, ranging from $250-$2000.

More to Discover