Ben Frost (artist)
Ben Frost (born Brisbane) is an Australian visual artist whose work seeks to challenge contemporary norms and values of Western culture and society. Frost’s visual work places common iconic images from advertising, entertainment, and politics into startling juxtapositions that are often confrontational and controversial. He currently lives and works in Melbourne, Australia, and exhibits locally and internationally.
The title 'Ben Frost is Dead' comes from his 2000 solo exhibition of the same name where he faked his own death. Invitations were created in the form of a newspaper funeral notice and distributed nationwide. Newspapers labelled him 'sick' and his actions 'perverse,' when, by complete coincidence, the invitations went out on the same day a local art patron died.
The collaborative exhibition 'Colossus' with Roderick Bunter in 2000 at the Institute of Modern Art in Brisbane featured a 12m x 2.4m mural by the artists, called 'Where Do You Want To Go Today?'. The mural featured controversial imagery, including masturbating cartoon characters amongst a pastiche of advertising icons as a statement on society's continuing loss of innocence. In the final week of the exhibition, a disgruntled viewer entered the gallery and slashed one of the paintings with a knife. Police requested the exhibition be closed. In 2002, he exhibited at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Sydney as part of 'Primavera: Young Artists Under 35', where the same painting - 'Where do You Want To Go Today?' - was exhibited. Police again requested the painting be removed due to public concern.
In 2005, he moved to Sydney, where he started Worlds End Studio in Hibernian House, Surry Hills. The studio was home to 14 artists including, Kill Pixie, Beastman, Numskull, Trent Whitehead, Esjay, Kid Zoom and many others over the 2 years it was operated.
That same year, he started the online art store Stupid Krap, which continues to support and represent a number of notable Australian emerging artists including Anthony Lister, Numskull, Beastman, Kareena Zerefos, E.L.K, Mark Drew, HA-HA, Kill Pixie, and Bridge Stehli. Stupid Krap is currently based on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland as well as Windsor Canada, and continues to operate as one of the leading online art stores.
Frost has been exhibiting throughout Australia and internationally over the last 15 years, including solo shows in Los Angeles, London, New York, and San Francisco, Torino Italy, as well as group shows in Amsterdam, Berlin, Mongolia, Miami, and Singapore. In 2007, Frost participated in Tiger Translate in Beijing, collaborating with local Chinese artists.
In 2012 Frost relocated to Canada and spent 3 years exhibiting throughout North America and Europe including Krause Gallery, Brooklynite Gallery and Soze Gallery in the United States, and Stolen Space, No Walls, Opus, and Zero Cool in the UK.
His work has appeared in countless magazines and newspapers including the Wall Street Journal, Vogue, Harper's Bazaar, Oyster, WeAr, Monster Children, The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, Ok!, HQ, Eyeline, FHM, Australian Art Collector, Broadsheet, and Art Monthly.
His television appearances include Rush TV in 2010 (ABC3), The Apprentice in 2009 (channel 9), The Barefoot Investor in 2009 (CNBC), Sunrise in 2008 (channel 7), and Today Tonight in 2008 (channel 7).
In 2008, he was a guest speaker at the Semi-Permanent and AG IDEAS conferences throughout Australia.
Another of his paintings made news in 2007, prompting this story by Anna Edwards, on MX via news.com.au, on July 18, 2007 - Fury at drug-taking kids painting
Frost returned to Australia in 2016, and is currently living and working in Melbourne.