Artist James Benjamin Franklin exhibits massive, vibrant works at Detroit's Reyes | Finn gallery

Staff pick


James Benjamin Franklin. - COURTESY PHOTO
  • Courtesy photo
  • James Benjamin Franklin.

Artist James Benjamin Franklin has made a name for himself with the vibrant, mixed-media paintings he creates in his Detroit studio, which includes a backyard where goats roam.

The Washington-born artist relocated to the Motor City from New York City in 2015 to pursue a Masters of Fine Arts from Cranbrook Academy of Art, and it’s safe to say the city has rubbed off on him. His colorful, playful pieces utilize repurposed carpets, afghans, bathroom mats, and towels, covered in epoxy, acrylic, rubber, sand, and glitter, and presented in irregularly shaped plaster-molded frames. The funky pieces call to mind the styles of local artists like Tyree Guyton and Gordan Newton, who also made art from Detroit detritus. For Practice, Franklin is presenting some of his largest works yet, towering at more than six feet tall.

From 4-7 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 15 at Reyes | Finn; 1500 Trumbull Ave., Detroit; 248-839-5342; Admission is free. Show runs through Feb. 26.

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