Born and raised in Los Angeles, Ed Oh is a visual artist currently living and working in Chicago, IL. His practice is versed in traditional disciplines like painting, drawing, sculpture, and printmaking with bricoleur sensibilities. He is an artist who collects material from daily routines in the forms of objects that are natural and readymade, alive and dead, and particular and universal. Different places offer different objects as they become subjects in traditional mediums like oil painting and lithography, where the formal qualities lend itself to constellations of myth making today via cliché and idiom word play. Ed Oh has shown found objects, drawings and prints in Art Book fairs while in Chicago, and founded the Terminal Forms Residency, which was inspired by Chicago’s International Airport.
I like clichés because they make big ideas simple, deceptively so. I find that the most mysterious things are terribly simple. The idea is to sit there and wait for inspiration, sensibly act on those inspirations, and there is the work.
Objects at a construction site, by the lake, at the airport that can contain a form that speaks of a way to think about the world, I am on the constant sensitive lookout. It is not uncommon to then paint these objects, but it is not the question of a painting of an object. But rather, can something exist in more than one place? Noticing an object for its formal qualities rather than its functional, measured, and intended purpose seems like a task. I am a disciple of the world we find ourselves living, that it contains all inspiration and infinite paths of expressing their form. To present bricolage readymades as sculptures beside the paintings, that painting allows a quiet synthesis of all those urgent gestures into a single substrate when objects become the subjects of composition. I am more concerned with the pleasurable experience of looking than that of rendering the object photographically on a picture plane.
A Sunday ritual of sitting at a terminal of Chicago’s O’hare Airport, I especially like arrivals at Terminal 5. The idea is to sit there and find inspiration, act on those inspirations, and there is the work. Writing and drawing, my work begins in these atmospheres. Locating comfort in dysfunction, I find myself waiting at arrivals without obligations. It is a matter of free will.