Ben Allen is a rebel and his art reflects that. When he first started painting in the 90s, he soon realised this could be an outlet for the wild creative energy which distracted him so much in his youth. The application of paint, ink or collage on to a surface has been a compulsive, therapeutic habit ever since he returned from a trip to Mexico aged 19, where he first encountered the philosophical concepts of perception, inner development and mind-expansion which underpin the writing of Carlos Castendada, his most significant and recurring influence.
Ben’s paintings, murals and screen prints occupy a space between street art, graffiti, abstraction, graphic design, pop culture, modernism and comic strips. It’s an oeuvre which is best described as Contemporary Pop Art. Using a range of materials including acrylic, household paints, spray paint, screen printing, markers, comic books, digital print, billboard papers and US currency, he makes diverse, intuitive and boldly subversive imagery.
Ben’s work is built on a foundation of experience, freedom of thought, experimentation and an ‘emotional synesthesia’. Music is vital to the creative process and the vibrant colours and abstracted forms of his evocative paintings and prints resonate with the with the beats that reverberate around his bright, open-plan studio. It is connected to emotions, too. The way he feels is reflected in each brush stroke, splatter or sprayed form, and these actions become an unselfconscious monitor of his mood and energy. Despite this intensity, the finished result is always considered and Ben will work on a number of canvases at any one time, moving between them, adding layers and references until he finds a resolution.
Ben has worked on a range of bespoke interior design projects and his artwork has been used by high-end brands including LG, Nokia, Virgin, Levis, Vans, Estrella Gallicia, NME Magazine, Converse, Jamie Oliver and Subliminal Records. See more
“I can’t really explain what a finished work looks like. I just know when I’m there. My paintings are about chance, intuition and experiences. I don’t want to tell people what they’re looking at, I want them to find something they connect with - visually and emotionally.”
As an artist, Ben is constantly motivated to challenge art that feels safe or easy. His process is focussed and intense and his output reveals a vivid culmination of joy and pain, anarchy and peach, love and hate, greed and kindness. Amongst this hotbed of contradictions, the work resides, vibrating with life and a tangible energy.
“Ben Allen is a contemporary artist, known for his distinctive Pop paintings. Using complex collage techniques, his pieces create a dynamic mash-up of popular culture, which work to critique the banal and the mundane, challenge mainstream media values and inspire a sense of freedom. Allen’s works are self confessed meditations. His techniques capture an emotion rather than a reality; a demonstration of art as a perfect vehicle for the general artistic quest to convey sentiment and arrest motion.”