Ben Youdan is a visual artist based in Liverpool, U.K. His mixed media work employs a wide variety of techniques and processes including collage, drawing, painting, printmaking and photography, to create imagery that takes inspiration from the iconography and ephemera of popular culture. His pieces explore themes such as identity, glamour and sexuality.
His recent work has an aesthetic style inspired by post-modern philosophy and taking inspiration from punk and anti-establishment imagery. By juxtaposing seemingly disparate elements, the work attempts to create a new visual language that explores queer identity, diversity and individualism as well as appropriation of space particularly in an urban context. It is intended to be celebratory in tone and contain a sex-positive message, taking inspiration from a variety of sub-cultures as well as referencing traditions of western art practice.
His work is a handmade product of the digital age and a comment on the human condition in the context of the new media landscape.
PRIDE ART UNBOUND – BERLIN
7th – 17th September 2023
The Knast, Ateliers, Söhtstraße 7, 12203 Berlin, Germany
RESURRECTION SELECTIVE VISION – LONDON
19th – 26th August 2023
The Crypt Gallery Euston Road, London, NW1 2BA
VOYEUR – Mister B Amsterdam
27th July – 28th August 2023
Mister B, Prinsengracht 192, 1016 HC Amsterdam
TOM OF FINLAND ART AND CULTURE FESTIVAL – BERLIN
12th – 14th May 2023
PrideArt at The Knast, Söhstrasse 7, 12203 Berlin
7th April-14th May 2023
Catherine Braidy Cake Parlour, Liverpool
Smithdown Social Gallery, Liverpool
MY GAY EYE
Selected works showcased in an anthology of contemporary queer art from around the world
15 Bateman St, London, W1D 3AQ
Group exhibition in London, England featuring my “Saint Bearskin of Soho” portrait
Söhtstraße 7, 12203 Berlin, Germany
Series of four collages featured in a group show at the Knast gallery in Berlin, Germany to coincide with Pride month
CHERRY JEZEBEL EXHIBITION
Portrait “Bam Bam Dan” featured in a group exhibition at the Liverpool Everyman Theatre, Liverpool to coincide with the play of the same name
CHERRY JEZEBEL POSTER
Poster design for play by Jonathan Larkin. Commissioned by the Liverpool Everyman Theatre
TOM OF FINLAND FOUNDATION ART AND CULTURE FESTIVAL
“Pink Joe” exhibited as part of group show
Museum of Liverpool
Two works featured in major exhibition at the Museum of Liverpool. (“Pete Burns” and “Lady Sian”)
“Queer With No Fear” public art commission for Homotopia, on display at FACT Gallery, Liverpool
LOVE IS NOT AN IDEOLOGY
Triptych entitled “Love is love” shown as part of a group show, London
“Cruising for Meat” Collaboration with Meatzine (London based queer publication) A collection of 10 original collages
FILTH COLOURING BOOK
“Authentic queers and phoney Virgins” Series of works displayed as part of an online group show
Portrait entitled “Chris” in the “Fifty Two” group exhibition for London Pride
One piece of work displayed as part of the Threshold festival in Liverpool.
The Gallery, 41 Stanhope Street, Liverpool L8 5RE
Celebrating queer male sexuality, Filth is a new exhibition from artist Ben Youdan, exploring gender identity, leather and fetish subculture. In his first show since his residency at Tom of Finland Foundation in Los Angeles, Filth is a series of portraits embodying the joy and freedom of queer sex and sexual expression.
The exhibition has been twelve months in the making, with work beginning in LA. As part of its ambition to promote erotic art, the Tom of Finland Foundation hosts an artist-in-residency programme, allowing time to create, research and inspire new work. Youdan began to create the work for Filth while in the ‘Tom House’ from December 2018 to March 2019, researching Tom’s archive and work at the Foundation. Making connections with the Leather community of Los Angeles, Youdan exhibited a series of six mixed media portraits at the end of his residency. These works have developed into the new collection for the Liverpool exhibition.
“The work is an exuberant celebration of male beauty, the male form and its erotic nature. The archetype of the Leatherman is obviously high in profile at the Tom House but it’s one that often finds itself being derided or mocked in both popular culture and, sadly too often, the gay community itself. Preconceptions of masculinity harm both our sense of our own identity, our sexuality and our freedom to express ourselves.
“This exhibition in Liverpool is a sex positive, unashamedly celebratory show. Eroticism doesn’t need censorship, is it something to be championed”.
Filth is curated by Duovision with assistance from Arts Council England.
Ben Youdan is a Liverpool-based artist whose mixed media portraits adorn the walls of galleries and private collections alike. Tackling celebrity, sexuality and gender, his colourful and eyecatching portraits are filled with a dual narrative, poking fun at hypocrisy, doublespeak and the mixed messaging that fuels popular culture.
Review of Filth:
CUIR AS FOLK
Tribeca, Sackville Street, Manchester M1 3WF
Threesome (Olly, Michael, Joe)
A triptych created in conjunction with Manchester Leathermen. An exuberant celebration of male beauty, the male form and its erotic nature by exploring the archetype of the Leatherman and challenging the preconceptions of masculinity.
Part of a group show of fetish art.
MASC – THE MEN OF LOS ANGELES
Tom of Finland Foundation, 1421 Laveta Terrace, Los Angeles, CA 90026
Six new mixed media portraits of the leather men of LA, inspired by Ben’s 3 months as Artist in Residence at the Tom of Finland House.
Artist in Residence from 2018 – 2019
TALES FROM THE CITY
(2017 – 2018)
Museum of Liverpool, Pier Head, Liverpool L3 1DG
Three pieces included in a celebration of Liverpool’s queer history since the 1967 Sexual Offences Act
The Gallery, 41 Stanhope Street, Liverpool L8 5RE
Solo show – examining the duality to glamour; seductive, appealing and beguiling on the surface but often dark, disturbing and sinister underneath. Now closed. Reviews below.
Reviews of ‘Glamour’
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