“Queer art is protest”. Ben Youdan takes inspiration from the iconography of popular culture and Queer identity, exploring fetish, glamour, masculinity and sexuality.
“Queer art is protest”.
Ben Youdan is a visual artist from Liverpool, U.K. His work employs a wide variety of techniques and processes including collage, painting, printmaking, and photography to create imagery that takes inspiration from the iconography and ephemera of popular culture as well as Queer identity. His elaborate pieces explore themes such as fetish, glamour, masculinity and sexuality. They are a handmade product of the digital age and a comment on the human condition in the context of the new media landscape.
He has been involved in a wide variety of creative endeavours throughout his career. His most recent solo exhibition “FILTH” was in The Gallery, Liverpool until January 2020 and in January 2019 he had a solo show at the Tom of Finland Foundation in Los Angeles where he also completed a three month period as artist in residence. He has had several solo shows in the U.K. and his work has been acquired by the Museum of Liverpool for their permanent collection. He has participated in Homotopia Arts Festival as well as Liverpool Biennial and Liverpool Pride. He also set up a successful pop up shop that sold his work. In addition to this his work has been featured on Madonna’s “Rebel Heart” World Tour, and a wide variety of group shows in the United States and across Europe. His work is also in a wide variety of private collections across the world.
Ben will be exhibiting a piece of work called: “Concentration of Camp. (Zelimkhan Bakaev)”. Zelimkhan Bakaev is a Gay, Russian, pop singer who disappeared under mysterious circumstances in Chechnya in August 2017. This was against a backdrop of rumour surrounding the fact that gay men are being arrested, tortured and committed to concentration camps within Chechnya. The country’s leader is a well known homophobe who made an official statement claiming “There are no gay people in Chechnya”, and his views are supported by other world leaders such as Vladimir Putin, Donald Trump and Theresa May (the then British Prime minister). The pink triangle was an emblem used by the nazis to identify gay prisoners in their own notorious concentration camps during the second world war and has since been reappropriated as a symbol of gay liberation. This piece intends to spread a message of awareness of how gay people are in a precarious position in the face of increasingly right wing global politics.