1xRUN Thru Interview
Denialex-PM by Ben Frost & Denial
1xRun: Tell us a little bit about this original piece, when was it created? Is the original sold?
Denial: This collaborative piece was created over a couple of days in November 2012 while Ben was visiting my studio in Windsor. Ben has recently been painting onto found pharmaceutical packaging and I have created fake packaging and products in my own work, and so we thought it would be a perfect marriage of our styles. I created the initial concept behind the ‘product’, a fake mind suppressant drug DENIALEX and we both worked on the composition, layout and details of the ‘packaging’. The background of the original piece is all spray paint on wood that I cut and applied using about 12 stencils. Ben then hand painted the crying girl in the foreground. The original sold the day after we finished it to a collector in Vancouver, Canada.
1xRun: Anything immediate you would like us to highlight about this piece?
Denial: This is a very unique collaboration between two unlikely friends. Not unlikely in the sense that we don’t get along, because we do, but unlikely because Ben is from Australia and recently moved to Toronto for a stint, so we happened to cross paths at an art opening and became mates.
Ben Frost: If you look closely at the text on the packaging, there are a number of funny subversions that we included that you wouldn’t ever see on pharmaceutical packaging.
1xRun: How long did the piece take? What is unique about this piece?
Ben Frost & Denial: It’s a collab between 2 artists from across the globe with absolutely similar ideology.
1xRun: Why should people buy this piece?
Ben Frost & Denial: Because we need money.
1xRun: Describe this print in one gut reaction word.
Ben Frost: Lobotomy.
1xRun: When did you first start making art? What was your first piece?
Denial: I have been drawing all my life and over the last 15 years have been utilizing computers and digital machinery in my work. My first piece was a painting of a race car from my grandfather.
Ben Frost: All my life. I would say my first piece was a drawing of a bird.
1xRun: When artists inspired you early on ? Who inspires you now?
Denial: Early on it was Warhol, Banksy, Obey, Basquiat, Lichenstein. They still inspire me along with people like Brendan Burke and Jason Deary.
Ben Frost: Early on it was Salvador Dali, Julian Opie, the Face magazine, the comic book artists of 2000AD/Judge Dredd. Lately I have been inspired by Anthony Lister, John John Jesse and Richard Kern.
1xRun: Do you listen to music while you work? If so what? If not then what is your environment like when you work?
Ben Frost: My studio at the moment is pretty small, but that suits me fine for the moment because I’m making a lot of small work. The last few big pieces I made, I went to Denial’s studio in Windsor to make them, so that’s kind of how this collaboration came to be. I listen to a lot of podcasts of people talking about political and social criticism as well as comedy stuff. I like hearing other people talk about their points of view while I’m painting – it’s kind of like being told a bedtime story, except I’m not trying to sleep.
Denial: Anything by Joe Strummer is pretty good to work to, I will listen to anything once and give it a fair shot. I agree with Ben, talking and shit. Coat to Coast AM is pretty great too.
1xRun: What was the last piece of art that you bought?
Denial: Ben gave me a pretty rad print that I am having framed right now, I would have bought it.
Ben Frost: I have a big collection of art back in Australia, but while I’ve been traveling, I’ve had to stop myself from collecting. The last piece I bought was from Spud’s exhibition last year. It’s a stencil of Rob Ford with a little red hat on it, but my girlfriend won’t let me put it up in her apartment.
1xRun: What else have you both been up to lately? What else is coming up in 2013?
Denial: We recently went down to Miami for Art Basel and that was really inspiring and eye opening. Looking forward to traveling to Los Angeles in February to do a mural for an event space.
Ben Frost: I’ve got a solo exhibition in Singapore opening February 21st called ‘The Perfect Drug’.