Ben Hopper. Jonathan Fortin. London 2018
Ben Hopper is a well-known artist, activist, and conceptual photographer. His outstanding works and projects have been shown in different cities all over the world. For his exhibition in Berlin, he selected 36 of his favorite pictures to be shown in the new build gallery of the creative Atelier, Minimal.Ethic.
He first got in contact with the artist, Diamante Murru, for one of his photography projects: "The Inner Outside." The project aims to find a way of highlighting some of the world’s most unique tattoo pieces. The images are inverted and processed digitally to simulate a negative film.
Ben Hopper. The Inner Outside. London 2015
Since this time, both artists have stayed in contact and realized the first exhibition at the creative Atelier in Berlin. Because of the current situation caused by the pandemic and travel limitations, the artist wasn't sure if he would be able to come to Berlin for his own exhibition. Ben said in a recent interview with Minimal.Ethic that it is a strange and challenging time for every artist. Not only are we seeing heavy impacts from the pandemic, but we are also experiencing a lot of historical movements as well. The world seems to be waking up to a transformation.
"But in this current period, many artists and creatives feel irrelevant, when, actually, it's exactly the opposite. Our ideas are important. We are relevant." - Ben Hopper, 2020
Ben Hopper wants to try to find his relevance on a daily basis and, as an artist, he has to remind himself that his work and expressions are still needed. So, he will continue with the things that he does best. Ben Hopper continues celebrating human beauty in the way that he sees it. With his photography, he catches a glimpse of the human soul, the human nature. In his series, "Natural Beauty", Ben Hopper portraits women with their natural body hair.
Ben Hopper. Natural Beauty. London 2014
In the description of the pictures on Instagram, the women often say that others used to tell them that they have to hide their body hair, otherwise it's seen as a provocation. The pictures from Ben are able to give the portrayed person a voice, a voice for themselves. For his recent studies, he started a project about pheromones where he, as the artist, portrays couples. One of them is shown smelling the armpits of their partner, without the use of perfumes or deodorants to act as a barrier. Afterwards, they can talk about their feelings and experiences during the shooting. They all felt attracted to their partner; they felt loved and secure.
The actual political situation in his homeland of Israel inspired him to do another spontaneous project. He decided to go to the "Balfour Protest" in Jerusalem to photograph protestors and ask them two questions: "Why are your here?" and "If you had one wish, what would it be?" His article was published on an online magazine and shows the pictures of 45 protestors and their answers. Many of them were hoping for a better future, peace, and a positive change.
At the end of the interview, Ben Hopper said: "This is what I want for all of us. That people are kind to each other and we all finally start to recognize our own worth, our relevance in the world to make a change for the better."
Ben Hopper. Compagnie XY. London 2017
Interview with Ben Hopper for Minimal.Ethic.