Ben Levy’s work certainly had more of a shock effect at the Other Art Fair than the majority of art on show. Building on our media-obsessed culture he uses famous faces to comment upon everyday subjects. Although humorous in their nature, depicting for example Tony Blair as Captain America, the Kray Twins as Batman and Robin, Levy deals with issues of politics, race and sexuality in his work.
The images themselves are built from a mixture of collage and skilled drawing, with bursts of colour and dripping paint that resemble graffiti. He describes his work as ‘detailed portrait painting with a modern/street art twist’. Perhaps this reference to a short-lived art form mirrors the short-lived nature of the headlines found in the papers. To take it further the use of a graffiti style, considered by some as ‘vandalism’, could be equated to the way that the lives of celebrities are defaced by the press.
Levy was very nice to chat to at the fair. Having brought his own chair and found the location of the nearest bar he was ready and prepared for what was to be, no doubt, a long evening at the Private Opening discussing his work with interested viewers.
To learn more about the work of Ben Levy visit his website at http://www.benlevyart.com/Ben_Levy/HOME.html.