Screen Prince by name and screen prince by nature, Screen Prince aka Ben Duarri does all his own printing in a studio in Brighton producing mesmerising prints created using the lyrics to various iconic musicians' songs to build up images of their portraits. In answering a few of our humble questions we discover more about an artist with a passion for music fond memories of his childhood, oh and partying with Fatboy Slim!
What or who are the main inspirations behind your work? Andy Warhol, Cubism, Pop Art, Apollinaire, Futurism, Roy Lichtenstein, Yoko Ono, music, Jean-Michel Basquiat, west end musical posters.
How do you approach the actual making of a piece? Like I’m conducting a séance!
What’s your medium? Usually something like pastel or pastel pencil then dip pen with acrylic ink.For original artwork, and or on top of screenprints, I use more water-based inks.
What’s the one thing you can’t live without? Music.
What memorable responses have you had to your work? 25,000 people all dancing and cheering to a giant “Donna Summer” at the Big Beach Boutique with dj Fatboy Slim.
What are you currently working on? I have just finished “Donna Summer” and am currently working on Frederic Yonnets album artwork. I am also working on new prints of Stevie wonder, Erykah Badu, Adele and “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” among others
Describe your work in 3 words. Handmade, calligram, iconography.
What themes do you pursue? Funky themes, royal portraits, religious icons.
Describe an average day for you. I get up at 3, work, drink sixteen coffees, eat biscuits, go to bed at four or five.
When are you happiest? When I’ve had a really productive day and I’ve paid the rent and I’ve got loads of new materials to play with.
What led you to become an artist? Crayons!
What’s your strongest memory of your childhood? Walking on the beach catching crabs with my older brother when i was about three in Seaford. Selling painted stones on the doorstep, making paper tattoos with felt-tips and swapping sweets to give kids tattoos at break time. I remember starting a dead-bird-burying cult in primary school and organising huge floral displays and complex rituals using floral donations from the retired neighbours with gardens the other side of the school field fence.
What’s your favourite or most inspirational place? A place called El Escorial near Madrid where I was born.
What jobs have you done other than being an artist? I have been a waiter, a cocktail-barman, a donut-on-the-pier-maker, a painter and decorator, a telesales agent, a juice bar manager a sous chef, a studio manager, a tee shirt printer and an assistant stylist.
Name three artists you’d like to be compared to and why. Goya for his light and colour and stories, Botticelli, for his curls, and Picasso for his longevity.
What makes you angry? The Conservatives and George Osbourne when he speaks .
What superpower would you have and why? I would be that shape-shifting blue x-men Mimic.
In another life (if you weren’t an artist) what would you be doing? I would be either a chef or a composer or a writer.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given? Someone once told me never give up.
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