At first glance, the vibrant colours and often comically ambiguous appearance of Joakim Ojanen’s
works have the capacity to deceive their audience. It’s all too easy to see them as amusing novelty ornaments. However, whilst humour is an important element of the work, one can only feel the true emotional reesonance of these creatures if they dare to stare through their droopy eyes, and into their tortured souls. These humanoid figures remind one of the sad clown paradox and evoke a sense of seemingly unsourced compassion. In light of his current exhibition at The Hole NYC, on display until the end of 2021, we sat down with Joakim to find out what drives his work and where it might be headed.