Each week we bring you a new Artist FlashCard featuring an amazing artist living/working/showing in Bushwick who you need to know. Featuring both new and old faces, our goal is to encourage the growth of art scene and to appreciate wonderful talent in our hood! If you know of an artist you would like to suggest for Artist FlashCards, please fill out our online form.
Who: Ben Godward
From: Webster Grove, MO
What: Outrageously bright foam sculptures meant to simultaneously critique and glorify the saturation and excess of the media and consumer culture in our daily lives.
Where you’ve seen his work: Where haven’t you seen it?! This past year alone Ben exhibited at Norte Maar, Outpost, and recently Centotto (currently on view). Not only did Ben open his Wyckoff studio last year, one of his sculptures was also featured in Rock Street 2013 sculpture installation as part of Bushwick Open Studios.
Why we’re into it: We’ve been into Ben’s art for a while now, with its technicolor palette and whimsical conflation of commonplace objects, not to mention his playful disposition with his work is what draws you to his large sculptural pieces. Responding to the gross consumerism and media proliferation of our everyday lives, Ben’s works possess a somber lining that is counter to his otherwise candy-coated exterior. Yet, rather than dark cynicism or admonishment of contemporary culture, Ben embraces the excess and even the waste that comes with American exuberance and over-indulgence. From this optimistic outlook, Ben’s sculptures are layered and built up upon themselves, creating a beautiful topography. Light-hearted pieces like “Cupcake” and “Bloated Baroque Masterpiece” (both from 2013) versus larger and technically involved pieces like “Voitenko vs Berkely (Intremes)”(also 2013), demonstrate Ben’s diversity and depth while never losing sight of his initial mischievousness. The art world always is need of artists to shake up convention and keep them on their toes; Ben might just be the artist to do it. Most importantly, Ben stresses the joy and the vivaciousness of this community- but with his eyes very much open to reality.
Ben Gives a Tour of his piece “Voitenko vs Berkely” at Norte Maar