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Ostend artist James Ensor (1860-1949) was an important idol and undoubtedly had a special influence on Ward’s work. In 2013, Ward even made a short, semi-autobiographical zine on the topic, 'Visiting Ensor' (39), as an ode to this master of masquerades. The influence also regularly surfaces in the many illustrations for posters and magazines he made over the years. Packed crowds at concerts, displaying masked figures or flailing skeletons here and there, depict a certain horror vacui, but also serve the idea of hiding in the crowd.

A good example is the poster (40) which he recently made for the project 'Besmette Stad' (‘Infected City’), and was based on the poem 'Sous les Ponts de Paris' by Paul van Ostaijen. Ward also drew amazing Ensorian hordes for Grafixx (41) and Het Bos (76).

  • (39) Visiting Ensor — Ward Zwart. Self-published: Antwerp, 2013, number of copies unknown, technique: risograph, 2 colours.
  • (40) Onrust ('Unrest') — Ward Zwart. deBuren: Brussels, 2020.
  • (41) Grafixx — international graphical arts festival. De Studio: Antwerp, 2012-present.
  • (76) Het Bos (‘The Forest’) — experimental artistic incubator in Antwerp: 2014-present.