Anarchy: A Crush on Squash

By Jo Phillips

As the year progresses and the summer slips by, Halloween – the anarchic time of the year when ghosts and spirits were believed to roam free – silently creeps up on the calendar. Michael Ajerman is obsessed with pumpkins. His first pumpkin painting surfaced impulsively and quickly in 2004. Ever since then, the London-based American artist considers this “a breathing space in his practice” and produces these orange-glowed paintings every year recording the space between memories, sensations and portraiture.

glossolalia
Michael Ajerman, glossolalia. Image courtesy of the Artist and Transition Gallery, London. Copyright of the Artist.

Although each of these paintings contains the same round-shaped hollow subject, Michael’s painting reflects different ideas and different years. Each pumpkin spends a lot of time closely with Michael before the pivotal spark emerges and he decides how to translate its menacing beauty and immortalise it in paintings – whether it is to carve a face, choose a scale, or minimising the information.

Pumpkin Oilon Board 14x14 inches 2003-4
Pumpkin Oilon Board, Michael Ajerman, 14×14 inches, 2003-4. Image courtesy of the Artist and Transition Gallery, London. Copyright of the Artist.

A collection of these ominous paintings can be seen at Transition Gallery from 4 to 27 October 2013.