September 18, 2017

Ben Venom @ Red Bull House of Art

When most people think of quilting, they envisage old ladies, fabric store coupons, and extremely conservative aesthetics.

But conservative is hardly what springs to mind when faced with the art of self-taught quilter Ben Venom. His is a style that uniquely incorporates the visual semiotics of hyper-masculine subcultures – such as street gangs, punk and metal music, and the occult – with this traditionally female and domestic form.

“I contrast the often menacing and aggressive counterculture components with the comforts of domesticity,” says Venom. “This collision of traditional quilting techniques with elements tied to the fringes of society re-envisions the story of the material through a softer lens.”

Monument to Thieves by Ben Venom. All images courtesy of the artist.

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