Lauren and Adam mine popular culture for real people’s discarded dreams, such as old lottery tickets, romance novels, baseball cards, trophies, art postcards or so-called “nudie cards”. These escapist objects form the material from which the artists re-create the faded hopes and dreams into large-scale immersive installations, sculptures, collages, videos or text-based work.

Critically exploring the role of the media in creating and fostering such fantasies in society, they confront us with our own habits of seeking comfort and hope for perfect love in movies. Their immersive work hauntingly reminds us that many of our fantasies and dreams, creating a bright future that will never exist, make us lose much more than we will ever gain.

Lauren Was and Adam Eckstrom were both born in the USA and met while attending the Rhode Island School of Design. They founded the collaborative Ghost of a Dream in 2007. Their work has been shown both in the United States and in Europe.

For inquiries

    Adam Eckstrom

    2005
    Rhode Island School of Design, MFA Painting with Honors
    1999
    University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, BFA Sculpture and Photography

    Lauren Was

    2004
    Rhode Island School of Design, MFA Sculpture with Honors
    1999
    School of the Art Institute of Chicago, BFA Concentration in Sculpture

    SOLO EXHIBITIONS

    2022
    sticking one’s head in a hole, does not change the horizon Galerie Paris Beijing, Paris, France

    2021
    Aligned by the Sun (through the revolution) Ackland Art Museum, Chapel Hill, NC through July 2022
    sticking one’s head in a hole, does not change the horizon Galerie Paris Beijing, Paris, France

    2020
    Yesterday is Here, MassArt art museum Boston, MA

    2018
    Statistics of Hope, Collaborative exhibition with artist Jen Dalton, 601 Artspace, New York, USA
    I’ll be with you when the deal goes down, STANDARD SPACE, Sharon, CT art, Orthez, France

    2017

    At a Loss, For Words, LABspace, Hillsdale, NY

    A Devil to Pay, CES Gallery, Los Angeles, CA

    2016

    Falling From Paradise, Satellite Art Show, Miami, FL

    When the Smoke Clears: The Fair Housing Project, Smack Mellon, Brooklyn, NY

    2015

    A Good Run of Bad Luck, Rosefsky Gallery, Binghamton University, Binghamton, NY
    Better is THE END – Deep End, Wassaic Project Exhibition, USA
    Gone the Sun, Galerie Paris-Beijing, Paris, France
    Looking Up, Davidson Contemporary, New York, NY

    2013

    Day is Done, Galerie Paris-Beijing, Brussels, Belgium (catalogue)
    Collapse of Promise, Zadok Gallery, Miami, Florida

    2012
    Forever Almost, Davidson Contemporary, New York, NY
    Remember When Tomorrow Came, Colorado Springs Fine Art Center Museum, Colorado Springs, CO
    Sky’s the Limit, Hunterdon Art Museum, Clinton, NJ
    Our Favorite Pastimes, MCC Gallery, Omaha, NE

    2011
    we spend our lives as we spend our days, Gallerie Christoffer Egelund, Copenhagen, Denmark
    Everybody Wants Some Heaven, Art First, Santa Maria Della Vita, Bologna, IT curated by Julia Draganovic

    2010
    The Price of Happiness, Galerie Paris-Beijing, Beijing, China
    One in a Million, Vierter Stock Projektraum, Berlin, DE
    Future Perfect, The Freedman Gallery at Albright College, Reading, PA
    This is it, Volta 6 New York, Cynthia Corbett Gallery

    2008
    Ghost of a Dream, Space at Alice Rhode Island, Providence, RI

    SELECTED GROUP EXHIBITIONS

    2021
    shh, it’s a secret Postmasters Roma, Rome, Italy
    Imagining Data Museum of Craft and Design, San Francisco, CA 2021
    Decoding Visual Arts Center of New Jersey, curated by Mary Birmingham
    Sunrise Sunset Albany International Airport

    2020
    MESS (Marker Emblem Symbol Signal), Standard Space Gallery, Sharon, CT
    Coming Soon, Art Austerlitz, Austerlitz, NY

    2019
    Mediums of Exchange, Fiterman Art Center, Brooklyn, NY curated by Lisa Panzera
    Division of Labor, The Art Gallery of York University, Toronto, Canada
    Baseball Show, Tiger Strikes Astroid, New York
    Dot Conference, The Yard, Brooklyn, NY

    2018
    Statistics of Hope, Collaborative exhibition with artist Jen Dalton, 601 Artspace, New York, NY

    2017
    Vagabond Time Killers, The Wassaic Project, Wassaic, NY
    State of the Art  Frist Center for the Visual Arts, Nashville, Tennessee
    State of the Art Dixon Gallery and Gardens, Memphis, Tennessee
    State of the Art The Mint Museum in Charlotte, North Carolina

    2016
    20th Anniversary exhibition, Smack Mellon, Brooklyn, NY
    The City & The City, Denny Gallery, New York, NY
    Summercamp, Galerie Paris-Beijing, Paris, France
    State of the Art: Discovering American Art Now, Telfair Museum, Savannah, GA
    State of the Art: Discovering American Art Now, Minneapolis Institute of Art, MN
    Be My Guest, No Longer Empty, New York, NY
    Sessions, Backslash Gallery, Paris, France
    It’s Funny Because It’s True, Galerie Paris-Beijing, Paris, France

    2015
    HERE THERE NOWHERE, Galerie Paris-Beijing, Brussels Belgium
    Makers Mark, Temporary Storage, Brooklyn, NY curated by Gingrow and Scoggins
    And I feel Fine…, The ReInstitute, Millerton, NY
    In Praise of Folly, NARS Foundation, Brooklyn, NY
    The Ecstasy of Influence, Spring Break, NY
    Here There Nowhere, Galerie Paris-Beijing, Brussels, Belgium

    2014
    State of Art, Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, AK
    Artist Ball, Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn, NY
    Summertime, Galleri Christoffer Egelund, Copenhagen, Denmark

    2013
    SHINE, Textile Museum of Canada, Toronto Ontario
    Wish Meme, at Old School for The New Museum’s Festival of Ideas, NY, NY
    Homeward Found, Wassaic Project, Wassaic, NY
    Debris Field, Castle Gallery, College of New Rochelle, New Rochelle, NY

    2012
    How Much do I Owe You? No Longer Empty, LIC, NY curated by Manon Slome
    Summertime, Gallerie Christoffer Egelund, Copenhagen, Denmark
    Return to Rattlesnake Mountain, Wassaic Project, Wassaic, NY
    HOPELESS, DUMBO Arts Festival, DUMBO, NY
    Trash Talk, Spattered Columns Art Connects, NY, NY
    COME AND GET IT, Hendershot Gallery, NY, NY

    2011
    Art Prize, Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts, Grand Rapids, MI
    A Strange Attraction to the Beautiful and the Dreadful, Hendershot Gallery NY, NY, curated by Maureen Sullivan

    2010
    Exhibitionism-The Art of Display, The Courtauld Institute, London, UK

    2009
    Fly By’s, Galleri Cristoffer Egelund, Copenhagen, Denmark
    Young Masters, Cynthia Corbett Gallery, London, England (catalogue)
    Will it Happen, Elga Wimmer Gallery, NY, NY
    Word Up, Broadway Gallery, NY, NY

    2008
    In other Words, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA-This is not New York, This is Berlin, Salon Mastul e.V., Berlin, Germany
    Inaugural Exhibition, DIEU DONNU+00C9, NY, NY
    Suckers and Biters, Chashama Gallery, NY, NY (catalogue)
    Devotion Reconstructed, Broadway Gallery, NY, NY

    2006
    RISD Biannual NYC, Exit Art, NY, NY, curated by Robert Storr
    Two Continents and Beyond: Waterways, Istanbul Biennale, Istanbul, Turkey
    Flora, South Bend Regional Museum, South Bend, IN

    AWARDS, GRANTS AND FELLOWSHIPS

    2020
    Robert Rauschenberg Foundation, Rauschenberg Residency, Captiva Island, Fl

    2018
    Facebook Artists in Residence
    College of Saint Benedict and Saint John’s University, spring artists-in-residence, Collegeville, MN
    Artist Resource Trust Grant

    2017
    Joan Mitchell Foundation Artist-In-Residence Program New Orleans

    2016
    Business Accelerator Grant, The Clark Hulings Fund
    International Studio & Curatorial Program, funded by The Pollock- Krasner Foundation

    2014
    Process Space, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council five-month A.I.R., Governors Island, New York

    2013
    Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant, NY, NY
    Joan Mitchell Foundation Grant, NY, NY
    Jerome Foundation Grant, (gifted through Smack Mellon), Minneapolis, MN
    La Napoule Art Foundation, funded A.I.R., Mandelieu-La Napoule, France

    2012
    Smack Mellon, year long funded studio program, Brooklyn, NY
    New York Foundation for the Arts Emergency Grant, NY, NY
    Bemis Center for Contemporary Art, three-month funded A.I.R., Omaha, NE

    2011
    Hot Picks, Smack Mellon, Brooklyn, NY
    Wassaic Project Artist Honorarium, Funded by Dutchess County Arts Board NY
    Voted top installation at Art First, pole by the Corriere Di Bologna, Bologna, IT

    2010
    Vierter Stock Projektraum, Berlin, Germany 2-month A.I.R. Funded by US Embassy

    2009
    The Art Prize, Young Masters and AXA Insurance, London, UK
    IAAB, six-month funded A.I.R., Basel, Switzerland

    2008
    Artist Projects, RISD, Material grant and student labor to make an installation
    Oxbow Fellowship (re-granted from The Joan Mitchell Foundation) NY, NY
    City Sol, Material Grant, NY, NY
    D.U.M.B.O. Improvement District, Material Grant, Brooklyn, NY

    CURATORIAL PROJECTS

    2015-Present
    Founded and run the curated artists exchange program ArtForArtists

    2017
    For Words, LABspace, Hillsdale, NY

    2015-16
    Co-founded of an annual 1-month artist-residency in northern Italy ArtGarda

    2015
    Day becomes Night, The Re-Institute, Millerton, NY

    2013
    AKA, Davidson Contemporary, New York, NY
    In the Details, Wassaic Project, Wassaic, NY

    2013
    AKA, Davidson Contemporary, New York, NY
    In the Details, Wassaic Project, Wassaic, NY

    2012
    Another Side, The Re-Institute, Millerton, NY

    BIBLIOGRAPHY

    2018
    Collection & Collage: in the Studio with Ghost of a Dream, a short documentary by Southern
    Foodways Alliance in partnership with 21C Museum Hotels
    The Green Cube, Canadian Art, September
    Betting on the American Dream in Statistics of Hope, Filthy Dreams, March 29

    2017
    A Devil To Pay- Ghost of a Dream at CES Gallery, Art and Cake, February 23
    State of the Art at Mint Museum Uptown, Charlotte Magazine, May
    ‘State of The Art’ Compiles Cream of the Contemporary Scene, USA Today, January 27

    2016
    Considering the Environmental Damage Done by Art Fairs, Hyperallergic, October 18
    Covering the Waterfront, ArtFCity, October 6
    Ghost of a Dream’s New Installation at Smack Mellon, Brooklyn, BlouinArtinfo, September 15
    The Art of Interiors, Galerie Magazine, Fall issue
    A Door Shattering Breakthrough at Denny Gallery’s Pop Up, ArtFCity, July 8
    9 Must-See Summer Group Shows, Artnet News, June 30
    When Innovative Art Meets Traditional Surroundings, Huffington Post, April 26
    Leftover Lottery Tickets Turned Into Stunning Art, Good Morning America, April 22
    ‘Be My Guest: The Art of Interiors’ exhibit transforms, The Editor at Large, April 20
    Empty Manhattan Apartment Transformed Into Work of Art, Architectural Digest, April 20
    What Happens When Artists Take Over an Upper East Side Mansion, W Magazine, April 5
    Be My Guest: The Art of Interiors- Seven Artists, ArtfixDaily Artwire, March 21
    New Minneapolis Institute of Art exhibit is all-American road trip, Star Tribune, February 19
    New Jepson Center Exhibit Celebrates Contemporary American Artists, Savannah Morning News, February 20

    2015
    5 Female Artist Break the Glass Ceiling at ADAA, ARTSY, February 25
    The Wassaic Project: A Festival, Beautiful Flood, and Now Art, New York Times, March4
    Desires, Dreams, and Excess, ARTFILE MAGAZENE, February
    Emission de la Semaine #58, TCQVAR, February 16th
    Ghost of a Dream. Gone the Sun, a la Galerie Paris-Beijing, France Fine Art, February 8

    2014
    Ghost of a Dream. Gone the Sun, anti-utopias, December 22
    Pulse Dives Into New Waters in Miami Beach, Blouin ARTINFO, December 4
    Piecing Things Together at PULSE Miami Beach, HYPERALLERGIC, December 8
    Pulse launches 10th year with move to Miami Beach, Miami Herald, December 4
    Kim Rugg and Ghost of a Dream Stand Out at PULSE, NewYork Observer, December 4
    AMERICAN BEAUTY, Vogue Magazine, August issue
    BROOKLYN ARTIST BALL SETS THE TABLE, Interview Magazine, April 17
    At the Brooklyn Artist Ball, Gallerist/Observer, April 18
    The Brooklyn Artists Ball Had It All, Bedford and Bowery, April 17
    Highlights From The Brooklyn Artists Ball, Art F City, April 21
    Night at the Museum, Brooklyn Daily Eagle, April 17
    Ghost of a Dream, The Glamourai, March 26

    2013
    Jour de Chance, Arts Libre, La Libre Belgique, Brussels, BE, December 20
    GHOST OF A DREAM, Le Soir, Brussels, BE, December 21
    HAUNTING AND COLLECTING, Agenda, Brussels BE, December 5
    Get Lucky, Marie Claire, Brussels, BE December
    Cinquante degrés Nord, Arte Belgique, Brussels, BE, December 4
    Entre Triomphe et Tragedie chez Paris-Beijing, FEEVER, Brussels, BE, November 26
    reative Time’s Sandcastles Return, Rockaway Beach, Art In America, August 13
    Creative Time Sandcastle Competition, Art F City, NY, NY, August 12
    Second Annual Creative Time Sandcastle Competition, Time Out NY, August 12
    Creative Time’s Sandcastle Competition, W Magazine, August 12
    Lottery Ticket Sculptures ‘Ghost of a Dream’, Huffington Post, May 20

    2012
    Seven Deadly Sins, Beautiful/Decay, Fall
    Recommended GO Brooklyn Studio: Ghost Of A Dream, ART F CITY, September 7
    London Show Draws Winners, The Independent, London, UK, January 19
    Watch the Birdie, The Metro, London, UK, January 18
    In Your Dreams, Phoenix, London, UK, February issue #6
    Ghost of a Dream Remember When Tomorrow Came, Artlog, February 15
    Why Weren’t You in Wassaic This Weekend?, hyperallergic.com, August 8

    2011
    The Wassaic Project: Our Favorite Art, Village Voice Online, August 8
    Collectors Call, ARTFORUM online, May 6
    Giant Sculptures Made From Lottery Tickets, Wired UK, August 5

    2010
    Luck of the Draw, City Weekend, Beijing, China, October 28-November 10
    Husband-and-wife ‘found’ art team’s exhibition weighs The Price of Happiness, Global Times, Beijing, China, October 12
    Dream Ticket, World of Interiors, July
    VOLTA NY: Ghost of a Dream, Whitewall Magazine, March 5
    The American Dream as Illusion, The Reading Eagle, Reading, PA, March 28
    Medium Voltage, ARTINFO, March
    The Art of Discarded Lottery Tickets, Yatzer.com, August 4

    2009
    Award-Winning Artist Master Raphael and Durer, The Independent, London, November 13
    Young Masters, Art of England, Issue 63
    Scope Basel, Premier Art Scene Magazine, 2009
    Top 10 Artists at Art Basel, Volta and Scope, Satchi.com, June 10

    2008
    Time Out New York, NY, NY, December 18-31
    For Biennial Fans, Providence Journal, Providence, RI, March 6
    Dream Ride, Intersection Magazine, Spring Issue
    Lottery Tickets become Dream Car, Providence Journal, Providence, RI, March 18

    • INTERVIEW OF GHOST OF THE DREAM

    GHOST OF A DREAM

    Press release by Galerie Paris-Beijing

    The Galerie Paris-Beijing is pleased to present a comprehensive insight into Ghost of a Dream’s most recent developments within their artistic practice, which invites us to reflect on today’s escapist society and its cultural aspirations.

    The New York-based collaborative Ghost of a Dream, comprised of sculptor Lauren Was and painter Adam Eckstrom documents and critically explores the futile hopes and dreams of contemporary materialist society that is constantly on the search for a newer, better life. Their work focus on the different activities people de- lusively engage in to realize their dreams of instantaneous gratification: from gambling to reading romance novels or watching romantic movies. Was and Eckstrom mine popular culture for real people’s discarded dreams, such as old lottery tickets, romance novels, baseball cards, trophies, art postcards or so-called “nudie cards”. These escapist objects form the material from which the artists re-create the faded hopes and dreams into large-scale immersive installations, sculptures, collages or text-based work. Their show in the Galerie Paris-Beijing plays with the bitter discrepancies between fantasy and reality and asks to which expense the universal (and often simultaneous) quest for wealth, success and perfect romance actually comes.

    The fine line between appearance and reality is tested in Ghost of a Dream’s series of collages, sculptures comprised of countless strangers’ competition trophy bases, or in their site-specific wall drawings. In Triumph and Tragedy (2013) we are reminded that “One man’s loss is another man’s gain”: closer inspection reveals that the word we read from a distance, ‘Triumph’, in fact consists of the one same word that is written over and over again like a mantra: tragedy.

    A similar unsettling discovery is inherent within the diametric contradiction of what from afar appears to be a drawing of a sunset, yet upon closer inspection reveals to be no more than countless multi-colored lines of the word “tragedy” (Tragedy Sunset 2013). Sunsets represent the moment of perfect, lasting romance, yet rarely live up to what the promise. For their multi-media installation This mess between us (2013) Was and Eckstrom scoured through numerous films to amass a digital archive of sunsets that play on an loop on countless television sets. Critically exploring the role of the media in creating and fostering such fantasies in society, they confront us with our own habits of seeking comfort and hope for perfect love in movies. Their immersive work hauntingly reminds us that many of our fantasies and dreams, creating a bright future that will never exist, make us lose much more than we will ever gain.

    Lauren Was and Adam Eckstrom were both born in the USA and met while attending the Rhode Island School of Design. Eckstrom received a MFA Painting (Honors) in 2005 and Was a MFA Sculpture (Honors) in 2004. Their collaboration began in 2006 when they became intrigued by the question of what people dream about when they buy a lottery ticket. They founded the collaborative Ghost of a Dream in 2007 and a year later made their first piece in the Easy Money series, The Dream Car. Their work has been exhibited in Europe, China and int the USA and also has been featured in The Guardian (London), The Independent (London), Time Out (New York), and ArtForum.com among other publications. Ghost of a Dream have had various residencies in Germany, Switzerland, USA and France. The collabo- rative has been the recipient of the 2013 Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant and the Jerome Foundation grant and received the first annual Young Masters Art Prize in London in 2009. They have had solo exhibitions notably at the Hunterdon Art Museum, New Jersey (2012) and were featured in group shows at the Courtauld Institute of Art (2009).

     

    Better Odds Through Art: Ghost of a Dream Take On the Global Lotto Machine

    Christian Viveros-Fauné

     

    Some artists wait around for their retrospective. Others, like the young collaborative team of Lauren Was and Adam Eckstrom, a.k.a. Ghost of Dream, design their own survey. A reflection on “what we’ve done and how we got here,” their new exhibition, “Day is Done,” presents older styles of their work in brand new guises. Lurid but thoughtful, their most recent display mulls over this duo’s signal triumphs and failures (thematically, at least, they could be one and the same). It also proposes novel ideas for instantaneous overnight success. They’ll come in handy for picking a “winner” — if you still believe such a thing exists after seeing their show.

    SFeaturing large-scale and discrete pieces made from Lady Luck’s recycled leavings, Ghost of a Dream’s current exhibition sources its material straight from the global fantasy factory. Drawn from sources like casinos (playing cards), convention centers (carpet), corner delis (lottery tickets), sports shops (the discarded marble bases of old trophies), the inspirational and easy reading sections of cheap bookstores (self-help and romance novels), and Lalaland itself (video clips of old movies and songs), their many found objects are repurposed as sculptures, collages, room-sized installations, and moving image and auditory works. Taken together, they sound a uniformly brassy Wah-Wah note — like the losing wail on The Price Is Right. Despite their peppy peacock coloring, these works advertise something other than scratch-off happiness and rosy dreams deferred. Instead, they brutally pump the pathos of $1.50 ambitions, ideals crumpled, illusions trashed, and dreams roughly and cruelly trampled underfoot.

    SThough Ghost of Dream very much enjoys mixing and matching cast-off items for their aesthetic value, the artists rely chiefly on simple language to establish their complex conceptual conceits. One set of works on view, for example, features the words “Triumph” and “Tragedy” written out explicitly in modest marble slabs. Another, a drawing, assembles more than 700 bank slogans (HSBC, for example, publicly purports to be “Your local bank”) into a large panel spelling out the word “Trust.” A third instance of the duo’s use of text is reflected directly in the show’s title. Taken from the tune Taps — the song’s mystery lyrics laconically intone “Day is done, gone the sun… God is nigh” — its canned sentiment suggests two alternate meanings for the pair’s sprawling effort. In Churchillian terms, “Day is Done” announces the world’s current economic and artistic blitz — as evidenced by, among other phenomena, massive income inequality and the present market for blue-chip art — to be, at present, either at the beginning of the end, or the end of the beginning.

    SFew ideas today could appear more fustily rhetorical. A bald-faced manifestation of the status quo, Ghost of a Dream effectively reframes the willing confusion engendered by this go-along “Day is Done” attitude by recycling “triumphs” and “tragedies” into a larger, collective mosaic. Their exhibition, in a nutshell, represents thousands of instances of misplaced trust and ill fortune for which there will be no second acts. A multipart picture, it also constitutes an oddly itemized, harshly condemnatory, ultimately empathetic portrait of our merciless get-rich-quick age.