Benjamin Work is a South Auckland-based artist of Tongan (Tu’anekivale, Vava’u) and Scottish heritage. He is a core member of the international art collective, TMD and is an active member of the Tongan art collective, No’o Fakataha. He has a solid grounding in aerosol painting with his initial creative output centred around sub/ pop-cultural influences that emerged from North America in the 1970s – 1980s.
Since then, Benjamin’s bold visual language references historical narratives, design elements and semiotics particular to Tongan culture. His diverse practice reflects the ‘here and now’. His work engages with the current cultural, political and social context of Auckland, Aotearoa and with contemporary local and international art and design contexts.
Work has exhibited in a number of group and solo exhibitions including: Post-Graffiti Pacific, aMBUSH Gallery, Sydney; Toutouta, Olivia Laita Gallery, Auckland; I See Red I See Red I See Red, Fresh Gallery, Auckland; If These Walls Could Talk, Imperial Lane, Auckland and TSB Bank Wallace Arts Centre, Auckland; Louder – The Serigraph Pop-Up Exhibition, Studio 40, Auckland; Primary Flight: Art Basel, Miami, USA.
Benjamin Work, b. 1979, Tāmaki-makau-rau, Auckland
- 2016: For King and Country, Ma’ae Tu’i moe e Fonua, Bergman Gallery, Rarotonga; The Glorious Children of Te Tumu, Salisbury International Arts Festival, England; The Glorious Children of Te Tumu, Corban Estate.
- 2015: For King and Country, Ma’ae Tu’i moe e Fonua, Mangere Arts Centre – Nga Tohu o Uenuku, Auckland. Toutoutā’, Olivia Laita Gallery, Onehunga, Auckland.
- 2014: I see red, I see red, I see red, FRESH Gallery, Otara, Auckland.
- 2020: Tatou, The Story of US, Bergman Gallery, Rarotonga.
- 2019: Auckland Art Fair Bergman Gallery, Auckland, NZ.
- 2018: MPA#1, Bergman Gallery, Rarotonga.
- 2017: Return to Havaiki | UFO Islands, with Andy Leleisiúao, October 9 – November 30, 2017
- 2016: New York’s Night Out, Metropolitan Museum of Art, NYC.
- 2016: Katharsis, Calder & Lawson Gallery, August 1 – September 30.
- 2014: Post Graffiti Pacific, Ambush Gallery, Sydney, Australia; If these walls could talk, Wallace Trust, Pah Homestead, Auckland; Show room opening, Olivia Laita Gallery, Auckland; Louder, Print Group show, Studio 40, Auckland;
Tauhi Vā No’o Fakataha, FRESH Gallery Otara, Auckland; Hold your breath, Whitespace, Auckland.
- 2013: Atenisi, No’o Fakataha Collective, Kingdom of Tonga.
- 2012: Matala Festival, Mangere Arts Centre – Nga Tohu o Uenuku, Auckland.
- 2011: Presence, Artstation, Auckland.
- 2010: The Miami Dream, Shed5, Auckland.
- 2009: Hecho en Mexico, Tijuana, Mexico.
- 2014: Auckland art week, commissioned mural, Fort Street, Auckland CBD. Graffiato, outdoor mural festival, Taupo CBD. I see red mural, public mural, Otara Town Centre, Auckland. All fresco, street art event, Karangahapē Road, Auckland.
- 2013: From the ground up, public mural event, Christchurch CBD. TMD x Corbans, outdoor mural, Corbans Estate Art Centre, Auckland. Graffiato, outdoor mural festival, Taupo CBD. Samoa victim support group, outdoor mural, Apia, Samoa.
- 2010: Krosswerds festival, outdoor mural, Sydney, Australia. Primary flight, outdoor mural, Art Basel, Miami, USA.
- Hou’ Eiki, MPacifuc collection, Museum of Natural history, Vienna, Austria. Tu’i Tonga,
- Tu’i Takalaua, Tu’i Kanukupolu, Pacific collection, Auckland Museum Collection.