JANUARY AND FEBRUARY 2019
Benjamin Funke received his MFA in Sculpture from the University of Notre Dame. He is Associate Faculty in Art at College of the Redwoods and Sculpture Technician at Humboldt State University. He is on the board of directors of the Redwood Art Association. Ben has exhibited artworks in venues including the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington DC, CICA in Seoul, South Korea and the Eastern Bloc for New Media in Montreal, Quebec.
Dazzle Shjips is a reflection of our time, an exhausting excess of contemporary culture. In this series of work I transform these everyday, mass-produced objects possessing little or no inherent value into sources for meditation inspiration.
In 1960, art critic Pierre Restany branded the art movement Nouveau réalisme (New Realism) “a poetic recycling of urban, industrial and advertising reality.” In his new series of material and formal explorations, I surf the third wave of “new” realism.
Formally akin to Christo’s wrapped objects, Cy Twombly’s minimalist sculptures and contemporary artist Sterling Ruby studio practice, my work dumpster dives forms, shrouding them in new attire. The forms are meticulously made showing each impression of my hands and treated with a high polished veneer. I transform the source material into handmade-minimalist forms that resembling drawings made in space.
I often create work by harvesting images from the reservoirs that surround us. I then alter these images using digital and manual methods, trying to de-familiarize viewers’ expectations so that they are moved to reevaluate the content and the context of what they see.