Ben Frost Returns With Inside Every Puppet Is A Fist

1xRUN Thru Interview
Inside Every Puppet Is A Fist by Ben Frost

1xRun: Tell us a little bit about this piece, anything immediate you would like us to highlight?
Ben Frost: It’s a hard image to describe because it’s so intense, but I think it describes our hyper-consumerist world perfectly. I try to make my work exist right on that edge between attraction and repulsion. So in this artwork the emotion switches between what is happening to the rabbits and the excitement and happiness that they display on their faces.


We’re presented with a facade of eternally maniacal smiles and over-excited cartoon characters trying to sell us more and more, and so I wanted to show that these characters are excited by more subversive things than playing with flowers and candy-corn.  It’s an alternative reality where all the characters are ‘mutated’. Mickey has 3 eyes, and there’s more than one ‘Thumper Rabbit’ to suggest they’re cloned.  Both rabbits are loving it – the waiting Thumper is so happy he’s wet himself.  It’s much how I feel whenever I’m in the presence of anything Disney-related.


1xRun: Was this piece part of a recent theme, series or show that you had? If so how did it fit into that given grouping?
Ben Frost: I originally designed this piece for an exhibition I did in San Francisco in 2007 – so it’s quite an old painting.  I’ve used it a few times in different formats, and most recently made a large version for my exhibition at Inner State Gallery in Detroit in 2013.


1xRun: Tell us about the title of the artwork.
Ben Frost: ‘Inside Every Puppet Is A Fist’ suggests how there is something darker underlying what we see on the surface.  It relates to the political spectrum as well as consumerism and is one of my favorite artwork titles.

1xRUN: What materials were used to create this piece with?
Ben Frost: This was hand-painted with acrylic onto board.


1xRun: Tell us how the idea and execution came about?
Ben Frost: I’m always seeing images and scenes that my mind instantly tries to work out ways to change and subvert.  The smile on Thumper’s face is so maniacal, that I just had to have it doing something twisted.

1xRun: Describe the piece in one gut reaction word.
Ben Frost: Christmas.


1xRun: Your work illicits some fairly heated response, what are some of your favorite comments you’ve overheard people saying about your work?
Ben Frost: I like that people think about things in a different way when they see my work.  There isn’t really a forum for us to take the things we’re forced to look at every day and change it around – except through art.  I think it’s a way of taking the power back from the corporations and making it a two-way interaction rather than just a linear perspective from them to us.


1xRun: You recently got into doing some gig posters, how did that go over?
Ben Frost: I did the official Pearl Jam poster for their October 20th gig in Milwaukee. I was very honored to be asked to participate, but at the same time nervous to make the piece look good. I listened to Pearl Jam  a lot when I was a kid – so there was almost some kind of ‘religious’ feel to being able to create something for a band like that.  It worked out really well, and was great to meet a lot of new collectors that hadn’t seen my work before.


1xRun: What’s on the docket for you as 2015 gets underway?
Ben Frost: Things are heating up. I’ve got a lot of exhibitions and projects lined up for 2015, and am hoping to make some interesting new stuff.

1xRun: What was the last piece of art that you bought?
Ben Frost: An awesome painting on paper by Collin Van Der Sluijs.


1xRUN:Where else can people find you?
Ben Frost: WebsiteFacebookInstagram@benfrostisdead –  Twitter