THE art of self-parody works for Ben Ross. One of his first pitches for a commercial job was a caricature of himself doing some yoga poses.
He didn’t get the job, but the character he drew, Bennie, became an inspiration that continued to evolve while Ross subsequently surfed in Mexico.
“My vision really came alive. The soft palettes you see on my work today are all Mexican inspired: soft pastels, white beaches, blue and pink skies. Mexico was a true Inspiration,” Ross says.
Now back on the Mornington Peninsula, the self-taught artist is two years into a graphics career and has just finished a four metre high mural for a Dromana rum distillery.
Although Bennie was a much distorted self-portrait, Ross finds it interesting that people can “see themselves” in numerous other fictitious characters that pop up in his works.
“Whenever I’m painting, I’ll get people saying, ‘that’s me’, which is good, that’s what I want.
“I want people to put themselves in my art and get away from the harsh realities of this world, so I love it when they come up and say, ‘that one could be me’. That means what I’m doing is right in my eyes, and that also means that person is seeing themselves in my art.”