Oli Watt’s projects focus on the reconfiguration of images, objects, signage and narrative themes appropriated from various forms of existing printed matter. Watt responds to objects suggested by movies, cartoons, song lyrics, and novels that play a pivotal yet supporting role in a narrative, but which are often cast aside. Watt recreates these objects as prints and multiples so they may physically exist in actual situations. Sometimes the pieces are made as exact replicas of the fictional originals, sometimes they are simply inspired by the narrative, and occasionally they are purely invented. Oftentimes they are activated in public space. As a result, most of Watt’s projects walk a tenuous line between actual authoritarian object and uncomfortable, sometimes humorous prop. In this presentation, Watt will address the forms and platforms that his multiples use and occupy. There will be time for questions following the presentation of his work.
Oli Watt is an interdisciplinary artist who received his BFA in 1990 from the University of Florida and his MFA in 1998 from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. He has shown his work nationally and internationally including exhibitions at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, Brooklyn Museum of Art, Spencer Brownstone Gallery in NYC, the Urban Institute of Contemporary Art in Grand Rapids, MI, La Band Art Gallery in Los Angeles and Rocket Gallery in London. Recently, Watt’s work was included in the 32nd Biennial of Graphic Arts at the International Centre of Graphic Arts in Ljubljana, Slovenia. His work has been discussed in numerous publications including Art on Paper, Art US, the Village Voice, and Contemporary American Printmakers.