Benjamin Skinner has a fascination with combining the opulent and the grotesque. He contrasts the refined with the depraved. Nude figures, rough textures, fine details, dirty light, and layered expression, characterize his images. He often uses elaborately built sets and numerous models. His skills in construction, clothing design and production, allow him to involve himself throughout the production of the images which he often prints large, in excess of three meters.
Earlier this year Benjamin spent almost 2 weeks constructing the most extraordinary environment within the gallery. It felt like you descend under the floorboards of the gallery itself and escape into a different realm.
The rich layering of Ben’s installation continues into the work itself, with the photographs in Ben’s distinctive style printed onto silk, almost a century old, and hand-stitched into frames made by the artist. This all harks back to a bygone era and brings to the exhibition Ben’s dexterity as a craftsman besieged by today’s disposable, corner-cutting culture.
The silk onto which Ben has printed his photographs was used as electrical insulation in the 1920’s. With access to only a single roll of this textile, a limited number of photographs can be printed onto the silk. Each photograph is a limited edition of just 13 and will be printed on-demand until the silk has been used up. Thereafter the photographs will be printed onto archival paper.