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Benjamin Lichtenstein
Three-storey dickhead cake, 2016

Giclee print on Canson Etching Edition Rag 310gsm, unframed
84.1 x 59.4 cm
edition of 20 & 2AP


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Benjamin Lichtenstein works with processes of experimental darkroom photography, creating photomontages and images constructed through masking and ‘drawing’ with light on silver gelatin prints. His new work created for VERSION, Three-storey dickhead cake, is the first time Lichtenstein has incorporated digital processes in his work. While exclusively monochromatic, his output unites elements as varied as local street photography, texts, abstraction, sport, droll humour and intimate portraiture.

Three-storey dickhead cake continues his longstanding interest in language and draws from his recent book, He's Got a Nug, (Heavytime Books, 2015), in which Lichtenstein reproduced decontextualized text from newspaper headlines, newspaper articles, the comments section on YouTube clips, and overheard snippets of conversation, interspersed with images from his 2015 photographic series, Flower. 

Benjamin describes the work:

“The main image in the work is a photo I took a couple of years ago of a house in Collingwood. It had been put up for auction. I saw the house on the Friday clean; the auction was on Saturday; when I saw the house again on Monday morning, it had been spray painted with the message: "FOUND YOU CUNT YOUR DEAD." I don't know if it had been painted before the auction or afterwards, but the grammatical error was what I found most interesting. I’m interested in language; its regional nuances; and how it changes. One of the other pages in my book was "CUNT is slowly replacing mate in Australian culture."
The marrying of the text and the image was a combination of finding the humour in the phrase "drunk driver makes phone call with pack of cigarettes," as well as the humour in the "found you cunt your dead" photo.
The photo that sits behind the 'drunk driver' text was taken on a drive from Wangaratta to Melbourne. On the Hume Highway there is a partially obscured sign that says 'Beveridge', which is always a cue for me to say "nice town for a drink." “

Three-storey dickhead cake is printed without borders, Lichtenstein does not sign his works, instead this work comes with a certificate of authenticity signed by the artist.


Benjamin Lichtenstein was born in Jakarta, Indonesia in 1984 and arrived in Melbourne in 1987. He has held solo exhibitions at Fort Delta, Utopian Slumps, Doomsday, Anna Pappas Gallery, Neospace, The John and Marion Frye Collection, Los Angeles, and Chapter House Lane. He has participated in group exhibitions including at the Australian Centre for Photography, Arts Projects Australia, Muddguts Gallery, New York, and Edmund Pearce. 

Lichtenstein has been a finalist in the Bowness Prize and recipient of the Kodak Salon at the Centre for Contemporary Photography (Excellence in Photomedia). In 2015 he published ‘He’s Got a Nug’ through Heavytime Books. He has a Bachelor of Fine Art (Photography) from the VCA.


Alan Weedon, 'Making Art from Stolen Conversations', VICE, 12 November 2015 - read
Emily Galicek, 'An interview with Benjamin Lichtenstein', Try Hard Magazine  - read