Babak Ganjei: Thanks for Having Me

09 February - 14 April 2024

Thanks for Having Me was an exhibition by Babak Ganjei, as part of our The Lives of Artists season. The Lives of Artists asked audiences what might be uncovered about ourselves when we listen to the testimony, histories, and stories of artists reflecting on their lives.

Babak Ganjei: Thanks for Having Me
Friday 9th February - Sunday 14th April

The exhibition was bookended by stage sets that recreated moments of Ganjei’s creative life. We entered the show through the living room in which he and his friend Matt played music together in their teens and bonded over budding musical interests. At the end of the gallery, Ganjei created a recreation of the market stalls that he began to sell his work from, a means of sharing his work that he has outgrown, yet can’t let go of.

Elsewhere, the exhibition featured new works relating to the artists life; Ganjei stacked all of the books he owned but had never read to the exact height of the artist, creating a crude portrait of the artist's aspirations and shortcomings.

Ganjei has a longstanding connection with the Bluecoat, having designed a commission for the building’s revamped Hub space back in 2021.

London based artist Babak Ganjei graduated with a BA in Fine Arts from Central Saint Martins in 2001. Since then he has been working independently as an artist, playing in bands (Absentee, Wet Paint), writing comic books (Hilarious Consequences, Early Learnings, Twit), hosting regular radio show "Hot Mess" on NTS radio and making comedy shorts that have played on Channel 4.

In 2014 Babak sold a set of twigs from his neighbourhood on eBay for £62. He has turned books by Jeremy Clarkson, Nigel Farage and Donald Trump into works of blackout poetry, and tried to sell a painting of his credit card back to Barclays for the value of the debt. It didn’t work but he made a “friend”.