Ben Wildflower is a printmaker in Philadelphia. In his last year of college he took an elective printmaking course. The meditative work of carving, cutting, inking, and printing captivated him. This resulted in a far better grade in the one art course he took than in the many courses in Philosophy and Religion which, it turns out, there is even less money in than being an artist.
He took up printmaking again to hand print Christmas cards. Enough positive feedback resulted in occasionally selling at art fairs. The Magnificat image made in Advent 2016 gained widespread circulation on social media the following year by which time Ben and his wife were living in a slum community in Kolkata with limited access to the Internet much less elaborate art supplies. He managed to carve and print a few pieces during his years in India and upon returning to the US attempted to make a living as an artist. Doing art for money took a lot of fun out of art though and Ben now sells his labor doing physical work he enjoys and is a member of an AFL-CIO trade union and believes you should unionize your workplace too. He makes art for the fun of it now and doesn’t panic when the art business runs at a loss.
The themes of his art are almost always Biblical. Ben grew up Evangelical but wandered through other Christian traditions and found something of a home in the Episcopal Church. Much of his bizarre religious imagery is born from how certain passages of Scripture are emphasized in some traditions but completely overlooked in others. He enjoys highlighting the theme of God’s contempt for wealth and love for the impoverished. The Christian life demands that all the hungry be fed, whatever the cost to the ruling class. He believes Jesus invites us to betray our country and save our souls.