i’m jealous of ben lewis

In a sunny garden, or in a strange mushroom patch… yep, I love found imagery collage just about anywhere. One place that is unbelievably full of such things, is the portfolio of UK based artist Ben Lewis. Neon head dresses, hungry owls, flowery tears… sigh… inspiration overload.

{via ML4U’s Pinterest board}

comments (10)

  1. Natasha /// 02.27.2012 /// 5:48pm

    Far from inspirational, I think some of these works are extremely harmful and offensive in that they reiterate narratives of oppression, hegemony, and colonialism. Adding colour and collage to images of aboriginal people is simply perpetuating such Orientalism. Perhaps were the artist not a privileged white man the works could be understood as subversive, but unfortunately this is not the case.

  2. the jealous curator /// 02.27.2012 /// 7:50pm

    Thanks for your comment Natasha… I would hope that Ben didn’t mean anything negative/offensive when choosing the images for his collages. I thought the images were quite beautiful, which is why I decided to show them. Ben if you read this, let us know your 2 cents.

  3. tiffanie /// 02.27.2012 /// 10:59pm

    I am learning a lot about collage since I started following your blog, and the botanicals in these pieces really sing to me. The owl and the birds is particularly beautiful. Nice work.

  4. Natasha /// 02.28.2012 /// 1:11pm

    Hi again!

    I’d just like to clarify that I don’t think that the artist was necessarily (nor intentionally) being offensive! Perhaps I was a bit harsh in my criticism.

    I simply wanted to point out that making/choosing/disseminating art and visual culture based on its aesthetic appeal (or its beauty) can sometimes be harmful (ie: the consumption native imagery by western audiences) when its critical implications are not also considered.


  5. the jealous curator /// 02.28.2012 /// 7:36pm

    fair enough… there is definitely a sensitivity that needs to be considered when using found imagery.

  6. Ben /// 02.29.2012 /// 9:58am

    Im a semi privileged white 19 year old male (Which has nothing to do with the creation of this piece and dont think it should dictate the artwork, the artist or the viewer of the piece or any piece in any way)

    To think that these images are harmful in any way is reading into it a little too deeply and in a way i think its harmful that you could few art in that way unless the piece is meant to portray those feelings, the reasoning behind the colours in the headdress is simply because as a kid i had always seen films with Indians in, had plastic toys and loved their History and the colours of what they wore and the colourful spiritual aspect of their lives, in treating nature with respect.
    This isnt a collage of indians behind bars, cowboys disrespectfully attacking indians, it is a celebration of the stories of the hunts, the gatherings, the feasts the fires, the religions and ceremonies the Indians held.
    The different colours are just glimpses of the adventures and things they have seen, that they wear to symbolize the wisdom and history of their lives, it is a celebration of life

    I would like to see how these works can cause offence but however subversive you may think they are, i just cant see it

    Sorry if you took offence

  7. the jealous curator /// 02.29.2012 /// 10:02am

    thanks so much for your response, ben. glad you were able to talk about where you were coming from : )

  8. Melissa de la Fuente /// 02.29.2012 /// 10:01pm

    I am glad Ben got a chance to respond too. I love his work & to me, it seems clearly celebratory. Made with a love & respect for the subjects.
    Cheers Ben!

  9. Taylor Rae /// 03.01.2012 /// 7:45am

    These are some of the most beautiful collages I’ve ever seen! I particularly love the owl one. Thanks for sharing!

  10. a little inspiration… « MARKET STREET | a blog of design, type, and cool stuff. /// 08.22.2012 /// 2:17pm

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