At first glance, Benjamin Shine’s work could be mistaken for sketches or paintings with digital enhancements. However, they are constructed entirely of tulle, a material that is underutilized and undervalued in art.
Tulle is the mesh fabric used to make ballerina skirts, and it is a material that is rarely depicted in the artwork. However, Shine’s works are entirely composed of tulle, and many of them are impressive portraits.
This artist creates facial features, shading, and silhouettes by ironing the fabric into various shapes. Recently, he completed a series of tulle portraits dedicated to frontline workers, depicting healthcare workers from around the world to honor their courage and compassion.
The viewer is left with an immense sense of atmosphere and emotion, and the level of meticulous detail in these works is equally impressive. One of the portraits depicts Dr. Shaan Sahota, a London physician who has transitioned from surgery to the intensive care unit to care for Covid-19 patients. She was featured in The Guardian, which prompted Benjamin to contact her shortly after completing this portrait.
Ben also produced a video for Fashion Insiders in which he identifies as an inventor. Shine attended fashion school, and we adore the daring way in which his work fuses the worlds of fashion and art.
In addition to his work on canvas, Benjamin has produced some truly jaw-dropping garments that have been worn by several household names. The Metropolitan Museum of Art purchased this ensemble by Maison Margiela in 2019.
The sky art resembles a massive sculpture and is one of our favorite surrealist works of art ever. Obviously, this structure was not made entirely of tulle; the wire was used to create a delicate and elegant face.
Ben incorporates tulle into his work for multiple reasons. It emphasizes the concepts of energy, the ephemeral nature of impermanence, and the relationship between the superficial and the spiritual. It feels like freedom and creativity incarnate to us.
In addition to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Shine’s work has been exhibited at numerous prestigious institutions, such as MoMA and the Crafts Council UK.
One of his works is displayed in a flawless Bergdorf Goodman display window. Clearly, this artist is a prominent member of the designer community, having collaborated with Givenchy, Vogue, and Maison Margiela. He has collaborated with Beyonce!
Here, we see tulle on the ground and his mastery of it from atop his ladder, resembling the work of Michelangelo. This was a piece created for Bergdorf Goodman, and the tulle artist explained in the caption that it required months of hand sewing. Patience is a virtue!
These works are sensual, intellectually stimulating, and so much more. They are enormous, both physically and in our minds. His mesmerizing videos have garnered hundreds of millions of views, making Benjamin Shine a pioneer in his industry.
We also admire his commitment to social justice, which is exemplified by his work with frontline workers and his tribute to the Black Lives Matter movement, in which he compares the different shades of tulle to the different shades of humans, stating, “we are all different shades of the same.”
Due to the fact that many of us are more reflective than usual due to the pandemic and protests, this artwork is the ideal companion to help you reflect on any complex emotions you may be experiencing. If you’re not ready for that, simply marvel at Shine’s mesmerizing artistry.