Visiting Professor of Sculpture and Foundations
Dept. : Foundation, Sculpture
Although his name sounds typical to New England, the reality is quite different: Benjamin Spalding is a queer, Puerto Rican raised in Maine. Spalding's approach to sculpture has developed through his relationship to artifacts and ritual, using making as a means to decode and share his personal experience. Spalding views all culture as raw material: the object, historical motifs, and fabricated goods - all active translators of a personal story. In a moment of questionable "truth", the mutual understanding of objects reveals their power as the common material language in constant dialogue with the audience. Hybridity is present in his practice, demonstrated through material choices relating to being Hispanic and queer within small town New England, where Latino tropes are combined with New England signifiers like LL Bean, hockey, and lacrosse motifs. Materials have history and with that, they have an ability to bring the audience close to one's personal experience.