Since 2004 Benjamin Duarri, also known as Screenprince has been developing his own brand of Caligram–Art, or written images made up of words like a mosaic.
Drawing inspiration from an ocean of music he grew up with, he often uses hand written lyrics to portray the artist that wrote and performed the track, which became an ongoing series called The Royalty Series. This series shows an evolution and refinement of his calligram style.
His rich sense of colour, composition and tone using the spaces between the calligraphic letters and the letters themselves he melts the boundaries between art and poetry, graphic design and fine-art , sound and vision and between typography and illustration. He screen-prints all of his own work in his self-run studios often shared with other artists.
Limited-edition numbers have never been over 50. So far no commercial editions have been planned. Sometimes A.P. sessions have produced 50 different 1of 1’s of the same print each with a unique colourway on coloured papers. A.P’s are often rougher but much more collectable pieces. Some galleries and collectors will only deal with A.P.’s and P.P.’s In the latter part of the naughties his originals began to surface, adding a richer dimension to his output.
Boards endlessly sanded, printed, dusted, polished painted and calligramed with dip-pen in acrylic liquid inks, beautifully aged and blended are now his top end commission format. In-between originals on board and prints are his originals on paper, drawings and acrylic screen-prints with areas worked into with brush and dip-pen in vibrant layers of liquid acrylic ink.
Since starting work on a vast project involving Stevie Wonder in 2011 2014 saw the birth of his first 3D hand-carved marble calligrams following a series of cloud based originals and prints. Touch pieces are soon to be yet another dimension to this eclectic artists’ artist.