We asked Nari Ward, 2016 SOAPBOX Honoree, to share more about what inspires his work, his connection to The LP, and more. Read on to find out what he had to say.
What is your bio in six words or less?
Faith, Family, Work.
Can you tell us about your relationship with your neighborhood (or a neighborhood), and how it may have shifted over the years?
In the past my practice of retrieving found objects from my neighborhood was easy going and laid back; that “thing” will be there for at least a few days. Now if I see something I need to pick it up right away or it will be discarded because the sanitation services around the neighborhood are much improved.
How did you first get connected with The Laundromat Project?
It was through The LP’s Executive Director Kemi Ilesanmi and my friendship with several artists / educators The LP works with.
What most inspires your creative practice?
Change and anxiety.
Much of your work utilizes found, discarded objects. What is the most interesting or unusual object you have used in your work?
American Flag ashes.
What is your favorite book, film, and / or album about NYC?
Sugar Hill Gang’s Rapper’s Delight.
Free-association—tell us the first word that comes to mind:
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Nari Ward’s dramatic sculptural installations are composed of systematically collected material from his urban neighborhood. By revealing the numerous emotions inherent within found everyday objects, Ward’s works examine issues surrounding race, poverty, and consumer culture. Nari Ward’s work has been widely exhibited internationally, including solo exhibitions at the Perez Art Museum, Miami (2015); Fabric Workshop and Museum, Philadelphia (2011); Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art, North Adams (2011); Institute of Visual Arts, Milwaukee (1997); Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Boston (2002); and Walker Art Center, Minneapolis (2001, 2000). The artist has taken part in important group exhibitions, including the Whitney Biennale (2006); Prospect 1 New Orleans (2008); and Documenta XI, Kassel (2003). Nari lives and works in Harlem, NY.