Benjamin Fredrickson


Benjamin Fredrickson (b. Minneapolis, MN, 1980) is an American photographer whose work centers on portraiture and sub cultural taboos. He documents queer fetish communities that he is an active participant within.

Fredrickson studied at the Paris College of Art before earning a BFA from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design.

Fredrickson's work has exhibited in solo and group exhibitions at Daniel Cooney Fine Art (NYC), the Museum of Arts and Design (NYC), National Arts Club (NYC), Yale School of Art (New Haven, CT), and the Leslie-Lohman Museum (NYC).

In addition, his work has been reviewed widely including, i-D, The New Yorker and, OUT Magazine.

Fredrickson has had editorial commissions from various publications including, Apartamento, BUTT, Dazed, and Interview Magazine

Benjamin Fredrickson currently lives and works in Brooklyn, NY.


I am a portrait photographer who uses traditional analog photography processes to document contemporary queer subcultures that I am a part of. My work explores the role photography plays as an erotic act and the intimate relationship between photographer and subject. Through this approach, I seek to capture an emotionally honest and raw portrait of life within queer fetish communities today.

My interest in this work first began while I was an HIV positive sex worker documenting my immediate queer community of friends, lovers, and clients in Minneapolis.

In 2011, my photography developed a stronger focus on collaboration. I travelled to Colombia and photographed artist Juan Betancurth’s mother Nydia with various fetish objects he had made for her use.

In 2015 I was invited by Visual AIDS to create a pop-up photo studio during Folsom Street East. Using Polaroid, I photographed a diverse group of people from a variety of fetish communities. Every subsequent year I have returned to photograph the fetish community.

Most recently, I began creating work using the 19th-century technique of paper negatives.

Using a large-format 8x10 camera, I exposed photographic paper as the negative which was contact printed to create a final print. I photographed anonymous figures. This work builds from the technical approach to portraiture of nude queer bodies found within the history of male “beefcake” photography, the work of George Platt Lynes and early European painting.

This labor-intensive process refocused my interests in mastering the technical aspects of shooting portraiture and darkroom printing.

After completing this project, I was inspired by one subject’s interest in Wedgies as a fetish to research the history of the wedgie. I then discovered a whole new fetish community.

My current photo series explores the international Wedgie fetish community. The Wedgie speaks to formative childhood traumas of being bullied and humiliated and how those experiences inform our adult sexual desires. Wedgies speak to an all too common experience of trauma and shame around growing up with queer desires.

The Wedgie Series seeks to take all of that and reclaim it. As each subject gives themselves the wedgie, they reclaim the power struggle as both the dominant and submissive simultaneously. Custom contraptions are created that allow the subject or me to administer the wedgie. All of this is done with the subject’s express consent.

After the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, I worked remotely with wedgie subjects located globally via Zoom to conduct photoshoots. Unexpectedly, I discovered a new approach to collaboration.


Benjamin Fredrickson lives and works in Brooklyn, NY.


1980 born in Minneapolis, MN


2003 BFA, Minneapolis College of Art and Design

Solo Exhibitions

2019 Photographs, Daniel Cooney Fine Art, New York, NY

2016 Salon, Bureau of General Services-Queer Division, The LGBT Center, New York, NY

2016 Nydia (with Juan Betancurth), Daniel Cooney Fine Art, New York, NY

2015 Benjamin Fredrickson, Daniel Cooney Fine Art, New York, NY

Selected Group Exhibitions

2019 From the Margins, Corcoran College of the Arts and Design, Washington, D.C.

2019 PRIDE: Reflection & Celebration, National Arts Club, New York, NY

2019 Circus of Books, Fierman Gallery, New York, NY

2018 Friends of Dorothy, Mott NYC, New York, NY

2017 Magic Mirror, Daniel Cooney Fine Art, New York, NY

2017 Occupy Mana, Mana Contemporary, Jersey City, NJ

2016 Queering Space, Green Hall Gallery, Yale School of Art, New Haven, CT

2016 Scarlet Muse, Daniel Cooney Fine Art, New York, NY

2015 INTERFACE, Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art , New York, NY

2014 Ephemera as Evidence, La MaMa Galleria, New York, NY


2011 Benjamin Fredrickson, Artist, Museum of Arts and Design, New York, NY, December 8, 2011

Selected Reviews/Interviews

"The Photographer who documented his sex work and hookups through Polaroids", Sara Rosen,, January 25, 2019

"These nudes swap explicit for emotional intimacy", Ashleigh Kane,, January 26, 2016

"Breaking Silence And Invisibility Through Photography", Emily Colucci,, Feb... 1, 2015

"Benjamin Fredrickson" , Vince Aletti, The New Yorker, January 16, 2015

"Self Portraiture, sex work and finding real beauty", Lydia Morrish,, January 8, 2015

"Delayed Gratification", Lauren Elise Van, Out Magazine, June 24, 2014

"Photographer's Bold Nudes of Gay Men in Minneapolis", Bryson Rand,, October 15, 2013

Selected Publications

2019 ODDA, “Benjamin Fredrickson” ,pp. 76-81, Issue 16

2019 apartamento, “Telfar Clemens”, pp. 74-95, Issue 23

2018 Pleasure Garden, “Fetish of the Rose” ,pp.22-29, Volume 3

2018 Spunk: Art & Perspectives, Issue No. 12: Day For Night

2018 Sedition, “Stud Farms”, Volume 2

2017 Ponytale, “Susan Cianciolo”, Issue 4

2017 Gayletter, “ Folsom Street East”, Number 7

2017 Sedition, Volume 1

2016 NEWSPAPER, Vol. V, No. 1

2016 apartamento, “Klaus Biesenbach “ issue 17

2016 Gayletter, Number 5

2016 Vaczine, Number 3

2016 Secret Behavior, Issue 3: Exhibitionism

2014 PIN-UP, Issue 15, Melissa Burns

2014 apartamento, Issue 12, Scott Ewalt

2013 Capricious, Issue 14: Masculine

2013 Kink, Vol.2, No.19

2012 apartamento, Issue 10, Dis: David Toro & Solomon Chase

2012 BUTT Calendar

2012 Satanica Magazine, number 1

2012 Document Journal, Issue 1

2011 Oakazine, Number 4, Jane Forth & Corey Grant Tippin

2009 BUTT, Number 26, Polaroids


2019 From the Margins, Corcoran College of the Arts and Design, Exhibition Catalog

2018 The World of Apartamento, Abrams

2015 Fotos i Grafies per Apartamento Magazine, Cruïlla

2015 Benjamin Fredrickson, Daniel Cooney Fine Art, Exhibition Catalog

2015 INTERFACE, Leslie Lohman Museum, Exhibition Catalog

2014 Forever BUTT, Taschen

2014 NYC Makers: The MAD Biennial, Museum of Arts and Design, New York, Exhibition Catalog

2014 Ephemera as Evidence, Exhibition Catalog

Artist Lectures/Presentations

2015 School of Visual Arts, New York, NY

Commercial Clients

Calvin Klein, Inc.