BEN STONE’s sculptures elevate ubiquitous icons and ever-present visual ephemera through a compulsive attention to detail and fastidious production quality. He has built his career off of a sensitive study of omnipresent imagery found in advertising and signage, public speech, and encounters in his daily life. By enlarging the scale of his source material and remaking it into a three-dimensional form, he transforms a derivative of a derivative into a de-coded, un-conditioned original. Stone explores the contemporary psyche as he reckons with violence and corruption in his midst and in society at large; his frustration with politics, both local and national; bad or just plain weird public iconography; and his continued exploration of his own self-worth as an artist. Stone’s sincere pursuit of profundity within sloppy, over simplified imagery and lazy ideas transcends irony, groping towards the tragicomic. In art ltd in 2014, James Yood writes that Stone is “so sensitively attuned to the pathetic earnestness of lowbrow culture as to always make it seem dignified and important.”
Ben Stone’s work has been written about in Artforum, Art in America, Artnet, ArtSlant, Beautiful Decay, New City and The New Art Examiner. In 2011 in Art in America, critic Susan Sondgrass wrote that “Stone assumes the role of interlocutor, a champion of an art earnest in all its intentions regardless of its humble origins” and in New City in 2010, writer Pedro Vélez called Stone’s life-size realist sculpture depicting two drunken baseballs fans attacking a rival team’s first base coach “a fitting homage to our nation’s desperate attempt to cope with the unknown variants brought on by the economic debacle”. His work has been discussed on the Bad at Sports podcast and featured on newscast on several Chicago stations. He’s been included in shows at the Shane Campbell Gallery, Chicago; The Green Gallery, Milwaukee; Regina Rex, NYC; Locust Projects, Miami; Ten in One, NYC; among several others. Stone received his BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design and his MFA from the University of Illinois-Chicago. He is represented by Western Exhibitions and lives in Berwyn and maintains a studio in Chicago.