Ben Allen doesn’t like money. Or more specifically, how it warps the world controlling the masses. But he doesn’t just sit around social media and complain about it; he builds artwork to tell the story visually. Recently, Allen sat down with us to give us the what’s what.
Last book you read:
“His Dark Materials Trilogy” by Philip Pullman.
Weirdest thing in your fridge right now:
All regular stuff!
One thing every artist should own:
A sharp blade.
Current favorite Netflix show(s):
Glow and Dark.
When it comes to mediums, you have no limits. What’s your favorite?
It’s a fight between spray paint and screen printing.
To your parents detriment, you must have painted on everything?
I had a studio in their house for about a year. They had to re-decorate that room entirely … I’ve painted, canvases, walls, leather jackets, spray cans, statues of dogs, motocross helmets, shoes, mannequins, surfboards. Anything iconic with a good surface, I’m game.
Speaking of childhood, you contrast money and Disney characters in your pieces. Why?
I’m going to use a direct quote from my website on this: ‘The Propaganda series is a comment on contemporary western society and our damaging obsession with money, power and hyper commercialism. Vivid images of distorted Disney characters layered over a backdrop of dollar bills and spray cans, the ultimate anti-establishment tool of choice, they represent a universal loss of innocence and the insipid, alluring nature of popular culture.’
What do you hear most about your work that really surprises you?
That it appeals to a wide variety of ages. I have had people from all generations tell me how inspiring it is and that is always amazing.
What’s one thing you love about what you do?
I can come to my studio and do anything I want; Imagine what I want, and have a go at making anything I can think of.
How do you think social media has affected the creative world?
Drastically. It has opened the doors of self promotion and audience reach so much wider. But it has also saturated us visually with too much information.
If you had the opportunity to hang one of your pieces in a celebrity’s house, which celebrity would it be, which piece and why?
If it has to be a celebrity then I would love to see my huge ‘Dumbo Dollars’ canvas hanging on the wall of any celebrity that collects great art by people that have inspired me, like Warhol, Keith Haring, Jackson Pollack and Basquiat. That would be an honour.
Get your limited edition fix on over at my website BenAllenArt.com where you can see all my collections of work and buy signed, stamped and numbered limited edition prints. Don’t forget to sign up to the mailing list to be the first to know about print releases and shows!