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Ben Cuevas


Born in Southern California in 1987, Ben Cuevas is an artist whose work is rooted in concepts of otherness and intersectionality, inspired by his queer, non-binary, HIV-positive, and Latinx lived experience. As these multiple components inform his practice, identity directly influences his artwork, which is naturally interdisciplinary. Cuevas received his B.A. in mixed media, installation, and photography at Hampshire College, in 2010.

A central part of Cuevas’s artwork is based in textiles, underscoring queer/feminist ideologies within the long and gendered history of women’s work with fiber-based materials. These artworks have been shown across the US with exhibitions held at The Craft and Folk Art Museum in Los Angeles, Museum of the City of New York, The Leslie-Lohman Museum in New York City, and others.

Cuevas’s work also speaks to queer histories and the idea of the archive through his photo-based works centering images of sexual minorities from past into the present. This can be seen in his piece Ghosts of the Trucks of the Westside Highway, and his ongoing photo series titled Reinserted.

Several books and publications feature Cuevas’s work, such as DUETS: Ben Cuevas & Annie Sprinkle in Conversation, published by Visual AIDS; Queer Threads: Crafting, Identity, and Community, edited by John Chaich and Todd Oldham. Acclaimed as a public speaker, Cuevas has given talks at institutions including, Brown University, Ohio State University, The Museum of Sex (NYC), and the Fire Island Artist Residency.


With fiber as my fulcrum, I view knitting as a meditative practice, exploring and challenging the gendered constructs and physical limitations of craft. From the political to the metaphysical, my practice is steeped in queer feminist ideologies, with an awareness of the mind, body, and spirit. My work spans a wide range of disciplines including installation, sculpture, photography, performance, video and sound. Often incorporating several of these elements into any given piece, I make use of digital media as a means of documentation.

Identity directly influences my work. As a queer, male-bodied, HIV-positive artist, blood has a special significance to me, which my installation, Knit Veins: Fiber of Our Being, underscores. As I admire and hearken to David Wojnarowicz and Ron Athey, I want to challenge viewers’ fears of HIV and help revive the queer culture lost to AIDS and gentrification, as offered in my installation Ghosts of the Trucks of the West Side Highway.

As an alternate to my actual identity, I created a digital/corporeal alter ego, BenBot 5000, complete with a fictional career as an intergalactic recording artist from a parallel dimension (as apparent in my parodied Rolling Stone Q&A). This project enabled me to explore themes of the body, sexuality, and gender, within the ethereal landscape of the Internet.

My exploration of identity, pop, and the Internet carries through into my most recent work, The Tweetables Series: Knit Text in 140 Characters or Less, merging the contemporary language and aesthetics of social media with the anachronistic softness of knitting and yarn. Throughout its pluralities, I see my work as reflecting the condition of embodiment: exploring the intersections of the mind and body, what it means to have a body, to inhabit a body, to be a body incarnated in, and interacting with this world.




B.A. Studio Art: Mixed Media Installation & Photography, Hampshire College, Amherst, MA

2003 & 2005

Scholar of the Arts: Film/Video, California Summer School for the arts at CalArts, Valencia, CA

Solo Exhibitions & Installations


Duality #1, Knit Culture Studio, Los Angeles, CA


Transcending the Material, Knit Culture Studio, Los Angeles, CA


Healing Disparities: The Condition of Embodiment, Canal Gallery, Holyoke, MA


Media Coverage, Harold F. Johnson Library, Amherst, MA

Selected Group Exhibitions


Gather & Transform, Spring Arts Collective Gallery, Los Angeles, CA

Persons of Interest, The Bureau of General Services - Queer Division, New York, NY


Femo, Wallspace, Los Angeles, CA

Stitch Fetish, Hive Gallery, Los Angeles, CA


The Adonis Project, Human Resources, Los Angeles, CA

Body Conscious: Southern California Fiber, Craft in America Center, Los Angeles, CA

Queer Biennial I, Coagula Curatorial, Los Angeles, CA

Queer Threads, Leslie Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art, New York, NY


Mix NYC Festival, Brooklyn, NY

Fiber 2 Form, Salem Art Works, Salem, NY

Riot I, Gay Pride Festival Exhibition, Los Angeles, CA


The Queer Pile-Up, For Your Art, Los Angeles, CA

Install: WeHo (outdoor exhibition), West Hollywood, CA

Home Is Where the Needle Marks, Pop Tart Gallery, Los Angeles, CA


In-Organic, Collar Works Gallery, Troy, NY

Tasting Cultures, Latino Arts Center, Milwaukee, WI

Tompkins Projects West, Dan Graham Gallery, Los Angeles, CA

Vogue Knitting Live, New York Hilton, New York, NY


The Wassaic Project Summer Music & Art Festival, Wassaic, NY

All at Once, Canal Gallery, Holyoke, MA


Lo-Fi Arts Festival, Smoke Farm Arts Collective, Arlington, WA

Selected Performances


Jockstrap, Queer Biennial: Art Basel, Hotel Gaythering, Miami, FL

BenBot 5000: Lascivious, Akbar, Los Angeles, CA

Man’s Body / Woman’s Work, Coagula Curatorial, Los Angeles, CA


Benbot 5000: Get Money Get Paid, The Lexington, Los Angeles, CA


The Island, Robert Crown Center, Amherst, MA

Film and Video


Jockstrap (short: performance documentation, as performer, editor, producer & videographer)


Spiritual Eugenics (short, as art department, collaborative artist)


Let’s Meat (short, as writer, director, editor, producer & filmographer)

Division (short, as co-writer, director, editor, producer & filmographer)

Fat Kid (short, as writer, director, editor, producer & videographer)



Creative Capacity Fund Quick Grant


ArtSlant Showcase,


Joe Liebling Grant for Film & Video Projects


Best of the Druid Underground Film Festival

Professional Experience


Desert Knitting Guild Lecture & Workshop — Presenter & Teacher on the topic of 3D knitting

Vogue Knitting Live Lecture — Presenter on the topic of sculptural knitting


Textile Society of America Symposium — Panelist for “The Masculine Mystique: Men in Fiber Art”


The Wassaic Project Summer Artist Residency


Artist’s Assistant to Susan Robb, Seattle, WA

Artist’s Assistant to Edgar Arceneaux, Los Angeles, CA

Artist’s Assistant to Kate Rhode, Contemporary Art Center, Vilnius, Lithuania

Selected Press & Publications


The New York Times, New York, NY

Duets: Ben Cuevas & Annie Sprinkle in Conversation, a collaboration with Visual AIDS

Queer Threads: Crafting Identity & Community, edited by John Chaich & Todd Oldham


Ginza, Japan

The Advocate, New York, NY


Wire Magazine, New York, NY

Miami Herald, Miami, FL

Miami Art News, Miami, FL

ArtSlant, Los Angeles, CA

The Advocate, New York, NY


The Huffington Post, New York, NY

WeHoVille, West Hollywood, CA


LA Weekly, Los Angeles, CA

Frontiers Magazine, West Hollywood, CA


Interweave Knits, Ft. Collins, CO

Frontiers Magazine, West Hollywood, CA


Collectif Tricot, France


El Museo del Barrio, New York, NY