Ruin Upon Ruin
Paintings by Ben White
Acrylic and enamel on panel
35” x 42” x 3”
Ruin Upon Ruin, Ben White’s Insert Blanc Press series, is a group of 15 original paintings to accompany White’s artist monograph, Ruin Upon Ruin, forthcoming in summer 2014 and available now for Pre-Sale. Each painting will come with a signed copy of Ben White’s artist monograph, a large format, full color, hardbound edition of 140 pages with essays by Doug Harvey and John Hogan.
“Ben White conflates figures from American history and folk tales with contemporary box stores and roadside attractions, pointing to the relativity of cultural import and the collapsible nature of intellectual, philosophical and religious “progress” in America.”
- John Hogan, Art21, May, 2012.
“Ben White's paintings merge anachronistic personages, events, biblical narratives, and popular culture to create a fantastic, nonlinear interpretation of history. … The incongruencies are absurd, and the absurdity itself pulls them into the present. ... It becomes our history again, on equal terms with the present and once again acceptable as subject matter for contemporary painting. Historical gravity, leavened by wit, becomes a source of pleasure and fascination.”
- Lara Bank, California Contemporary Art, Summer 2010
“If one were to run across one of Ben White’s paintings at a suburban garage sale or in the dusty backroom of a thrift store, one would snap it up immediately, display it prominently in one’s hip Silverlake-adjacent living room, then post it immediately on Facebook, hoping to learn more about the quixotic outsider genius that produced it. The Council of Nicaea supervising the faking of a moon landing? Unimpeachable. Liberace among the Hyenas in the Colloseum? Fabulous!”—Doug Harvey
Born in 1978 in Jacksonville, FL, White studied painting, drawing, and printmaking at the Florida State University School of Art from 1997 to 2001. Two of those years were spent studying, researching, and creating work in Florence Italy, where he first began to develop a visual language that spoke to the recondite nature of established historical narratives and the visual propaganda which creates those narratives. White was accepted into the Fine Arts program at California Institute of the Arts in 2001. While earning his M.F.A. at CalArts, he developed a more intellectually sophisticated painting practice, which, while still speaking to the oppressive political and ideological uses of evolving historical narratives, became heavily influenced by, and indebted to the writings of Walter Benjamin, Roland Barthes, as well as other writers, artists, and musicians engaged in critical discourse.
White's work and curatorial design have been shown in numerous group and solo exhibitions at venues such as Blythe Projects, The Torrance Art Museum, Sea and Space Explorations, the Santa Monica Museum of Art, and many others. White is the a recipient of the Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant for 2011-2012, and his collaborative work has been seen in Flaunt magazine. He co-produces and hosts the art and culture show "The People" on KCHUNG radio 1630AM, and currently lives and works in Los Angeles, CA.
Liberace Suffers Damnatio ad Bestias, 2013.
Defixio for Rick Scott, 2013.
Ned Kelly Heals the Sick with his Shadow, 2012.
Tollund Man's Vision of the Thrones, 2012.
Tiburcio Vásquez in Chatsworth, 2012.
Columbia Goes to Cracker Barrel, 2012.
Roosevelt refuses participation in propitiatory child sacrifice to Moloch, 2012.
McKinley Assassinated at the Golden Gate, 2012.
SOLD—Otzi Receives an Arrow in the Back Left Shoulder, 2012.
SOLD—Franco and Deitch are Thrown from a Phoenician Trading Ship, 2011.
SOLD—John Henry and Charun at the St. Marks Lighthouse, 2011.
SOLD—Yuri Gagarin confronts Wernher von Braun, 2011.
Noah sends forth a chendytes lawi after coming to rest atop the Library Tower, 2011.
Thomas Jefferson Sets Himself On Fire in the Parking Lot
of the Blockbuster Video Near The Creation Museum, 2010.
Members of Westboro Baptist Church Protest at a Neanderthal
Burial Ceremony, 2010.