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Ben Durham
updated: 09/24/2009
 
 
   
 
 
     
 
Artwork Title
art-medium
art-year
dimensions
Click thumbnails for full view:
 
Betty
Betty, detail
Brandon
Brandon, detail
Don
Don (detail)
Don (detail)
Juan
Juan (detail)
Natasha
Natasha (detail)
Emily, 13
Michael, 13
Juan, 11
Loretta, 11
 
Portfolio Keywords:  portraiture, conceptual, meditative, process, repetition, childhood, obsessive, language, memory, narrative
 
 
Betty by Ben Durham
Betty
graphite text on handmade paper
2009
44" x  58"  x 0.75" 
Betty, detail by Ben Durham
Betty, detail
graphite text on handmade paper
2009
44" x  58"  x 0.75" 
Brandon by Ben Durham
Brandon
graphite text on handmade paper
2009
43" x  57"  x 0.375" 
Brandon, detail by Ben Durham
Brandon, detail
graphite text on handmade paper
2009
44" x  57"  x 0.375" 
Don by Ben Durham
Don
graphite text on handmade paper
2009
44" x  59"  x 0.75" 
Don (detail) by Ben Durham
Don (detail)
graphite text on handmade paper
2009
44" x  59"  x 0.75" 
Don (detail) by Ben Durham
Don (detail)
graphite text on handmade paper
2009
44" x  59"  x 0.75" 
Juan by Ben Durham
Juan
graphite text on handmade paper
2008
44" x  59"  x 0.75" 
Juan (detail) by Ben Durham
Juan (detail)
graphite text on handmade paper
2008
44" x  59"  x 0.75" 
Natasha by Ben Durham
Natasha
graphite text on handmade paper
2008
44" x  59"  x 0.25" 
Natasha (detail) by Ben Durham
Natasha (detail)
graphite text on handmade paper
2008
44" x  59"  x 0.25" 
Emily, 13 by Ben Durham
Emily, 13
graphite text on paper
2008
18" x  15" 
Michael, 13 by Ben Durham
Michael, 13
graphite text on paper
2008
18" x  15" 
Juan, 11 by Ben Durham
Juan, 11
graphite text on paper
2008
15" x  18" 
Loretta, 11 by Ben Durham
Loretta, 11
graphite text on paper
2008
15" x  18" 

Artist Statement
The mug shots of childhood friends and classmates are the source material for my large-scale drawings on handmade paper. Once a week I search an online database of mug shots and arrest records. Some have been arrested for traffic violations and non-payment of fines. Some have been arrested for robbery, assault, and rape.

Struggling to remember and preserve my experiences, following backward into the past from the found image, begins a process of storytelling that is written into the piece itself. Each drawing is composed entirely of hand-written text. The content of that text is a graphic, unedited recounting of everything I can remember and have been told about the subject. As the text is repeatedly layered over to build the tonal features of the face a majority of the content is rendered unreadable. In this way, each piece simultaneously becomes a history and an anti-history, or, more exactly, a history deconstructed.

The large-scale pieces based on mug-shots are part of an ongoing body of work begun in 2002. The smaller pieces based on yearbook photographs are from a completed series of 14 pieces, Fourteen: Child Portraits.

Artist Bio / CV

Ben Durham

ben.e.durham@gmail.com

Selected Exhibitions
Creating Identity: Portraits Today
21c Museum, Louisville, KY Aug-Dec 2009

20 Years: Anniversary Exhibition
Nicole Klagsbrun Gallery, New York, NY June-July 2009

Ben Durham & Storm Tharp, Two-Artist Exhibition
Nicole Klagsbrun Gallery, New York, NY Oct-Dec 2008

Some Kind of Portrait, Group Exhibition juried by Simon Watson
Marc Selwyn Fine Art, Los Angeles, CA June 2007

GeneratioNext, Group Exhibition
Loudoun House Gallery, Lexington, KY May 2007

Shape of Words, Four-Artist Exhibition
Transylvania University’s Morlan Gallery, Lexington, KY March 2007

Art in Display, Group Exhibition
Division Street storefronts, Chicago, IL 2006

Old Friends, Half-Forgotten, Solo Exhibition
Fort Gondo Compound for the Arts, St. Louis, MO 2004

Bullseye, Two-Artist Exhibition
Gallerie Soleil, Lexington, KY 2000

Selected Collections

Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY

21c Museum, Louisville, KY

Barry Berkus, Santa Barbara, CA

Michael Byron, St. Louis, MO

Jim Gray/ Gray Construction, Lexington, KY

Mark Jacobson, New York, NY

Richard Minsky, New York, NY

John D. Lock, Boulder, CO

Loic Malle, Paris, France

Marc Selwyn, Los Angeles, CA

Education
Washington University, St. Louis, MO, B.F.A. in Painting, 2000-2004