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Sixty seconds with Ben Miller

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Sixty seconds with Ben Miller

What's a piece you wish you'd painted - or an artist you wish you were?

Les Demoiselles d'Avignon (1907), Picasso- What a dude!

If you had to pick one, stencils or aerosol (freestyle) - and why?

Wow. Not sure I can choose. If I had to choose between a stencil, freehand or pencil, it would always be the pencil as I always start all my ideas with a sketch. Sooo...pass.

If not street art, what would you be doing?

I don't just do street art. As an art educator I need to be equipped to teach students the broad range of media that are available for them with which to express themselves. I'm not saying I'm great at all media, but I am very happy to demonstrate what I know to others who may have less or different experiences. I'm not sure the work I do is even street art - even the works that are legally painted on walls on the street. I think they are probably closer to murals. But not like the Sheffield ones. Not that I am having a go at the Sheffield Mural Comp. But Railton, man, topiary really lights my wick(!).

Why is street art an important art form?

Street art dates back to cave paintings, hieroglyphics, Mexican murals and socially and politically charged artwork that was created by people wanting to document, rise against or comment on something they felt passionately about.

Piece you're most proud of doing.

Hmm. In some ways this oil painting I got into the Glover Prize with a few years back. In some ways this stencil piece of the Queen I did a little while ago. But maybe even the Breath Of Life piece. I think it's kind of okay. I always want the next piece to be better, though.

Crew or solo work - which do you prefer (and why?)

I love collaborative work.  It fudges the lines between ownership and doubles the energy! Triples, quadruples, etc, etc. There are some times when I need complete control, though - particularly if I am working on a personal piece that is going to have emotional content, etc., in it.

What building or landmark would you most like to legally paint - and why?

Henty House. I want to see if I could make it beautiful or better still, uglier.

Why should kids do it legally?

So they can gain the recognition they deserve for their artistic talent and be celebrated rather than incarcerated.

A saying to live by

Wouldn't it be a boring world if we all liked the same (art) things?

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