2nd Year Reviews: Ben Yacavone by Sunil Ketty

Ben Yacavone is a modern day polymath currently captivated by connecting architectural sculptures with materials, forms, and the intimate spaces they occupy.

Benjamin Yacavone is a 24 year old graduate student at Columbus College of Art & Design. He has entered the second and final year of the Master of Fine Arts Program. Ben spent the first semester using various colors to paint what he referred to as “The Quiet Moments.” This series was inspired by his countless hours spent traveling, specifically driving extensively throughout the United States. Ben stated, “The Quiet Moments are the small things you might witness out of the corner of your eye, or a small detail that makes up part of a greater whole.” The choice of colors combined with the use of broad brush strokes did indeed have a palliative effect. With an ephemeral pause to explore color theory, Benjamin ultimately abandoned his paintings to move in a new direction.

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I would eventually come to learn Ben’s expansive skillsets are rooted in his commitment to build various habitats to help the less fortunate. His desire to construct material is linked to times dating back to his childhood. This passion would ultimately leak into his graduate thesis work. “This semester has been a big leap for me. I’m choosing to go down the road of sculpture, and it feels good,” Ben blogged. Ben wanted to question sculpture and where these pieces would live. He began to attach these architectural sculptures to various built-in surfaces, floors, and walls. The visuals created unique appendages to the original surface. Ben added to the pieces by using florescent paints to give the impression of the object emitting light.

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As Benjamin entered his second  year of graduate school, he was surrounded by many questions. He stated, “I didn’t know 100%, I had some ideas, some things I liked to look at, but I hadn’t figured out exactly what it was about architecture?” It was clear that his previous work dealing with architecture would be critical to his approach when contemplating his thesis.

Ben decided to use work mapping to assist with the several questions that had emerged through different discussions with individuals connected to him and his work. Through this process, Ben was able to isolate one word. Precision had become a recurring theme to the problem he was attempting to solve. The forms proceeding this epiphany were built exhaustively through the attempt to reach a heightened sense of accuracy and precision. The seamless nature of two pieces of wood being blended gave the impression of uniformity and connectivity. A secondary product of the mounted works were the complex shadows being draped along the wall and through the  negative space. I believe this to be a welcoming attribute to the overall experience.

Benjamin has continued to expand on the word ‘precision’ as it relates to his practice. Ultimately, his love for intimate spaces, a direct reflection of valuable memories shared with his father, would drive his thesis thought process. He is experimenting with a material most commonly used in a very linear manner. However, Ben’s approach currently strives to create a precision through applying unique and organic curvatures to the wood allow for a more pliable material, while creating a new visual aesthetic.

Even though Benjamin Yacavone is a young artist just starting to gain momentum, he is an ambitious person offering something unique to commonly used materials. His knowledge combined with a true respect for the art community will allow him many opportunities. I look forward to the amazing works I know he is capable of creating in the near future.

To learn more about Ben’s work, please visit his blog at http://benyacavone.tumblr.com/

As part of the second-year graduates’ Thesis Projects I course, candidates were each assigned two of their cohort to review. As students begin writing their thesis papers and constructing artist statements, this review process proves to be beneficial twofold. Students not only exercise their written critique skills, but are able to read about their own project from other voices. Over the next few weeks we’ll be posting these reviews, so be sure to visit regularly for insights and photos of the second years’ progress!

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