Artwork Description

Acrylic on canvas, stretched and ready to hang.

Signed on the back.

The Unpopular Penguin series began in late 2015. I worked in a bookshop at the time, and it was natural that my love of books and paintings would collide. The inspiration came from 20th Century American abstract painter Jasper Johns, who took well-known images (such as the American flag) and transformed them into modern art, layered, rich, chaotic. I took as my subject the Penguin paperback book, a beloved style icon. What I hope to achieve in these paintings is a balance of chaos and clean design, of thick, layered paint in conflict with straight lines, a famous design bursting with free expression.
The surface is textured, built up of multiple layers, with lumps and drips and spatters.

Please note that the sides of the canvas are painted, and the painting is sealed beneath a glossy varnish. It is ready to hang without needing to be framed.

These paintings have been selling steadily for six years now, and have been included in art prizes and shows in prestigious galleries. Edmund Capon, former director of the Art Gallery of New South Wales, said of the first painting in the series - 'an evocative imagining of the familiar Penguin was a painting we all liked very much for its rich texture, its sense of memory and its sort of nostalgic humour’

A bright, striking painting for lovers of books, art, and classic design.

Contact Ben


Acrylic on canvas

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Stretched and ready to hang

This artwork is currently stretched and ready to hang.

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Ben Tankard

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