Benjamin Brandes lives to create and creates to live. He is a self-taught multidisciplinary artist, born and raised in Windsor Ontario (traditional territory of the Three Fires Confederacy of First Nations), right across the river from Detroit, Michigan, whose rich art and musical history profoundly influenced and inspired him. Benjamin also spent a decade in Montreal/Tiohtiá:ke, Quebec’s thriving music community, before venturing west to Vancouver, BC (unseeded territory of The xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), and səlilwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) peoples).
After almost 30 years of creating original music, performing (both as a solo musician and in bands – including The Unsettlers and Horses with Pink Hands), composing film soundtracks and producing shows, health challenges and life circumstances threw a wrench into his plans; one that led him all the way back to an earliest passion – visual arts. Plagued with debilitating pain and darkness, art revealed a way through – as he began discovering that the process of creating itself was providing the only antidote that brought any true and lasting relief.
Using found surfaces, rescued canvases, mixed media (acrylic paint, ink, pencil, paper, tape, glue, oil sticks) and a vast array of tools (paintbrushes, homemade scratchers, knives), Benjamin brings his weird and wild imagination, intense sensitivity, intuition, insight, and unique perspective to life, inviting us in to engage and explore with him through his creations.
What hood do you live in?
Mount Pleasant – right around the corner from Vancouver’s best coffee shop (the Federal Store).
What do you do?
Visual artist/musician/songwriter/poet/maker/keeper of strange habits
What are you currently working on?
New art on paper, wood surfaces and canvas based on pivotal adolescent memories. Stop-motion animation film: Horse breath and
Hexagons. Healing a once broken body. A new Horses With Pink Hands record and music videos to go along with and whatever else
wiggles its way into my brain.
Where can we find your work?
Instagram | Art: Outsiders & Others Gallery 716 E Hastings, Vancouver BC | Film: Youtube | Music: Horses With Pink Hands (all streaming platforms), The Unsettlers (most streaming platforms, Youtube), BW Brandes (Soundcloud)