Ben’s multi-disciplinary practice involves, but not limited to, painting, installation and text. Across these mediums the artist references personal narratives, humor, art related politics, historical events and the artists childhood. Often the work has the capacity to be playful and acerbic at the same time, incorporating traditional and non-traditional materials and techniques, sometimes resulting in a critique on art itself. Often veiled but sometimes confrontational, the work raises questions on aesthetic, art-political and social conventions. Benjamin’s current body of work spanning many materials and years is often connected by alternative literature and prose poetry, giving hand to versatile creations no matter what environment the artist may be working in. The artist prides himself in what he calls ‘group shows’ – bodies of work that could be seen to be created by a number of artists but are created by the artist himself, with subtle motifs and visual cues linking his practice together.
Last year (2018) he was a finalist in the Archibald Prize, and was the winner of the Tony Fini Foundation Prize at the Art Gallery of Western Australia. This year he is again an Archibald Prize finalist, showed work in Haengchen Art Museum curated by Seung-Li and has upcoming shows at the University of Arizona, and a major solo show in Bangkoks TARS, curated by Pierre Bechon. The artist also frequently collaborates with senior artist Jon Cattapan. Their last exhibition was held at the Latrobe Arts Institute (formerly LUMA), curated by senior curator Dr. Kent Wilson.
More information on upcoming and past exhibitions, residencies and collections can be found below, including links of writings and essays on the artist. Although painting very few a year, Ben’s practice also includes portraiture and is open to commissions. You can see some of those works over here.
Ben is represented by THIS IS NO FANTASY (Dianne Tanzer + Nicola Stein) and TARS Gallery, Bangkok.
Ben is also a member of W.A.G.E, Working Artists and the Greater Economy, a New York-based activist organization founded in 2008. Their mission is to establish sustainable economic relationships between artists and the institutions that contract our labor, and to introduce mechanisms for self-regulation into the art field that collectively bring about a more equitable distribution of its economy. Ben is also a member of Americans for the Arts (ID 415215) alongside being a premium member of NAVA (National Association for Visual Arts).
Co-founder of Nicholas Projects, a once physical space and now itinerant gallery program, Ben has launched the Nicholas Foundation alongside his partner which features over 80 artworks available for public viewing by appointment and institutional loans. The ethos of the foundation is to support artists at all stages of their career. Some of the artists included but not limited to are Alex Da Corte, Jonny Niesche, Michael Staniak, Daniel Boyd, Helen Johnson, Jelena Telecki and Ian Burns. With the aim of a future house museum that will eventually be a donation to leading museums creating cultural discourse and educational archives.