Ben Mendelewicz

PUBLISHED IN ISSUE 13

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To me, there seem to be two prominent and distinct schools of digital art. On one hand, there’s the osmosis of the tropes of modern media/late-capitalism into the sphere of conceptual design. Logos, gloss, a sense of ‘cool’ detachment rendered with a knowing, nod-and-wink irony. Echo the Dolphin. Iridium sunglasses. The Nike Swoosh. With the right finish and the appropriate delivery, the criticism that is supposedly inherent of this style is accepted outright, whether or not there is any real merit or gravity to the work itself. Hyper-real. Terminal capitalist growth, or whatever. Someone out there knows all the theory and good for them. Certainly, there is meaning to be discovered in this kind of art, but it’s getting harder and harder to pick out from the compendium of repetition.

On the other hand, there is digital art which reflects a kind of generational collective nightmare, borne out of the adolescence of televisual culture, quick-editing, cartoons, and bad CGI. Rather than simply parroting mainstream trends to the point where the distinction between art, media and advertising becomes irrelevant, this other category of digital art tends to debase its source imagery as a matter of course, detaching it from the dialogue of modern art. Ben Mendelewicz is of this latter group: psychotic, funny and deeply neurotic. His work is keenly aware of the cultural backdrop against which it must be considered, but goes beyond simple mirroring. Instead, Mendelewicz brings us into a fully other space, a dreamworld in which irony is subsumed by a feeling of overstimulation. – Joe McMurray

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Ben’s limited edition cover he designed for issue 13

 

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em-grin1Excerpts from Ben’s comic GRINNERS

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