Golden arches on a field of blazing scarlet? That’s McDonald’s. Instantly recognizable worldwide, the brand’s iconography serves as a backdrop for Ben Frost’s sculptural pop art mash-ups. Subverting messages from mainstream media, the artist’s acerbic commentary on advertising, entertainment, and politics is self-aware without being self-serious.
Regarding his upcoming exhibition, Friends in High Places, Ben says, “[The show] is both a satirical critique of consumer culture and a begrudging celebration of it. Blurring the lines between the visceral and addictive experience of drug use with the seductive products of consumerism, the exhibition explores our love/hate relationship with these products and the characters who sell them to us.”
Among Ben’s Friends, you’ll find an army of media-savvy brand ambassadors: a glammed-out Miss Piggy hawks Chanel, Bart Simpson peddles Ritalin after school, and Dracula hustles limp, greasy fries from red and yellow cardboard boxes. “These 'friends in high places' reflect a type of drug-fueled hyper-consumerism, endlessly selling products of any morality with their cheery, dead-eye stares,” says Ben of the new work.
Lovingly painted on board bolted together, and finished with spray paint, Ben’s pop-inspired creations flaunt flat, polished surfaces that reflect his fixation on consumer culture—whether high or low end. “The contrast between fast food and high-end fashion is one of status and attainability,” admits Ben. “But they are all icons of desire.”
Friends in High Places is on view September 17 through October 22 at Corey Helford Gallery in downtown Los Angeles. The show appears alongside Kristen Liu-Wong’s Hard Pressed and Messy Desk’s Cloudy Wonderland.
“These 'friends in high places' reflect a type of drug-fueled hyper-consumerism, endlessly selling products of any morality with their cheery, dead-eye stares.” — Ben Frost
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All photos published with permission of the artist(s).
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