Ben Venom’s practice is one of extreme juxtaposition. The Atlanta native combines the unexpected tradition of handmade crafts and the historical art of quilting with a musical genre that has a rich history in its own right, Heavy Metal.
He describes his work as a “collision of Iron Maiden Metal ballads with the outrageous stage antics of Ozzy Osbourne. Serious, yet attempting to take on a B movie Horror film style where even the beasts of Metal need a warm blanket to sleep with.”
Alongside the intended campiness of the imagery Venom uses, there is a nuanced attention to the history of the imagery he uses. There is a clear nod to the methods of quilting from the patterns seen in the Gee’s Bend quilts of Alabama, as well as the iconic imagery of Heavy Metal, from snake riddled skulls to a teeth‐bared wolf.
Somehow this unlikely conflation of the feminine customs of craft with the hyper masculinity of Heavy Metal coalesces into stage set worthy tapestries.
Ben Venom lives and works in San Francisco, CA. He received his an MFA from the San Francisco Art Institute and BFA from Georgia State University. His work has been featured in Guardian UK, SF Bay Guardian, and Art Practical and he was the recipient of several awards including a Vera Jernigan Green Memorial Art Award and a SF Weekly Masterminds Grant.
This is his first solo exhibition at Get This! Gallery. He has had exhibitions in Atlanta, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Charleston, among others. His most recent solo exhibition was a solo exhibition at Guerrero Gallery in San Francisco.
Through Oct. 6.
Get This! Gallery
662 11th Street NW
Atlanta GA, 30318