pastel-colored animal hearts poetically punctuate the beauty and complexity of the heart
 

pastel-colored animal hearts poetically punctuate the beauty and complexity of the heart

these have no context. they won’t be referred to by name. here, they rest, intentionally suspended in time and space, vacant of queue cards, absent of names, histories, genders and species — absent of any identifiers one would expect to accompany them. despite this, we know these fleshy shapes are what they are. they are diverse in size and color and texture, but we know that for most people, they function the same. ward roberts — the photographer behind stars that paint — has one of the few that function differently.

ward roberts
all images courtesy of ward roberts

 

 

roberts’ doesn’t cooperate like most. his left chamber ventricle is a little bit jazzy. the tempo isn’t consistent. it’s a cruel thing for an organ such as this to do. but these muscles in particular are known for their tricky, wonderful, sensitive and deceiving natures. they give and take life. thus, the subject of their fatal lack of cooperation is often taboo. they, in general, are taboo. but as fragile and personal and sacred as these bloody things are, ward bravely chooses to highlight his own. stars that paint brings awareness to the real, vulnerable, fragility of the often-cartoony, almost-always-figurative organ that we misconstrue on days like, oh, valentines day.

ward roberts

 

 

they are vulnerable in more ways than one. the same muscle that gives us life, the same muscle that gets jazzy in ward’s chest, the ones that beat correctly and the ones that beat irregularly: we associate all of them with with love. when love hurts, we even call it heartbreak. when roberts’ personal experience with heartbreak happened, he hadn’t yet been diagnosed. he probably didn’t walk around, hyper-aware of how his left ventricle chamber was functioning. now, he jokes that a failed relationship may have been the catalyst that caused the vital portion to stop listening as carefully; it’s an uncomfortable joke for many, a positive way of coping for those who’ve experienced such things. some may find it only dark; others may see some humor in how uncomfortable these pale blue and pink things make us feel.

ward roberts

 

 

no two look the same; no two act the same. some beat properly. some jump around. some desire this. some desire someone else. the only way to really see what one’s sacred organ looks like, would be to cut them open and photograph it the way ward has, here. even then, without context, so much is still left unknown.

ward roberts

 

 

sold in editions of two at a time, ward encourages his audience to share their little red muscle, too. specifically, he writes on his website, ‘share with a previous lover.’ what a complex thing to encourage someone to do. I cringed just thinking about it. maybe that’s the point.

ward roberts

 

 

listen to fionn regan — dubbed the bob dylan of our time — while admiring these photos. the series was created in collaboration with the musician. regan paints little portraits with words, avoiding the explicit, almost-always-misconstrued-word, the word avoided in this article. you know what word.

ward roberts

ward roberts

ward roberts

ward roberts

ward roberts

ward roberts

ward roberts

ward roberts

ward roberts

ward roberts

ward roberts

ward roberts

ward roberts

ward roberts

    have something to add? share your thoughts in our comments section below.
    all comments are reviewed for the purposes of moderation before publishing.

    comments policy
    LOG IN
    designboom's comment policy guidelines
    generally speaking, if we publish something, it's because we're genuinely interested in the subject. we hope you'll share this interest and if you know even more about it, please share! our goal in the discussion threads is to have good conversation and we prefer constructive opinions. we and our readers have fun with entertaining ones. designboom welcomes alerts about typos, incorrect names, and the like.
    the correction is at the discretion of the post editor and may not happen immediately.

    what if you disagree with what we or another commenter has to say?
    let's hear it! but please understand that offensive, inappropriate, or just plain annoying comments may be deleted or shortened.

    - please do not make racist, sexist, anti-semitic, homophobic or otherwise offensive comments.
    - please don't personally insult the writers or your fellow commenters.
    - please avoid using offensive words, replacing a few letters with asterisks is not a valid workaround.
    - please don't include your website or e-mail address in your comments for the purpose of self-promotion.
    - please respect jury verdicts and do not discuss offensively on the competition results
    (there is only one fist prize, and designboom usually asks renown professionals to help us to promote talent.
    in addition to the awarded designs, we do feel that almost all deserve our attention, that is why we publish
    the best 100-200 entries too.)

    a link is allowed in comments as long as they add value in the form of information, images, humor, etc. (links to the front page of your personal blog or website are not okay). unwelcome links (to commercial products or services of others, offensive material etc. ) will be redacted. and, ... yes, spam gets banned. no, we do not post fake comments.

    PRODUCT LIBRARY

    a diverse digital database that acts as a valuable guide in gaining insight and information about a product directly from the manufacturer, and serves as a rich reference point in developing a project or scheme.

    art news

    ×
    keep up with our daily and weekly stories
    492,113 subscribers
    - see sample
    - see sample