Heavy downpour, a very wet Thursday night, but 21 February 2013 was the Opening night at Kult Gallery on Emily Hill. And no one does opening night like Kult, so despite the wet weather, there were lots of guests who braved the rain to be there and it was packed with energy with so many creative types in a single space.
Australian Pop Artist Ben Frost presents an exhibition of new artworks exploring our society’s obsession and relationship with mass-consumerism. Painting directly onto fast food and pharmaceutical packaging, Frost made us to look twice at the products we have grown to love – and also grown an addiction for.
He currently lives in Sydney and operates Stupidkrap Studios, a multi-disciplinary art collective of 10 established and emerging artists in Annandale.
Frost’s works are in the collections of Kerry Stokes, Art Bank, Griffith University and numerous local and international locations.
The question that might come to your mind could be “With so many artists dealing with Consumerism, how does Ben Frost set himself apart from the other?”
I feel that one of the key is that the use of manga and pop art on daily packages such as a cereal box and other items that is what we consume, being inexpensive and accessible items, we related to them more. Also the incorporation of the type of visuals Frost adds to the package, goes together very well. As it is always a challenge to work and add on to an existing pre-determined image and medium, and have the add-on to gel fluidly with the original visual on the packaging of consumer items.
However for the standalone paintings, without incorporating consumer packaging, I was expecting something bolder. Considering that Frost is not restricted by an existing visual to work along with.
Overall Frost showcased what he is well-known for – his kaleidoscopic Pop Art, mash-up paintings that take inspirations from areas as diverse as graffiti, collage, photo realism and sign-writing.
By subverting mainstream iconography from the worlds of advertising, entertainment and politics, Frost creates a visual framework that confront topics and often controversial. With a blatant disrespect for the signifiers of our visual culture, Frost creates multi-layered surfaces of refreshing intensity.