Ben Skinner

Where are you from and where do you reside?
I’m from a small oil town in Southwestern Ontario called Petrolia. I now live in Vancouver, British Columbia.
You often incorporate text into your work. What is your process of determining the text through the creation of the artwork and vice versa?
I like to write and collect little phrases. I archive them and sometime litmus test them as a Facebook status. These sometimes make their way into artworks. The specific media and techniques are always changing from work to work.
You’ve recently started marbling your materials. What do you enjoy most about the qualities this produces?
I like the happy accidents you get. There is a sense of limited control over the process. It also feels magical to pull these “mono-prints” from the surface of a liquid. Each piece is unique; the specific way the paints move and mix is irreproducible.
How important is it to keep an element of humor in your work?
It’s important, but I don’t think about it too much. It comes naturally for me to make things that make me smile. Even if it’s not text based. It doesn’t have to be an obvious joke that the viewer needs to “get” or laugh out loud to, but I do like to use humour as an entry point into a work that has levels of meaning and reference. Humour is a universal thing people can relate to. There is enough overly serious art out there already.
Humour is a universal thing people can relate to. There is enough overly serious art out there already. — Ben Skinner
What is something people would be surprised to learn about you?
I can ride a unicycle.

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