Provenance: Now Gallery
In his works, Olan Ventura has been juxtaposing snippets of reality with images of play and make-believe, creating a world that is at once meticulously figurative and highly symbolic. In this work, Killer Joke, the viewer is confronted by a young man wearing a Batman mask and training a gun to his head, his finger round the trigger. Is the gun a toy or a real one? It is by asking this question which prompts a sense of panic on the part of the viewer. Peering through the mask, the figure looks at the viewer defiantly, as though wanting to be dared. Pale light washes over him. Ventura blurs the boundary between game and violence, between life and death.