Were it not already the name of a 2013 nonfiction book by attorney Lori St. John, The Corruption Of Innocence would make an appropriate title for an exhibition of work by Taiwanese artist Ben Chen, whose specialty appears to be taking iconic characters from safe, comforting children’s entertainment and then placing them into violent or disturbing new contexts. Often, this takes the form of unlikely mash-ups, like a crossbreeding of Peanuts and Aliens, in which facehuggers have attached themselves to the famous craniums of Charlie Brown and Snoopy. Occasionally, Chen’s work is more lighthearted, as when he transformed a trio of pomelos into Shrek, Yoda, and the Incredible Hulk.
Popular recurring themes for Chen include Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland, The Wizard Of Oz, and such classic Disney films as Dumbo and Pinocchio, the title characters of which both meet grim fates. In addition to displaying his work on Flickr, Ben Chen has also been designing T-shirts for designing T-shirts for Threadless since 2009, for those interested in wearing his work around town.