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Grotesquely Playful: Art by Ben Duncan

a heavily stylyzed album cover artwork with several figures standing in the oceanOmnipotent Riffs, acrylic on hardboard

Our featured artist today is Ben Duncan of Occasional Headbunts. Ben’s grotesquely playful imagery spans illustrative mediums including drawing, painting, comics and sculpture. He has a clean, refined style that takes well to the bulbous, intricate detail that explodes out of every piece.


Ben’s portfolio is stuffed with work, including several short comic stories. His surreal cartoon drawing style is well suited to his mode of storytelling, often open-ended, raunchy or plain bizarre. Ben’s standalone artworks sometimes echo characters in his comic stories, and sometimes explore new imagery, creating interesting and complex narratives on their own.


A brightly coloured digital drawing of a figure blended with a bananapratchett, digital drawing

I like the way that Ben can still explore different styles of working while keeping to his trademark look. The inclusion of Haida motifs is a really interesting and visually effective choice. While his drawings are not always calming or easy to look at, the bright colour, intricate detail, and ambiguous, titillating subject matter is enough to capture my attention.  


a print of a face that  is composed of unlikely shapes and coloursFrannie, screen print

About the author

Dallas Jeffs Art Writer

Dallas Jeffs is the Editor of Artist Run Website's blog. She is a recent graduate of Emily Carr University of Art and Design, where she studied Critical and Cultural Practices. She is passionate about talking and writing about art, and sharing that interest with others. In her studio practice she is a painter, but she considers herself an art writer and educator foremost. If you like art, books and culture with a science fiction twist, check out Dallas' personal blog, HappySpaceNoises

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