Ben Siekierski is based in Denver and close to graduating from Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design. I’m totally in love with his wall-mounted sculptures exploring the culture and athletics of competitive swimming! More at the links below!
Can you tell me a little bit about you?
I grew up in a small town on the outskirts of Denver and went to school even farther out into the boonies because my mom taught elementary school out there. I played a lot with legos as a child, my parents were convinced I was going to become some sort of civic engineer or architect. Currently I’m studying fine arts sculpture at The Rocky Mountain School of Art & Design in Denver, I’ll also be graduating from my program this December!
When did you first discover art, or realize you wanted to make it yourself?
My mom’s side of the family is made up almost entirely of artists and architects it’s kinda in my blood, but I never really took it seriously till middle school when I discovered that I could go to school for art and become a comic book artist. I ended up switching to fine arts in school, Illustration has a habit of being creatively stifling.
What ideas are you exploring in your practice?
Currently I’m exploring art making and uncertainty through the lens of competitive swimming, I was a competitive swimmer as a kid and found that the isolation you can feel in the pool translated easily to my practice.
I’m also constantly exploring humor as a subject, I’ve always had a hard time being serious in life and in my work it’s just the glasses I see the world in.
What is your process like?
My process is very chaotic. I jump from idea to idea but since my work takes a lot of time I’ve learned that a certain amount of planning is required. I I could compare it to a movie I’d say it’s like the scene from Apollo 13 when they pour all of the items to fix the lunar module on the table. mixed with chicken scratch ideas on various Kelly green moleskin notebooks I have around
Do you have a mentor, or a piece of advice (or both), which has influenced your practice?
I think everyone who has gone to the Rocky Mountain College of Art & Design will tell you the same answer: Clark Richert. But I’d probably put Amber Cobb as the teacher who’s helped shape me into the artist I am today; I would have never switched to the fine arts department if it wasn’t for her 3D design class. I also wouldn’t be in this place of exploration if she hadn’t pushed me to get more experimental in my process.
What is your studio like?
It’s very chaotic there is faux fur in massive containers everywhere, scrap wood, a tool wall (though all the tools are usually on the ground). Clark describes my studio on campus as “horror vaccui.”
What do you find most daunting, challenging, or frustrating about pursuing art?
Currently I’m finding balancing my day job and my studio practice more and more
What are you working on right now?
I’m currently working on the swimming series, but I’m also experimenting with new materials such as chain link fence, I find it’s properties as a semi transparent barrier interesting.