Ben East is a Hertfordshire-based artist, illustrator and occasional author. He specialises in figurative art and portraiture using acrylics or ink. He also produces sculpture in a variety of media. His work, both on canvas and in print, explores themes of youth and age, memory and loss. He is interested in the continuity between Classical and Renaissance obsessions and techniques and contemporary art practices.
For the Skull Art exhibition, Ben has indulged his Gothic side, and incorporated numerous playful references to memento mori and Shakespearean philosophies on vanity and death. His ‘Halloween Memento’, for example, includes echoes of Hamlet in a casual scene of a youth contemplating a plastic skull from a childhood memory of Halloween. These Hamlet references feature more explicitly in ‘Gertrude’, a gothic adaptation of an 18th century society portrait, inscribed with lines from Hamlet’s famous Yorick soliloquy, which draw attention to the futility of vanity. Vanity also plays a part in Ben’s statuette, ‘The Death of Venus in the Selfie Age’, an adaptation of a Roman statuette of Venus that can be found locally in St Albans at the Verulamium Museum. Ben’s version is adapted slightly and features a death’s head and a mobile phone…
Skull Art Exhibition 5th October - 9th November 2019
I'll Make You Famous 16th November - 20 December 2019
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