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The month of June is a time to celebrate the LGBTQ community and reflect on the advances of queer people to strengthen civil liberties around the world, even in a moment of great political uncertainty. It’s also a good opportunity to spotlight the richness and diversity of culture we have within the community. Hyperallergic is commemorating Pride Month by featuring one contemporary queer artist per day on the website and letting them speak for themselves. Click here to participate.

Ben Oblivion, “All The Stars Explode Tonight” (image courtesy the artist)

Age: 24

Location: Cleveland, Ohio

Artistic Medium: Performance and Installation

Who are you and what do you do?

I am an artist and attention whore who is trying to come up with material for a very exciting and revealing autobiography, which will be read by all.

What are the top three greatest influences on your work?

Tabloid scandals, Thomas Kinkade, and a personal crisis.

Describe your coffee order.

Americano with half of a sugar packet

What is your greatest accomplishment?

Ask me after I’m dead. (It will probably be my funeral.)

What constitutes a perfect day?

60 degrees and breezy with lots of layering possibilities.

What was your favorite exhibition from last year?

Mernet Larsen: The Ordinary, Reoriented at the Akron Art Museum and Bridget Moser, Jacob Koestler, and the Vault at SPACES Cleveland.

What would your superpower be if you had one?

Astral projection.

Tell us a lie about yourself.

I’ve never told a lie.

What is one question you wish somebody would ask about your work?

Where do I get off?

What is the greatest threat to humanity?

Demanding brief answers to complex questions.

What did you make when you first started making art?

Self-portraits inspired by Egon Schiele before I realized how much more fun it is to be self-aggrandizing and vain.

Do you prefer spilling the tea or throwing shade?

Tea in the shade darling.

What is your all-time favorite work of art?

“My Love is An Anchor” (2004) by Kate Gilmore, or maybe the portrait of Imelda Marcos and her family by Ralph Wolfe Cowan

What are your plans for pride month?

Looking down my nose at people, fully aware that it’s covered in blackheads.

What is the future of queerness?

I don’t know but I hope it’s ugly and loud and full of cathartic pain.

Name one guilty pleasure.

I don’t believe in guilty pleasures, but I feel truly bad for liking “Japanese Boy” by the musician Aneka.

Greatest queer icon of the internet: BabadookMomo, or a pervading sense of existential angst?

Babadook.

Is there enough support for queer artists where you live?

No, and we could use a few more queer artists here as well. Come to Cleveland! It’s very cheap!

How do you stay cool during the summer?

Baby, I’m always cool.

What is your favorite type of milk?

The stuff Charlize Theron bathed in during Snow White and The Huntsmen.

“Queer Artists in Their Own Words” is an ongoing feature happening every day in the month of June. For prior posts in the series, please click here.


By: Hyperallergic