Born in Missoula, MT 1989. Apsáalooke & Tsitsistas, internationally recognized, award-winning indigenous creative Ben Pease or Asduuptaakoo Ishtaaxiia Duutchish “Takes The Guns From Two Enemy Camps” proudly follows a long line of successful educators in his artistic endeavors. Only, in this journey non-conformity and unconventionalism play substantial roles. Ben graduated from Hardin High School in Hardin, MT, then went on to study at Minot State University under a football and art scholarship. After four years, Pease left football behind and transferred with his wife to Montana State University to further his art studies. If you’ve followed Ben’s work from the beginning, you’ll notice the variety and constant shift between multiple stylistic qualities and techniques. As well as objective skill, his intellectual perspective continues to evolve. His work ranges from elaborate art installations to exquisite renditions of historical individuals `to his most well known mixed media contemporary ledger art. In these mixed media collages, Pease will utilize original antique paper items to draw contextual, digital painting, spray paint, ink, acrylic, oil and almost anything else he can find in his studio. Street Art & Pop Culture has also taken its hold on his work both in the gallery and outside it. As an Indigenous creative, he is not merely in the game for the aesthetics, but to speak volumes, send social messages, and tell stories.
First and foremost, to Ben, family comes first. He currently lives and practices in southeastern Montana with his wife and children.
“All that is is but a reflection of understanding. Color surrounds and envelopes not only the body but the psyche & spirit. Experience in memory or imagination can be defined by such encompassing hue. Those beings from before laid prayers plus tears for those to come. As do we. We feel. We see. We experience. Spiritual, yet measurable and undeniably empowering. This sense exists as an innate entity birthed from before here was here. Our connections in relation to the celestials bodies are evermore present and pertinent as our society evolves. Not merely an illusion.”
Ben Pease uses ledger paper, mining certificates, found photographs and old money along with spray paint, ink, and oil layered with cut out and collaged digital paintings. His work is research-based and arises out of his visits to archives, libraries, and museums. “Education is essential.”
Pease uses a lot of historical photographs, but “is not going for nostalgia. I’m going against nostalgia.” His mirror-image portraits “see the truth both ways, past, and future.” The patterns and symbols in his work are inspired by Native and Classical philosophy.
Follow Ben's work @Benpeasevisions