Meet the Others: Benjamin Phillips
The Game Changers. The Rule Breakers. The Innovators. Discover some of the fantastic emerging talent showcasing their work at The Other Art Fair.
Tell us about who you are and what you do. What is your background?
I’m a mixed media artist, living and running my studio from North London. I graduated with a Fine Art degree in Painting some 20+ years ago. I specialise in creating large abstract collage artworks, which are born out of fragments of walls and street posters that I physically source from the streets of London, while I carry out my own form of urban archeology.
If you could describe your work in 3 words, what would they be?
Bold, unique, complex.
How did you first get interested in your mediums and what draws you to them specifically?
I’ve always had a fascination with street posters and my urban environment, specifically the layering and decaying of street posters, advertising specific events and points in time, such as a festival, an album launch, a gig, etc. Especially when these become to take on new forms from overlapping, decay and time. So my primary medium became these papers and street material. I like the challenge that painting with paper brings and its ultimate uniqueness.
Can you walk us through your process? How do you know when an artwork finished?
It starts with an aspect of urban archaeology, collecting enough material to be able to complete the specific piece. I then construct the museum grade alu wood combi panel I prefer to work on. Then I prepare the gathered materials into the state/textures/colour schemes/sizes that the composition requires. Next comes the process of layering, stripping, relayering, restripping until the work takes the form I envisaged.
How do I know when it’s finished? It’s just my artists eye and a 6th sense. It’s not something I can put into words. Some works can be finished within a few weeks, others I’ve spent months on until I’m happy
Has being in isolation affected your artwork practice in any way?
Yes 100%, it has. On the negative side, I had to close my studio due to lockdown and due to the fact that there are 70 other artists working in the converted factory with shared facilities. And of course due to coronavirus there were cancellations of three shows I completed works for. On a positive note, it’s made me appreciate just how important my studio and art practice is to me from a mental health perspective and keeping my creativity pumping.
What is the best advice given to you as an artist?
Two eyes, two ears, one mouth.
Shop artwork by Benjamin and other trailblazing artists at The Other Art Fair’s Online Studios.
Introducing The Other Art Fair Online Studios, a new online platform offering art lovers around the world access to over 800 Fair artists. The Online Studios will keep our community feeling inspired, engaged, and continue to spread joy through art.