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Art & Life with Ben Warwas

Today we’d like to introduce you to Ben Warwas.

Ben, please kick things off for us by telling us about yourself and your journey so far.
I began making artwork as a skateboarder. I would draw and make collages out of all the skate magazines. I loved this idea of organized chaos that you can create with a collage. Then I began building half-pipes and making my own clothes and realized you could actually make almost everything: clothing, furniture, houses on your own. I then went to undergrad for Fashion Design, where I got very involved in patterns and printing my own fabric. These patterns we inspired by the lettering in graffiti, skateboarding, and graffiti sometimes go hand in hand. After graduating from fashion school, I began renovating houses. I would do construction during the day, and I had a small clothing company and made performance outfits for touring bands at night. This allowed me to work with bands such as The Locust, and Le Tigre. Then during the recession, when the construction industry ground to a halt, I went to Architecture School to get my grad degree. And after about five years of working at other architecture firms, I started my own, Byben, which was also the name of my clothing company.

Can you give our readers some background on your art?
My work is an attempt to see the world in a new way: to blur the lines between 3D and 2D. #thewarwas, which has become the name for my shape, is something I work with often. It evolved out of graffiti lettering. I draw it onto fashion magazines editorial spreads and ads which draw attention to the ridiculousness of fashion world while also conveying my obsession with fashion. #thewarwas was also the shape that my architectural thesis was based on; it became the way to build buildings both small and large. I have also made clothing with #thewarwas on them.

As an artist, how do you define success and what quality or characteristic do you feel is essential to success as an artist?
I define success very simply. If you are able to take something from your mind and create it in the physical world, you are a success. I would say desire is essential for success, but it would be very interesting to see artwork that was made completely by accident.

What’s the best way for someone to check out your work and provide support?
Many of the projects that I have created are private or temporary, but you can view most of them at my website byben.com. I also have some small pieces at the A+D museum in the Impermanent Collection.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Photos by Brett Beyer, Jasmine Park, Juliana Paciulli ,Molly Schulman

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