14th December 2013 from 6pm Following the popularity of the Evil & Wild show at Hallowe’en, Pop Art of a different kind will be on show at Wadebridge’s new café/gallery, POP, in the run-up to Christmas.
Brighton-born and now Cornwall-based Ben Allen is an emerging artist in the world of 21st century Pop Art whose work is exhibited internationally and collected by the likes of Sir Richard Branson, Stephen Dorff and Jade Jagger.

Ben’s work is inspired by fashion magazines and comic books; cult films and record sleeves; tattoos and skateboard culture; Japanese graphics and Mexican iconography; surfing and nature; Americana and the punk scene; and considers the crass, the esoteric, the inspirational, the eternal and the disposable.

It adorns limited edition surfboards, luxury accessories, iPhone cases, collages, canvases and screen prints, as well as the cinema screen.

“One of Ben’s latest projects – a collaborative film called The Art of Surfing that was recently shown at the London Surf Film Festival – illustrated the strength of community, surfing and art in Newquay,” explains Mike Polson, the musician and entrepreneur who launched POP with Emma Griffiths four months ago. “Ben was also commissioned to design and paint a mural at Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen in Watergate Bay this summer, so both he and his work have a real affinity with this part of the world. What we are finding is that POP’s quirkiness, both as a venue to hang out in and as somewhere to purchase affordable contemporary art, is really resonating with local art lovers. The launch of this new exhibition coincides with late-night shopping in Wadebridge so come along and buy some art for Christmas!”

In addition to its usual fare of barista coffees and delicious homemade cakes, POP will also be serving mulled wine and festive hospitality from Friday 13 to Friday 20 December.

Artist’s statement - Ben Allen

Much of Ben Allen’s work falls into the movement of Pop Surrealism, a new wave of expressive art described as an underground visual art movement.

There is also an element of the travelling wanderer to his personality though, with deeper themes inspired by the Mexican Dia de la Muerte, (Day of the Dead) to cultural reference points such as Mehndi (Indian hand painting).

Alongside his exhibitions, Ben has worked with brands such as Levi, Virgin, Nokia, Bracher Emden and Proporta. His work is held in private collections throughout the UK, in Australia, New York, Las Vegas, Barcelona, Korea, Germany, Japan, Hong Kong and Ibiza, and has featured in Design Week, The Observer, The Times, Elle Déco, Plus1, Loaded and GQ magazines to name but a few.

“On one hand you're confronted with contemporary Pop Art, on the other side, there's more of a cultural connection to old world civilizations that throng with ritual, mysticism, spirituality and meaning. The two sides don't make easy bedfellows but I wonder if Ben's intention was to contrast the depth, complexity and mystery of the old and the surface and transparency of the new?”

Peter Doherty – International Life Magazine Review