In his series titled Blackout, Gardner captures the expressions and gestures of drunken partiers joking and sneering at the viewer or holding a toast with a bottle as a prop. In order to preserve the technical clarity of Gardner's drawings, the printers exposed the films to the offset lithography plates in a way that reversed the image. Gardner's images produce a feeling of disillusioned perception of the moment retrieved in a snapshot.
Born in 1973 in Iowa City, Gardner grew up in Canada where he received a BFA from the University of Manitoba in 1996. Soon after, he moved to New York City, attending Columbia University and receiving his MFA in 1999. Gardner has exhibited his work in solo shows in New York City, Winnipeg and Venice, and in numerous group exhibitions in the United States and in Europe. He is currently represented by 303 Gallery in New York. Although his work tends toward the small-scale, the worlds that he renders in watercolor and gouache are intensely complete. With painstaking, photographic accuracy, Gardner records scenes of post-adolescent guy-hood, based on snapshots given to him by his brothers. His paintings are chronicles of culture, vignettes given weight and permanence.