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Ward often drew animals, and they constitute one of the most recognisable visual motifs throughout his work. A good example is the publication 'I’m a Bat' (2), in which a selection of folk tales is populated by several species.

Ward’s first publications encompass a handful of zines (2)-(3)-(4)-(5) and a book (6), in which the human body was important. He portrayed random individuals, finding reference material on the internet (see: Internet). Later, the focus gradually shifted to the animal kingdom. For instance, important roles were assigned to the primate family (7)-(8), snakes and birds (9), fish (10) and cats (11). This fascination eventually culminated in a personification of the artist in animals (see: Haas & Gaai, Boris & Kitchenknife, Loloman). At the same time, themes such as youth culture and a latent interest in the urban environment began to win ground, like in 'The Breeze' (12). In recent years, Ward concentrated most of all on narrative work, resulting in works such as the graphic novel Wolven (23), in collaboration with scriptwriter Enzo Smits.

Animals. © WARD ZWART
Animals. © WARD ZWART

Besides the hare, the wolf may be the animal which readers most associate with Ward’s work. However, in contrast to the hare, the wolf rarely shows up in his drawings. In 2011, a short story (see: Treehouse) was released under the title 'Wolf'(79), which also appears in the anthology 'Mostly Cola' (82). As in 'Wolven', many animals feature here: the hare, fox, dove, etc.,  but not the wolf. More important than picturing the animal, is its roaming, mystical quality, as well as the imagery that the idea of ‘the wolf’ conjures. These characteristics can be found in many of the cast in Ward’s stories. They are shy figures who navigate their environment, away from the masses: searching, wandering, alone. The title 'Wolven' was never meant to be a reference to the physical animal, but rather to the aimless teens in the book.

On the book cover, the hashtag #fuckfakewolven can be read in small print, as a tribute to those seeking and roaming among us (see: Outsiders), and as a middle finger raised at those who simply swim with the current.

FUN FACT: Word goes around that during his childhood in the countryside, Ward tamed a jackdaw.

BONUS FUN FACT: In the summer of 2020, Ward took part in a Wolf Walk in Kasterlee, and made it into the regional newspapers. Other than a cardboard cut-out, he did not see a single wolf. #fuckfakewolven.

  • (1) I’m a Bat — Ward Zwart. Knust/Extrapool: Nijmegen, 2013, technique: risograph.
  • (2) Portraits — Ward Kuypers. Self-published: Kalmthout, 2006, number of copies unknown, technique: photocopy, single-colour photocopy on cover that envelopes the work inside.
  • (3) Portraits 2 — Ward Zwart. Self-published: Antwerp, 2007, 50 copies, technique: photocopy on different types of paper, single-colour photocopy on cover.
  • (4) Portraits 3 — Ward Zwart. Self-published: Antwerp, 2008, number of copies unknown, technique: (colour) photocopy on different types of paper, double-colour photocopy on cover.
  • (5) 50 — Ward Zwart. Self-published: Antwerp, 2008, number of copies unknown, technique: photocopy, single-sided printing.
  • (6) Herd Animals — Ward Zwart. Bries: Antwerp, 2009.
  • (7) Posters and Flyers, July ’06 April ’08 — Ward Zwart. Self-published: Antwerp, circa 2008, technique: photocopy and colour photocopy with foldout posters of different sizes inside.
  • (8) AAP1 ('Monkey1') — Ward Zwart. Self-published: Antwerp, publication year unknown, number of copies unknown, technique: photocopy on a single sheet of paper, folded together as a harmonica.
  • (9) The Snakes under My Skin — Ward Zwart. Self-published: Antwerp, 2012, 100 copies, technique: photocopy, cover on black paper.
  • (10) By the Seaside — Ephameron and Ward Zwart. Self-published: Antwerp, 2008, 250 copies, technique: single or double-colour photocopy, tracing paper, fortune teller miracle fish, paperclip.
  • (11) Babycat Loves You — Ward Zwart. Self-published: Antwerp, 2007, 15 copies, technique: photocopy with linocut cover in two colours.
  • (12) The Breeze — Ward Zwart. Self-published: Antwerp, 2010, 25 copies, technique: photocopy.
  • (23) Wolven (‘Wolves’) — Enzo Smits and Ward Zwart. Bries: Antwerp, 2016. Second print run, 2020. Translated into French as Wolven — Même Pas Mal: Marseille, 2018.
  • (79) Wolf — Ward Zwart. Self-published: Antwerp, 2011, 100 copies, technique: risograph, 2 colours, extra flap with logo around the cover.
  • (82) Mostly Cola — Ward Zwart. Anthology of short stories written in 2010 and 2011. Self-published: Antwerp, 500 copies, offset in two spot colours, foldout dust jacket.