Ben Shaffer’s Ben Deroy (2007) is part performance, part self-portrait, and part spiritual vision. Often the artist works with the motifs of the counterculture and contemporary non-religious spiritualism. The figure hangs suspended—seemingly ascending—animation. The figure looks like some kind of countercultural superman empowered by myriad alternative experiences, as worthy of myth as the heralded Laocoön.
Ben Shaffer’s works are dynamic installations that integrate sculpture, painting, and performance. His complex pieces often require direct interaction from viewers, eschewing simple subject-object relationships in favor of relational negotiations. Through his makeshift neo- psychedelia, Shaffer explores the legacy of counter-cultural imagery, specifically its fragile utopic horizons and ever-receding promises of enlightenment and transcendence. Shaffer lives and works in Los Angeles, and received his MFA from Claremont University in Southern California.