"In 2009 MASH set out to crash the 2009 edition of the Tour of California on their track bikes. For nine days, they ascended on the same .750-mile course as international cycling teams on bikes with one gear and no brakes, battling the horrendous rains and traversing some of the steepest hills in California."
I had heard about Ben's work right around the time that I had moved back to SF. A few people had mentioned to me that I would really appreciate his sewn and printed work. Each person made it a point to mention the quilt he had designed and sewn from 35 metal t-shirts. The overall quilted pattern on the blanket? A pentagram, naturally. Obviously I was immediately intrigued! Who wouldn't be?
Born in Charleston, South Carolina and raised in Atlanta, Georgia, Ben's interest lay in marrying traditional handmade crafts, Heavy Metal and his heritage from growing up in the south. He's also the second half of Dee's Nuts. His and Kevin E. Taylor's endeavor to help spread the deep south's delicacy of boiled peanuts. Which I can now attest to the goodness first hand.
What follows are images from my afternoon spent with Ben at his home and studio. It was rad checking out and witnessing how deep his passion runs. I was truly impressed. You can see the whole visit on the blog's flickr page.
More images after the JUMP!
above photo courtesy of Ben Venom.
Ben carefully tells me the significance and meaning of each specially placed metal t-shirt.
Ben was especially inspired by an exhibit he had seen of the women of Gee's Bend, here he shows me a book of the quilts from the collective.
The beginning of one of his many appliqued pillows.
I stumbled upon Alastair Mackie's sculptural pieces a few weeks ago through All Visual Arts' site. Immediately taken with Alastair's intense and meticulous work, I asked him to share a few images and descriptions of his haunting pieces with us, and a little bit about himself and his upcoming shows:
(sphere), 2009 (above and below)
Mouse skulls, wood, glass.
40cm x 35cm x 35cm
Having swallowed its prey whole, the owls digestive system will extract any nutrition. The indigestible parts are then regurgitated as a compressed pellet. From these the skulls are extracted and the sculpture is built.
Untitled, 2000 - 2008 (above)
Mouse skull sculpture re-united with its place of origin.
Untitled (+/-), 2009 (above and below)Mouse skeletons, mouse fur, and other mixed media Dimensions variable.
Over a period of one year barn owl pellets have been collected and processed in to their raw components of mouse fur and bone. The fur has been spun in to yarn and, with the use of a loom, the yarn has been woven in to a sheet of fabric. The skeletons have been left as a heap, the size of which correlates directly with the size of the sheet of material.
all photos by Tessa Angus courtesy of All Visual Arts.
Born in 1977, Alastair Mackie has shown his work extensively in the UK and abroad and is widely collected. In 2004 Charles Saatchi purchased a number of pieces for his ‘New Blood’ exhibition at the Saatchi gallery, which lead to his first solo show with Max Wigram later that year. Last year he had his second solo show, Not Waving But Drowning, at The David Roberts Art Foundation. Concurrently his first public out door piece, Mimetes Anon, commissioned by The Contemporary Art Society was exhibited at the Economist Plaza in St. James's, London.
Alastair lives and works in London and Cornwall and is represented by All Visual Arts.