It's hard to be serious while at the same time being quite hilarious. Joakim Ojanen, the Swedish artist we have covered over the years who works in both painting and ceramics, is gifted in this way. His works, raw and youthful with also a penchant for speaking of an arrested development and the gloomy nature of contemporary life, exist with a "merry melancholy," our description of his work we made back in a feature in 2017. This past weekend and on view at Richard Heller Gallery in Santa Monica through October 31, 2020, Ojanen showcased a new body of work, A show for the lonely distant baby souls, featuring new paintings and ceramic sculptures. 

"This is a celebration of the human being," Ojanen says of the show. "Let the stupid feelings take over. Get mad, get angry, get drunk, get happy, get sad! Find a friend, give them your heart, smoke a cigarette, look up in the blue sky, suck a flower...". In a year where we might need to celebrate ourselves just from a self-confidence stand point, this new body of work is on-point.