Ben ain’t Heavy

Heavy Horse

T and I saw the HEAVY show last night. An unexpectedly mind-blowing art show. Ben Perkins is the artist, who takes his comic strip personalities onto huge, colorful panels that invited me inside the world of graphic arts like never before.

The artist at the opening


I can’t stop thinking about those images. They are 8 feet high and sometimes eight feet across, filling Galley Zero and leaving hardly a square inch of wall uncovered. Additional panels hang in the centers of the rooms, large enough to be dividing walls. Every piece was steeped in colour. I can’t even begin to describe the depth and the BANG! of the colours. Blinking red of a neon sign pushing into a dark room on one panel, followed by glowing lemon/lime fly monster guts, shocking white moon in clumps of stars in sky fields like daisies, and gooey black everywhere, sticking to everything.

Don’t you love it when art moves you?

Heavy takes out a robot

The work centers around the character, Heavy, a beefy horse-headed tough guy who apparently spends a lot of time taking down larger-than-life monsters and nurses a mighty soft romantic spot somewhere inside his horsey heart. The work is sympathetic to the drudgery of being a good guy in a world gone bad, while gleefully reveling in the amped, testosterone-infused madness of a good fist fight on dark city streets.

{I brought my actual camera, but the batteries were dead! So I had to use my phone’s camera. Yarg.}

Ok, so learn this guy’s name: Ben Perkins. (also click that link because he writes about his show and also has awesome photos of the paintings) His creations are incredible. Face it: my phone camera images are not doing the work justice and you’ll simply have to see it for yourself. If you are able to get to Portland this month… GO to The Galley Zero and see the show. It’s free; just walk in. And try not to drool.

We bought this original sketch, which shows The Horsemen. Ben autographed it for Tara.

6 thoughts on “Ben ain’t Heavy

  1. Wow! Again, thanks so much for coming out, and thanks so much for the very kind words!
    I hope to see you at future shows whenever and wherever they may occur.

    Truly a pleasure meeting you.


    1. Ben, it was certainly my pleasure to meet you. I am truly, truly moved by your work – and it’s not my typical style preference. Just goes to show that you are an artist good enough to transcend genres. I look forward to everything you will create!

  2. I was at the opening show on Friday and saw Ben’s art up close and personal. It was all this article said and more! So worth the visit, it’s ridiculous! And if you think you can’t afford your favorite piece, as you will undoubtedly find one or more that is your favorite, think again! Speak with Randy, the gallery manager, and you will be pleasantly surprised at how affordable these pieces are. Good job Ben! Can’t wait to see more!

  3. Thank you for your endorsement, Cami! Wasn’t it incredible?! Also, thanks for the encouragement to consider buying a piece. Randy tried very hard to get me to talk purchase of a big panel, but I was too wary of what “affordable” might mean. I’d love to have one (or six) and it would freak out my mother on her next visit, so that’s a fun thought. Heh.

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