What a time to be a fan of ceramics. And "What a Time to be Alive :(", which is the name of Swedish artist Joakim Ojanen's new show at Richard Heller Gallery.

What A Time To Be Alive :( contains new ceramic sculptures and oil paintings by Ojanen, his first solo exhibition at Richard Heller Gallery and in the United States. The artist lived in Los Angeles for a few months, building the work for the show. As the gallery notes, "oakim Ojanen's artwork embodies the inner child within all of us. He creates a deeply personal universe full of unique characters that automatically win the heart of the viewer with their sincerity. His paintings and ceramic sculptures capture genuine moments of human expression. When they are grouped together they create delicate and emotionally charged narratives. While maintaining a sense of humor they manage to hit an intense spot in the human psyche, perhaps a subconscious adolescent need none of us ever get over; the desire to belong. Piece by piece each of Ojanen's works tells a story about finding one's way in the world and reminds us it's okay to be ourselves."