We were lucky enough to have a quick Q&A with Ben Musitano, Brighton artist specialising in screen-printing and member of Sulky Boy.
HEY BEN! How’s it going? Please tell us a little about yourself, history, future…dreams?
Hi, there. Great actually. So I predominately work with Silkscreen printing but dabble in mono print, stick & poke tattooing, festival build installs of artworks, playing in a band and generally hanging out. I graduated Fine Art at the Arts University Bournemouth in 2013 and have been making a mess of my home studio ever since. Honestly I don’t know what my future holds as there are so many avenues and interesting things to pursue it could change at any minute. I like to think that if a good enough opportunity came up I would take it. My dreams shift constantly as I am always in flux with what I believe to be most important at the time, but to be a good honest human being rates pretty highly in my books.
We hear you’re pretty handy with silk-screen printing? Can you tell us how you got into it and how the medium allows you to create the work you do.
I remember very vividly that my tutors always told me to stop making things that looked like ‘Art’ and just make Art. Printmaking was always something that was fun and I never really considered it as my practice. It all started with making band tee shirts and goofy patches. I had the good fortune to be tutored in silkscreen printing by an Artist called Leigh Clark (Royal Academy tutor). He showed me about process, colour theory and concept. I am a process Artist. I make reductive silkscreen print which means image making in reverse. Colours, edges, shapes and layers all influence how a print is shaped. I like to work ad-hoc and just go for it and let the happy accidents roll, but the process is always the same. There is also generally a lot of cleaning up to do too.
We’ve been enjoying your Sulky Boy soundcloud lately. How’d you guys meet? What do you enjoy most about being in a band?
Thank you very much! I guess we met through a scene that has developed here over the last few years with a bunch of bands that we hang out with. Sulky Boy started out as a solo project by Daniel Taylor, a member of the Echochamp collective that we release some of our tunes through, I joined at that point to take over from my housemate who plays in a band called Birdskulls. We have had the same line-up of people for around a year now. I think my favorite aspect of being a part of a band is that you get to meet so many others like you. Everyone doing it for themselves, drinking beers and having a good time. Also seeing places you might never normally go to. We have an amazing opportunity to go on Tour to Madrid in September; I probably wouldn’t have had the chance to see the city without it so I am hugely grateful for that.
Would you rather die rich but be forgotten or die poor but forever remembered?
To be honest, money doesn’t interest me. I see it as a means to an end. I don’t make Art or Music for money and I think both would suffer if I did. So if I had to choose out of the 2 I would die poor and remembered.
Being part of the Brighton arts scene, what would you like to see for the city in support of younger creatives?
My most recent dig would be at the i360. Why not build a gallery, or 3 or4? Instead of attracting tourism, which I know brings money into the city, why not foster the creative youths that will leave the city in search of better opportunities in London? I feel that Brighton’s art scene heavily leans on craft culture. Not to say that is a bad thing but contemporary Art here suffers for it because there are very few places that will exhibit questionable Art. It all ends up in London.
Show us your workspace pretty please?
My studio has all been made by hand over the last year or so. It doesn’t look like much but its home.