You’ll find the considered, seemingly simple forms that define Ben Eagle’s work span prints, ceramics and collaborations with some of South Africa’s top names and brands. We sat down with Ben to chat about his journey, his practice and of course, some of his favourite records. Catch a mini-exhibition of Ben’s works along with a DJ set by the multi-talented one himself at the April 2019 edition of the First Thursdays Cape Town Official Warm-Up at the Gin Bar (64a Wale Street).
Hi Ben! Thanks for taking the time to answer our questions. Let’s start at the beginning. How did you find your way as an artist and a designer?
I guess it all started with Graffiti, as a teenager I used to sneak out the house in the middle of the night to go paint walls. As I got older I found myself interested in creating more than just letters, I wanted to create art that would be easily relatable for everyone even if art isn’t something you’re into.
Balance is never easy. How do you manage the thresholds between professional, personal and the private in your work and in your life?
I’ve always kept my career as a designer quite separate from my art career, I find it helps not to mix the two because that way they balance each other out and I don’t just rely on one as my creative outlet.
You were born in Johannesburg and you started your career up there, before relocating to Cape Town. How do you find the space between the two cities, specifically with regards to your work as an artist and a designer?
Both cities are amazing because they’re literally complete opposites, I will always have a special appreciation for Johannesburg, particularly the inner city because it’s so raw and unforgiving. Cape Town, on the other hand, has shown me a completely different way of living which has been inspiring in new ways. It helps to have such a strong creative industry with so many different platforms for artists and designers.
Ceramics, prints, fashion-collaborations – your work really gets around! Can you tell us about your approach to working across so many different media?
I don’t necessarily have different approaches when working on different projects. I try make stuff that I would want to own or have in my wardrobe.
What advice would you give to a young artist that you wish someone had given you when you were starting out?
Make whatever makes you happy and don’t be afraid to put it out there.
Top 5 ‘desert island’ albums?
This is a tough one!
1: Toro Y Moi – Anything in Return
2: Archy Marshall – A New Place 2 Drown
3: Erykah Badu – Baduizm
4: Action Bronson – DR Lecter
5: Gucci Mane – Droptopwop
Where can people find your work and follow you?
They can check out beneaglestudio.com or my Instagram @Ben_Eagle_Studio
Catch a mini-show of Ben’s work, as well as a DJ set by the artist at The First Thursdays Official Warm Up between 6 – 9 PM, upstairs at the Gin Bar, 64a Wale Street. The party goes on until late. The First Thursdays Official Warm Up is produced by Thursdays Projects in partnership with Roku Gin.