Eve Sussman

Ben Fain

Ben Fain (American, born London 1980) is best known for his controversial public-performances, parades, and allegorical parade videos, often sited amidst a lush, pastoral Americana. Fain’s work foregrounds the float as an atavistic site for sculpture erupting out of the slow, ritual time of parade, recognized as a living, cultural moment. Floats function as ghostly characters, stand-ins for an absent, often abject and fecal body traveling as a fleeting image through the narrative space of the parade event. Fain’s floats become fetish containers for cultural beliefs; infinitely adaptive platforms populated by stickmen and doppelgangers charged with mysterious energies, documented in his videos. The absent body, reduced to its simplest symbols, is manipulated through the narrative transfer enacted by the parade, proliferating outwards and creating micro narratives powered by conjecture, confusion and rumour. For Fain, public parade culture is a return to the vital, the bodily, and the organic with the float as talisman, emerging with purpose from Limbo.


Education

2008 Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, Skowhegan, ME
2006-2008 School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL, MFA Sculpture
1998-2002 University of Hartford, Connecticut, BFA Sculpture (Magna Cum Laude)


Selected Exhibitions & Projects

2011

  • Winter Experiment, Monique Meloche Gallery, Chicago, IL
  • Screening, THE FOLDING CHAIR, November, Brooklyn, NY
  • Hang In There, Co-Prosperity Sphere, June, Chicago, IL
  • The Riddle of the Blue Sphinx Parade, Wynwood Art Fair, October, Miami, FL

2010

  • NURSES, Ben Russell Gallery, November 6th, Chicago, IL
  • Who, What, Why, When, Where Parade, August 5th, Chesterhill, OH
  • Chesterhill Firemen’s Parade, July 11th, Chesterhill, OH
  • NEXT Fair, With Balloon Contemporary, April, Chicago, IL
  • Galleri Babel, May, Trondheim, Norway
  • To Face, Lloyd Dobler Gallery, January, Chicago, IL

2009

  • Gurnee Homecoming Parade, October 4th, Gurnee, IL
  • Object Petit, Spoke Gallery, September, Chicago, IL
  • Suomenlinnan Aarrejahti, curated by Anna Colin & Veronika Spierenburg, Suomenlinna, Helsinki
  • Life is Life, Harold Arts, July 22nd, Chesterhill, OH
  • Chesterhill Firemen’s Parade, July 11th, Chesterhill, OH
  • West Athens 4th of July Parade, July 4th, West Athens, ME
  • Prague Biennial, Prague, Czech Republic, works made in collaboration with Liz Magic Laser and Dafna Maimon
  • Post Post Post Studio, HIAP Project Room, Helsinki
  • Citrus Park Parade “Live the Adventure”, February 24th, Bonita Springs, FL

2008

  • 12th Annual North Halsted Halloween Parade, Halsted and Belmont, October, Chicago, IL
  • Ahh, Decadence, Sullivan Gallery, Chicago, IL, works made in collaboration with Liz Magic Laser and Dafna Maimon
  • Helsinki Art Fair, Gallery Johan S., Helsinki, Finland
  • Undertow: Cross Currents and excavations, Fosdick Nelson Gallery, Alfred University, Alfred, NY
  • Gallery2, Limbo, Chicago, IL
  • 21 Cities at Once Performed, Simultaneous performance event around the world, a curated online exhibition

2007

  • This Is All Happening Right Now, Alogon Gallery, November, Chicago, IL
  • Every Last Day, DCAC, Washington, DC
  • Every Last Day, Go Go Gallery, March Miami, FL
  • Every Last Day, Chashama Project Space, New York, NY
  • Stonings, Alogon Gallery, Chicago, IL

2006

  • Gemini’s Brine, November 5th, Atlanta, GA
  • Unbuilt Atlanta, Eyedrum, Atlanta, GA
  • The Ben Show, Spruill Arts Center, February, Atlanta, GA

2005

  • Forward Arts Foundation, Swan Coach House, July, Atlanta, GA
  • Atlanta Biennial, Atlanta Contemporary Art Center, April, Atlanta, GA
  • For Reproduction Only, March, Atlanta, GA
  • Our Land, Lump Gallery, April, Raleigh, NC

2004

  • Eyedrum, November, Atlanta, GA
  • Sloppy Slobbering Monster, September, The Bank, Kansas City, MO
  • Make Your Own Fun, Guild and Greyshkul, New York, NY
  • Plague Baskets, August, Young Blood Gallery, Atlanta, GA
  • Jesus vs. The Snowman in 3D, July, Mattress Factory, Atlanta, GA
  • This Is The Future, June, Saltworks Gallery, Atlanta, GA

Awards & Achievements

2010

  • Vimeo Film Awards, Shortlist (Experimental Genre)

2009

  • Joan Mitchell Foundation Residency Scholarship, Chicago, IL
  • Breakout Artist Award, NewCity, Chicago, IL

2008

  • Induction into the “New Artists Society”, Chicago, IL
  • School of the Art Institute of Chicago Alumni Exhibitions Grant
  • Skowhegan Fellowship, Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago

2006

  • Full Merit Scholarship, Sculpture Department, School of the Art Institute of Chicago
  • Hot or Not? 10 best art events of 2006, Creative Loafing, Atlanta
  • Chutzpah Award, Atlanta Journal Constitution
  • National Endowment for the Arts Chashama Grant (with Dos Pestaneos)

2005

  • Critics Pick: #1 Art Show of 2004, for Dos Pestañeos’ This Is The Future, Creative Loafing

2004

  • Forward Arts Foundation Grant: Dos Pestañeos, Atlanta
  • Top 10 Art Shows of 2003 for Dos Pestañeos’ Use Your Illusion I, Creative Loafing

2003

  • Best of Atlanta 2003 Award-Best Artist Collective: Dos Pestañeos, Creative Loafing

2002

  • Estelle Hartman Sculpture Award, University of Hartford

2001

  • Regents’ Honors Award, University of Hartford
  • Elizabeth Capen Senior Scholarship Award, University of Hartford

Selected Bibliography

2011

  • Bad at Sports, Episode 310, August 8th
  • Miami Herald, Wynwood Art Fair Friday, Jordan Levin, October
  • Miami New Times, Wynwood Art Fair, Carlos Suarez De Jesus

2010

  • Miami Herald, An Arts Party to Help Miami Shelter, Jordan Levin, October
  • Burnaway.org, Out of Caspar David Friedrich’s Abyss: An Interview with Ben Fain, Becky Bivens, April
  • Timeout Chicago, Perfect Weekend, Maddy Nusser, January,
  • New City, To Face/Lloyd Dobler Gallery, J. Thomas Pallas, January

2009

  • Naples Daily News, Citrus Park Mardi Gras, February, Michael Fortier
  • New City, To Face, J. Thompson Pallas, December
  • Chicago Now, Smashing Piñata Performance at Spoke Pre-reviewed, Gretchen Holmes, September

2008

  • NewCity, October, Jason Foumburg
  • Flavor Pill, 12th Annual North Halsted Halloween Parade, October, Jesse Stein
  • FNews, October, Jesse Stein
  • Chicago Reader, The Business, From Department Store to Art Department, September, Deanna Isaacs
  • Edge Chicago, Ahh.. Decadence, September, Jack Hafferkamp
  • Deconform Magazine, Interview, Spectacle Issue, by Misty Harper

2007

  • Creative Loafing, Local Kids Make Good, Real Good, Felicia Feaster
  • FNews, Where is the School?, February, Joey Orr

2006

  • Creative Loafing (cover image), Year in Culture: Hotness or Not?, December, Felicia Feaster
  • Atlanta Journal Constitution, Outdoor Art, November, Catherine Fox
  • Creative Loafing, Different Ways to Demonstrate, Andisheh Nouraee
  • Sunday Paper, November
  • Creative Loafing, Life Over Death, November, Felicia Feaster
  • Access Atlanta, Oh, god! Doc needs his ego checked, November, Jerry Cullum
  • Art Papers, Art Papers + Next, July/August
  • The Observer, Introduction, Spring
  • Art Papers, Art Papers + Next, May/June
  • Marietta Daily Journal (cover image), Blue Man Goo, May, Renee Brock
  • Access Atlanta, Ben’ Artists Offer Tribute to Whimsy, May

2005

  • Creative loafing, Art on Deck, October, Felicia Feaster
  • Creative Loafing, Lofty Dwellers, Katherine Walker
  • Art Papers, Southeast Review, August
  • Atlanta Journal Constitution, Visual Arts: Up-and-comers, May, Catherine Fox
  • World Journal, April 26
  • Creative Loafing, Tastes Great, Less Filling, April, Felicia Feaster
  • Access Atlanta, Decatur, Home is where the art is, March, Jerry Cullum
  • Optical Oak, Interview of Dos Pestañeos, April, Eric Amling
  • Visual Arts in Atlanta, For Reproduction Only, The View from the Edge of the Universe, March, Eric Schneider

2004

  • Creative Loafing, “Critic’s Favorites: ART”, #1 Art Show of, December, Felicia Feaster
  • Kansas City Star, The Bank, Sloppy Slobbering Monster
  • Art Papers, Atlanta/Georgia, November/December, Phil Oppenheim
  • Art Business News, “Why the art world has Georgia on its mind”, August, Keith Pandolfi
  • Creative Loafing, “Super-Size It”, July, Felicia Feaster
  • Jezebel Magazine, “Atlanta Arthouse Culture”, July, Candi Lace
  • Access Atlanta, “For Future Reference”, April, Jerry Cullum
  • Creative Loafing, “Tommorrowland”, April, Felicia Feaster
  • Atlanta Journal Constitution, “The future doesn’t lack for lively ideas”, June, Catherine Fox

2003

  • Creative Loafing, “Wink, Wink: Dos Pestañeos Challenges the Perception of Truth”, April, Felicia Feaster
  • The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, “Where Beauty Lies”, April, Jerry Cullum