Ghost Of A Dream

26th March, 2014

To say I’m enamored with the artwork of husband and wife team Adam Eckstrom and Lauren Was ~ aka Ghost of a Dream ~ would be putting it terribly mildly. Their enormous, highly detailed sculptures and installations tackle concepts of opulence and aspiration, but are constructed from materials that typically end up in the trash ~ be it a paperback romance novel (intended to transport the reader into a dream reality), a religious track (promising eternal life) or marble slabs taken from the base of old trophies (those totemic celebrations of negligible accomplishments). GhostOfADream2It all began with a study on lotto tickets. In the artists’ own words. “We kept finding these lost lottery tickets littered all over the ground and we started picking them up, thinking they were someone’s lost wish; that they were this hope and dream that they had and then they tossed it away. We started thinking about what those dreams actually meant and what happens if you collected enough of those to make that dream into a reality.” GhostOfADream3|ABOVE| art show debris, Ghost of a Dream’s most recent source of inspiration |BELOW| a dizzying piece formed from playing cards recycled from Vegas casinos; its frenetic energy is meant to simulate the feeling inside your brain upon hitting a winning hand GhostOfADream4And so they embarked on a trilogy of sculptures, assembled entirely out of scratched and discarded lotto tickets, carefully cut and 3-dimensionally collaged into the shape and image of the three products most lottery winners buy ~ a dream vacation, a dream home, and a dream car (specifically a Hummer H3, built to scale!). This initial collaboration resonated powerfully in our current cultural moment (obsessed as we are with overnight success stories and the alluring fame of reality TV), and evolved into an all-encompassing life and creative partnership for the two artists. GhostOfADream5 GhostOfADream6Beyond those lotto tickets, they’ve since expanded their palette of materials to shed light on other corners of the global fantasy factory, brightly but brutally debunking the illusions of our collective culture’s ‘get rich quick’ idealism. Whether they’re working with playing cards recycled from Vegas casinos or forgotten collections of baseball cards, Ghost of a Dream use prosaic objects to shine a mirror on our own dreams of rich decadence. GhostOfADream7Their work really speaks to me, as more and more I crave a life with less: less stuff, less noise, less distracting, meaningless things. They never make you happy; making art, making change, making love, making friends, making memories are all that really matter. GhostOfADream8In keeping with that ethos, I’m supporting the Brooklyn Artists Ball for the second year in a row, and will be bringing you a behind-the-scenes peek into the lives and studios of some of the artists contributing works to this year’s show. As especial favorites of mine, Ghost of a Dream are up first! The sculpture they are working on for this year’s event and exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum will take a hard look at the art world itself; specifically the uniquely counterintuitive pathos surrounding art fairs. These fairs are democratic in that more people attend and see art at them today than they do in museums, while at the same time they turn art buying into such an unattainable activity that only the super-rich can even dream to play. GhostOfADream9Art shows also produce an extreme amount of waste: huge structures, walls, carpets and experiences are built to display works of art for maybe a week at most ~ afterward it’s all thrown away. Well, the wasted ephemera of our material dreams is Ghost of a Dream’s chief currency, and they let me tag along with them as they raided the debris left behind after this month’s Armory Art Fair in New York City. GhostOfADream10 GhostOfADream11One man’s trash truly is another’s treasure, and as Adam and Lauren packed as much as they could into their little yellow car, I thought about the beautiful irony of taking the refuse from a two-day art fair back into a museum environment, reformed and redefined as sculpture ~ and thus rendering it more resonant than ever. I can’t wait to see what they make of it all, when the work that results from this day of excavation debuts at this year’s ball.GhostOfADream12|CLICK HERE| to purchase tickets to the fourth annual Brooklyn Artists Ball. I’ll see you there! |CLICK HERE| to watch a truly great video on these two artists’ collaborative work

  • “I crave a life with less. They never make you happy; making art, making change, making love, making friends, making memories are all that really matter”

    You just reached out to my soul. At 22 years of age, I’ve been contemplating the same things and I’m finding it difficult to crave lesser stuff most importantly. As an aspiring fashion stylist, my love for clothes & other things seem to be coinciding with my need for less. Where does one draw the line at being materialistic? How does one make that choice?

    • theglamourai

      As a stylist, I think it’s possible (and important!) to separate your life and your work. Styling is a wonderful way to inspire, to celebrate good design and to shape and report on culture ~ but telling visual stories through objects (i.e. clothing items) doesn’t require that we accumulate all those items for ourselves. Make art with it and move on!

      I love that so many of the great stylists, artists, designers, etc. have found their own personal uniform and use it as a means to free up energy to focus on their work.


  • Tracy
  • zhanna

    wow, this can be so breath taking when we get to see what human minds are capable of in terms of art and creativity. Amazing works and such great inspiration and a good kick for rethinking many things and start doing something good and useful. great post!

  • Nico

    Shots here are always so incredible!

    ’50s style dress and wedges on lowbudget-lowcost Fashion Blog

  • JSchiff

    You write that you “crave a life with less: less stuff, less noise, less distracting, meaningless things.” Many of my friends who work in and around fashion [including myself] have started to feel this way in the past year or two–I’m curious if you think it’s a reaction to that entire sphere, or more a part of growing up?

    • theglamourai

      I think it’s a little bit of both: a bit of figuring things out as we age and mature, and also a reaction to all the excess in our culture right now.


  • Awesome pics as always<3

  • Shopopal

    Very impressive!

  • SmallBlondeChic

    Sometimes I find the hardest thing to do is to live simply… Yet when I do so I find I am the happiest.

  • This just shows how the only thing a person really needs to see beauty, to create beauty, is perception!

  • This is amazing. In love with all your adventures.

  • Michelle K. Lee
TheGlamourai is a webzine produced by Kelly Framel, a multi-media creative director based in downtown New York (but constantly bouncing around the world). Part fashion blog, part glossy mag, part fantasy travel portal, it's your ultimate online destination for stylish daydreams. Tune in for inspirational editorials, beauty tutorials, outfit ideas, DIYs, jet-set travel tips and more!
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