Ben Cuevas speaks on his interdisciplinary art practice and how identity intersects with medium and process. As a queer, latinx, nonbinary, HIV-positive artist, identity directly influences Cuevas’s multifaceted artwork and choice of mediums. Working between textiles, sculpture, photography, performance, video, and installation, Cuevas investigates questions about the body, the self, and what it means to be other, through a queer feminist intersectional lens.REGISTER
My most current body of work Non-binary Code investigates the fundamentally binary nature of knitting, which is at the core of my practice—and combines this with the exploration of my non-binary identity. A central part of my artwork is based around fiber-arts, and I reflect on the queer/feminist ideologies within the long and gendered history of women’s work with fiber-based materials. My goal for the BAC residency would be to dive into this series and devote my attention and body to the meditative practice of repetitive stitching with this large-scale acrylic yarn. This series of work is accumulating into an “acrylic on canvas” artwork that is subverting the heteronormative histories around abstract expressionism and inserting myself within this narrative stitch by stitch.
Born in Southern California in 1987, Ben Cuevas is an artist whose work is rooted in concepts of otherness and intersectionality, inspired by his queer, non-binary, HIV-positive, and Latinx lived experience. As these multiple components inform his practice, identity directly influences his artwork, which is naturally interdisciplinary. Cuevas received his B.A. in mixed media, installation, and photography at Hampshire College, in 2010.
A central part of Cuevas’s artwork is based in textiles, underscoring queer/feminist ideologies within the long and gendered history of women’s work with fiber-based materials. These artworks have been shown across the US with exhibitions held at The Craft and Folk Art Museum in Los Angeles, Museum of the City of New York, The Leslie-Lohman Museum in New York City, and others.
Cuevas’s work also speaks to queer histories and the idea of the archive through his photo-based works centering images of sexual minorities from past into the present. This can be seen in his piece Ghosts of the Trucks of the Westside Highway, and his ongoing photo series titled Reinserted.
Several books and publications feature Cuevas’s work, such as DUETS: Ben Cuevas & Annie Sprinkle in Conversation, published by Visual AIDS; Queer Threads: Crafting, Identity, and Community, edited by John Chaich and Todd Oldham. Acclaimed as a public speaker, Cuevas has given talks at institutions including, Brown University, Ohio State University, The Museum of Sex (NYC), and the Fire Island Artist Residency.
Residencies and programs at Bethany Arts Community are made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Governor’s office and the New York State Legislature, the National Endowment for the Arts, Arts Westchester, and numerous individual donors.