Ben Edge was born in Croydon in 1985. For the majority of his childhood he lived in a small town called Southborough in Kent. After the divorce of his parents at the age of six, his time was shared between his mother’s house in Kent, and his fathers in Shoreditch, East London. As a teenager Edge became interested in punk rock music and art. These interests led him to take up painting and study Fine Art at West Kent College and later at London Metropolitan University. It was also in his teenage years that he began writing and performing music. He has since been in numerous bands and toured Europe extensively. Past projects include Thee Spivs and most recently Ben Edge and The Electric Pencils. Edge currently lives and works in North London.
Edge is predominately a figurative painter interested in folklore and story telling, whose paintings depict the extraordinary lives of ordinary people. He believes his interests originate from his childhood, where he grew up around colourful and eccentric family members who would tell him remarkable stories. In 2009 his painting ‘The Animal Handler’ was selected for exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery as part of the BP Portrait Award. Edge’s grandfather, who was the subject of the painting, was a porter at Smithfield meat market as well as an animal handler in his spare time. Over the years his flat was home to a wide array of exotic pets including, chimpanzees, monkeys, lizards, pythons and and even once a tiger cub that had been lent to him by a friend who worked at the circus. Edge cites his grandfather, as well as his family in general, as a major influence on his work. Not only are they inspiring characters, but creative people who have a wide array of interests, from painting, drawing and wood-carving.
Edge is a self-proclaimed perfectionist. His perfectionism is mirrored in his work through his clean and precise style of painting. Edge is fascinated by the attention to detail and craft that is often found in Folk and Naive Art as well as the traditions of religious and northern Renaissance painting. These combined influences inspired the title of his debut solo show ‘Folk Renaissance’ that took place at the HIX Art gallery, London, in March 2017. Since his show last year Edge has undertaken a new series of paintings that depict scenes, rituals and ceremonies from traditional British folklore, and has been travelling up and down the British Isles, gathering source material and creating paintings in response to his research. Edge has also recently worked with the music group, the Fat White Family, where his painting of ‘The Burryman’ was used for the single cover for the song ‘Taste’s good with the money’, he also collaborated further with the band (also working with director Fiona Godivier), on the art direction for the music video ‘When I leave’