benjamin merritt 🔪️
    ︎︎︎about ︎

    care is
    a promise/ a haunting
    swallow/ swaddle   
    nap suite
    disco ball 
    so, so many of you 
    it never goes away

about ︎

I am a printmaker based in Minneapolis with a BFA from the Minneapolis College of Art & Design. Since graduating in 2019 I have been a Jerome Emerging Printmakers Resident at Highpoint Center for Printmaking in Minneapolis & a Resident Artist at Spudnik Press in Chicago. Read about my work at Highpoint here & my work at Spudnik here. Listen to a interview with DisArt about my work here. As well as being a working artist, I am a caregiver. 

My work affirms & celebrates the experience of chronic illness & disability through text & printmaking. I make copperplate etchings, scraping away & altering the copper to show a long history of marks on the final print. This markmaking is bodily & visceral, a translation of lived experience into inscription.

I relate the arduous processes of printmaking to living with a chronic illness. The labor & time behind making a print is often unseen & unknown. Similarly, folks who live with disabilities or chronic illnesses are expected to cloak the way their bodies operate in favor of assimilating to the norm. Often, folks with invisible disabilities are accused of lying, expected to ‘out’ themselves or prove to others that they are disabled. This labor is reenacted & made physical in the act of making a print.

My prints use language to highlight the complexity & nuance of chronic illness, using metaphor to widen & enrich people’s understanding of chronic illness & disability outside of the norm. Rather than focusing on productivity, strength & a false progression from sick to healthy, I create a dialogue that celebrates the embodiment of illness itself - in all of its complexity. 

Some of the most formative & important experiences I’ve had have been at sweaty punk shows. There’s something vitally compassionate about collectively screaming words together in a crowded room where everyone is feeling the same thing. This has influenced the way I want my work to operate: I embrace raw sentimentality, hoping for disabled or chronically ill people to come away from my work with a sense of community or relatability.
       ︎︎︎ cv