Primal Paper: A Visual Interview with Ben Giles
Ben Giles will not stand still. At just 21 years old, he’s already designed prints for Diesel and has been chosen by Justin Timberlake to be featured on BeachMint (a website selling art hand- picked by celebrities). Giles also boasts a vast body of personal work. The young collage artist, hailing from Suffolk, England describes his work as experiments in “collaboration, installation, pattern, film, sound, creation, repetition, evolution, and metamorphosis.”
Giles prefers working with his hands to creating digitally, spending hours cutting and arranging paper in front of his TV, which serves as one of his strongest points of inspiration. He flips through the pages of vintage issues of National Geographic and old books found in charity shops, always on the lookout for found objects and photographs to collage together.What begins as chaos—piles of cut-up paper strewn across his dining-room table—slowly turns into poetic visions of a youthful imagination.
This artist’s world is a bright one, in which flowers, animals, and imaginative patterns collide. Imagery, both modern and old-fashioned, come together in his work to create a portal for escape. Enthralled by the transformative similarities between humans and flowers, Giles relates the botanical to the mammal. He captures the colorful flourishing and the inevitable, mournful withering that serve as hallmarks of life. Despite this physical transience, Giles revels in the potential to exist eternally through art. Here, Giles responds to our questions in vibrant visuals, creating scenes that entwine beast and human in an anthropomorphic dream world.