Ben Wildflower is a printmaker in Philadelphia. In his last year of college he took an elective printmaking course and was captivated by the meditative work of carving, cutting, inking, and printing.
He took up printmaking again to hand print Christmas cards. Positive feedback led to 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 or art supplies. He managed to carve and print a few pieces during his years in India and upon returning to the US in 2018 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 when he has time and doesn’t panic when the art business runs at a loss (which is often.)
The themes of his art are mostly Biblical. Ben grew up immersed in American Evangelicalism. He spent his middle school and high school years in Papua New Guinea where his parents were missionaries. Years later he found something of a home in the Episcopal Church. Much of his work reflects on how certain passages of Scripture are emphasized in some traditions but completely overlooked in others such as 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.
He can be found in real life in Kensington, Philadelphia, The City of God.
His art has been printed in Geez, Sojourners, Alive Magazine, the Bean Zine, and wheat pasted on some walls.
Here are few articles that Ben appears in:
Sojourners article about Christians and Anarchism
Washington Post article by D.L. Mayfield about the Magnificat
Christian Century feature of my image of Mary at the fence.