BEN RAK

                                            Projects        CV        Bio        Texts      Contact

 

Biography


An artist, educator and independent curator, Ben Rak was born in California, USA (1978) and grew up in Israel. He is presently working and living in Sydney (Australia), where he lectures at the University of New South Wales Art & Design.  Rak holds a BFA in printmaking (2008) with first class honors (2009) and an MFA (2013) all from UNSW A&D (Previously College of Fine Arts). Rak has also fostered international dialogue by curating exchange exhibitions between Sydney based artists and multiple international institutions (School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Alfred University, IVS Karachi).


Rak is the co-founder and director of Throwdown Press, a print-based research group that invites multi-disciplinary artists to produce etchings and screenprints, creating discourse on the role of printmaking within contemporary practice.  He has been artist in residence at Cicada Press (Sydney 2013) as well as Chiang Mai Art On Paper (Thailand 2014) and Canberra Glassworks (2014) and has received multiple awards including an Australian Postgraduate Award Scholarship (2010), the Dean’s Award For Academic Excellence (2009) the National Tertiary Art Prize (2009) and the Blacktown Art Prize (2008).


Rak’s work is an ongoing look in to the relationships between cultural symbols and consumer culture. It investigates how our embracing of consumer culture reduced our social affiliations to a performance of clichés and stereotypes. Such stereotypes arise through an uninformed and shallow analysis of a culture, resulting stereotypes that are often misinterpreted and misunderstood truths.