Gary Card is part set-designer, part myth-maker, with an imagination akin to that of a slightly demented child. Looking at Card’s work is like stepping into the hall of mirrors at the fairground. You can recognise the objects, but something’s a bit off. Maybe they’re a bit too big, or too colourful, or they’re made of something they shouldn't be. Card distorts well-known iconography into something unnerving, while maintaining a playful innocence. Since graduating from Central Saint Martin’s six years ago, Card’s evocative use of colour and otherworldliness has seen him collaborating with everyone, from Nick Knight and Tim Walker to designer heavyweights like Hermes, J.W. Anderson, Louis Vuitton and Loewe.
Comme des Garçons gave him free reign over designing a headpiece for their S/S12 collection, giving him the only guidelines of it being ‘white, rubber and object’ and saw him turning latex into dramatic, overinflated headpieces that managed to remain fun and approachable, despite the materials connotations with sleaze. Card’s genius lies in his ability to turn things most people can only dream about into a tangible creation, limited only by practical restraints.
Abandoned Amusement Park Attraction is the artist’s first solo exhibition. Celebrating Card’s unique imagination in the field of set design, the exhibition showcases all of the projects which have fallen by the side of the road while Card has been working on collaborations with other designers, artists and brands. Using over 300 rolls of masking tape, Card has crafted a series of distorted cartoonesque sculptures, which explore the juxtaposition between ‘the lightness of the cartoon subject and the darkness of raw materials.’
If you could pick one of your creations from the exhibition to come alive which would it be?
Why stop at one? Imagine all of them coming alive! A whole army of terrifying blobby clowns all going at you! Fantastic.
What cartoon character would people compare you to?
My Boyfriend tells me that I look like a frog, but I think I'm similar to Chuckie from the Rugrats - we have the same glasses!
Better to serve in Heaven or reign in Hell?
Reign in hell would be far more fun - imagine my costume! Purple and red go great together.
Hall of mirrors or the helter skelter?
I’m making a halls of mirrors kind of thing right now and its driving me mad so definitely helper skelter.
On your deathbed, what would you chose as the last work of art to ever lay your eyes on?
Wow, I adore Louise Bourgeois's spider sculptures but maybe that would be pretty terrifying as your drawing your last breath.
Do you live to work, or work to live?
Definitely live to work.
Would you rather live in Buckingham Palace, the White House or the Vatican?
Buckingham Palace because it would be easier to get to my office.