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Ben Frost: Directions for Navigating Modern Life cover

Ben Frost: Directions for Navigating Modern Life

Does modern life leave you feeling confused? Disoriented? Turned upside down and all around? Australian pop artist Ben Frost may have the antidote. His upcoming exhibition at Corey Helford Gallery, This Way Up, skewers our modern perception of reality with a new series of sculptural pop-art mashups. Subverting messages from mainstream media, the artist’s acerbic commentary on advertising, entertainment, and politics is self-aware without being self-serious. This Way Up opens May 18 at Corey Helford Gallery (CHG) in downtown Los Angeles.

The 2024 exhibition marks Ben’s third solo show at CHG, following Friends in High Places (Sept. 2022), a “satirical critique of consumer culture and a begrudging celebration of it,” and Pure Sugar (Apr. 2019). Regarding his new work, Ben says, “In This Way Up, I explore the visual language of advertising and branding to question our relationship with the products we consume. By juxtaposing everyday packaging with beloved cartoon characters and mascots, I aim to highlight the absurdity of our materialistic culture and the ways in which it shapes our identities and values."

Australian artist Ben Frost presents ‘This Way Up,’ a new series of sculptural pop-art mashups that skewer our modern perception of reality.
‘Nerds’

Lovingly painted on board, bolted together along packaging “fold lines,” and finished with spray paint, Ben’s pop-inspired creations flaunt flat, polished surfaces that reflect his fixation on consumer culture—whether high or low-end. “[The] size and almost sculptural nature elevate the idea of a package as a throw-away vessel that once contained a commodity to the status of a cultural artifact,” says Ben. “The banality of a barcode, a specific warning label, fold line or a batch number are now almost totemic and laden with symbolism and significance.

The title suggests the idea of orientation, both physically and metaphorically. Just as one might encounter a package with ‘This Way Up’ printed on it, the exhibition encourages the viewer to consider the ways we perceive our often confusing and disorienting society.”

Open to the public and free of charge, This Way Up opens May 18, 2024, at Corey Helford and runs through June 22 in the Main Gallery alongside Troy Brooks’ BLOOM in Gallery 2 and a four-artist show in Gallery 3. For more information, please visit Corey Helford Gallery here.

“I aim to highlight the absurdity of our materialistic culture and the ways in which it shapes our identities and values." — Ben Frost

Benzos by Ben Frost
‘Benzos’
Joe Cool by Ben Frost
‘Joe Cool’
Australian artist Ben Frost presents ‘This Way Up,’ a new series of sculptural pop-art mashups that skewer our modern perception of reality.
‘Jolly Ranchers’
Full Metal Mickey by Ben Frost
‘Full Metal Mickey’
Return To Sender by Ben Frost
‘Return to Sender’
Australian artist Ben Frost presents ‘This Way Up,’ a new series of sculptural pop-art mashups that skewer our modern perception of reality.
‘Hello Panda’
Magoo Test by Ben Frost
‘Magoo Test’
Australian artist Ben Frost presents ‘This Way Up,’ a new series of sculptural pop-art mashups that skewer our modern perception of reality.
‘Cola Girl’

Ben Frost: Website | Instagram | Facebook | Twitter (X) | YouTube | Purchase Work

All photos published with permission of the artist(s).

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Morgan Laurens

Morgan Laurens (she/her/hers) is NOT REAL ART’s editor in chief. Morgan is an arts writer from the Midwest who enjoys saying “excuse me” when no actual pardon is needed. She specializes in grant writing and narrative-based storytelling for mission-driven artists and arts organizations. With a background in printmaking, pop culture, and classic literature, Morgan believes a girl’s best friend is the pile of books on her bedside table.

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