Ben Sexton
24 July – 31 August 2019

Ben Sexton works predominantly with photography, placing an emphasis on the postproduction values of the medium. Sexton utilises his photographic archive to alter images through experimental darkroom processes, such as masking and misregistration to form new compositions. His works are typically monochromatic, unique state, silver gelatin prints that combine collage, photography and drawing techniques to step outside the traditional conventions of photographic practice. 

In Touch, Sexton has worked with photographs of the urban environment, in particular surfaces with traces of human contact, for example dusty cars with fingerprints, desks with people’s names carved into them, marks of wear and use on floors and walls. These images are then layered with another form of touch, in the artist’s use of darkroom masking, in which he covers areas of works to prevent them being developed, and subsequently hand-colours the works with oils. Sexton uses postproduction and darkroom techniques in painterly ways, overlaying his photographs with gestural mark-making reminiscent of calligraphic forms, drawing or graffiti. Touch is therefore a group of works built with multiple layers: the unintentional pattern of the built and decaying environment, the trace of human contact, and the artist’s overlaying of masking, gesture and colour. 

Ben Sexton (né Lichtenstein) is an Indonesian-born, Melbourne-based artist. Recent exhibitions include Keen, c3 (2018), Bound For Glory, a collaboration with Oscar Perry, The Honeymoon Suite (2017), Living In Oblivion, Anna Pappas Gallery (2015), Flower, Fort Delta (2015), Crescent, Neospace (2014), I Know You Will Be Happy Here, Utopian Slumps (2013) and Death Adder, Chapter House Lane (2013). Group exhibitions include Illusions and Allusions, Missing Persons (2018), Group Show: Second Iteration, a collaborative exhibition with Arts Project Australia, Arts Project Australia (2016), The Bends, PhotoAccess (2016), The Alchemists: Rediscovering Photography in the Age of the Jpeg, Australian Centre for Photography (2015) and Mental, Muddguts Gallery New York (2014).

Sexton was a finalist for the 2013 Bowness Prize, and was recipient of the 2006 Kodak Salon Excellence in Photomedia award at the Centre for Contemporary Photography. 

Sexton has a Bachelor of Fine Arts (Photography) from the Victorian College of the Arts.

Read the exhibition text by Oscar Perry >>