Blake Ward & Boky Hackel
b. 1982 Blake, Canadian
b. 1962 Boky, German
The story of husband-and-wife artists Blake Ward and Boky Hackel-Ward is a romance, certainly, but one complicated by the tribulations of the art market, among other obstacles.
They were born on different sides of the world: Ward in the depths of the Northwest Territories in Canada into a family that made its name running an airline and Hackel in Germany, who then was raised between Switzerland, Costa Rica, and Venezuela.
Blake Ward was born in Yellowknife in the North West Territories in Canada, then raised and educated in Edmonton, Alberta where he received his Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Alberta in 1979. In 1985 Blake moved to Paris to study under Cyril Heck with whom he learned traditional techniques of modeling figurative sculpture. When the opportunity arose for Blake to move closer to both his foundry and marble quarry, he opened his current studio in Monte Carlo in 1991.
Blake’s early work represents anatomically correct details in the clay sculptures of his live models, the first step in a “lost wax method” of production where the final rendition was either cast in bronze, or sculpted in marble.
Blake began his series of “de-sculpted” figures called “Fragments”, followed by his “Rethink” collection, after completing his teaching fellowship at the University of Hanoi in 2003. It was in Vietnam that Blake shaped his vision of the devastating, long-term effects that landmines have on people all over the world. The result was an infusion of his activism into this series of sculptures.
Boky Hackel-Ward is a restorer, painter, musician, photographer, performance and conceptual artist, who trained in Florence where she breathed, lived and absorbed the “grammar” of the Renaissance. A polyglot, obsessed with language, she conjugates poetry and figuration resulting in an autonomous, recognizable code.
Her male and female bodies through words welded together determine enigmatic identities. In the communicative energy of language and in the universality of poetry, Boky yearns for the rebirth, the materialization and transfiguration of the verbum, evoking tension towards the absolute expressed with gold.
Blake has exhibited in Monaco, England, Germany, Italy, Singapore, Hong Kong, India, The United States, and Canada. His work is in the private collections of Prince Albert of Monaco, Herb Alpert, Gerry Moss, among others, as well as three public pieces displayed in the gardens of Monaco and one in the Salle Garnier Opera house. Boky has exhibited in Monaco, France, Aspen and Chicago. Their atelier is in Monaco.