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Ben Spider

Ben Spider (born in 1970, lives in Paris) is a Franco-Swiss visual artist who explores identity, image perception and propaganda in the digital age. His practice combines mixed medias such as photography, screenshot, digital serigraphy and four-color printing on large scale canvas.

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Ben Spider (born April 10, 1970, in Zurich) is a Franco-Swiss visual artist.

He practices screen printing, drawing inspiration from images sourced from the media and advertising.

In his work, the halftone printing is omnipresent. He explores themes such as image perception, propaganda, and identity in a changing world.

Ben Spider spent his childhood on the French Riviera and arrived in Paris in 1980. His mother introduced him to photography, and his father to graphic design.

He studied fine arts at the Sorbonne University, where he attended classes by Michel Journiac. In 1993, he exhibited for the first time at the Sorbonne and at the Donguy gallery.

After his studies, he went on a humanitarian mission to Romania, then began a career as a graphic designer in communication.

In 2015, he began screen printing and created series inspired by his own advertising campaigns and the posters of the Parisian metro. The grid became the central, even obsessive, element of a work described as neo-pointillist.

In 2019, he won the Master Art Prize with the Memory Bugs series. The screen prints in this series consist of accumulated advertisements on the screen until accidental elements occur, such as computer bugs, producing an abstract image reminiscent of system error and glitch aesthetics. The series Special Offers and RadioTrans are based on the same principle of overlay, this time using advertising texts as motifs, whose repetition creates an unreadable image.

Starting from 2020, Ben Spider perfects his digital process and embarks on a more realistic turn through abundant production. He uses screenshots to capture all kinds of media images from news channels and search engines. These are clichés, stereotypes that he blends with other information, as in Europe Hot Chicken (2023), where a weather map overlaps with a packet of dehydrated noodles.

He co-founded the derPunkt movement, which advocates for a global and anti-fascist art, and begins the series RoadTrip, Pop Icons, and Saint Clair Remix.

In the Pop Icons series, he gathers portraits of political and entertainment figures as well as everyday consumer products. The treatment aims to create cold, empty, emotionless images, reflecting a world dominated by product marketing. The Ramens are exhibited during his residency at Maison Marceau in 2021.

In RoadTrip, Spider uses images of traffic in suburban areas. His oversized grid invites a journey that questions the place of humans in their environment. In 2024, he presents the works from this series at the Nowhere Now exhibition.

Ben Spider dedicates the Saint Clair Remix series (2021) to the reproduction of the painting Saint Clair Healing the Blind (1836) by Hippolyte Flandrin, destroyed in the fire at the Nantes Cathedral in 2020. The halftone version serves as a motif for the creation of around fifteen screen-printed and animated works. This appropriative series addresses themes of vision, absence, and rebirth and references the miracle in monotheistic religions. The canvas Saint Clair Burning is exhibited for the first time at the Arches Citoyennes in November 2023.

In 1986, he narrowly escapes an attack at the Forum des Halles in Paris. In 2017, he is present during the Turku attack in Finland. These events, spaced thirty years apart, inspire him to create the Apocalypse series.

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Ben Spider Artworks
View all 15 artworks