Ben Orkin


Ben Orkin is a sculptor based in Cape Town, South Africa. His ceramic vessels reflect queer intimacy, oscillating between moments of nourishment and dependency, validation and resistance, love and separation. Their textured finish is evidence of the hand-builder’s careful touch, imbuing the sculptures with a sense of the tactile and, at times, the erotic.

Orkin graduated in 2020 with a BFA from Michaelis School of Fine Art in Cape Town, South Africa. Since 2019 He has held three solo exhibitions with WHATIFTHEWORLD Cape Town, namely You told me… (2019), Extra Safe (2021) and Backrooms, Bookstores, Balconies, Meatracks and Tearooms (2023). He was awarded the Simon Gerson prize in 2021. His work has been recently acquired by the A4 Foundation. In 2022 Orkin participated in the OÖ AIR artist in residence program at OÖ Landes-Kultur GmbH Museumstraße. His art work is part of the public collection OÖ Landes-Kultur GmbH, Austria.

Orkin has participated in various art fairs locally and Internationally, including Investec Cape Town Art Fair (2023), Art Joburg (2022), 1-54 London (2022), Miart Milan (2022), FNB Art Joburg (2023), NOMAD Capri 2023, and Investec Cape Town Art Fair (2023).

Selected Solo Exhibitions

2023 Backrooms, Bookstores, Balconies, Meatracks and Tearooms - WHATIFTHEWORLD, Cape Town
2021 Extra Safe - WHATIFTHEWORLD, Cape Town
2019 You told me... - WHATIFTHEWORLD, Cape Town

Selected Group Exhibitions

2023 Fullhouse, blank projects, Cape Town
Oh So Quiet - WHATIFTHEWORLD, Cape Town
2022 Seeds of the Fig - Twee Jonge Gezellen Wine Estate, Krone x WHATIFTHEWORLD, Tulbagh, South Africa
2021 RESTUDIO, Cunningham Contemporary, Johannesburg
2020 Shaping Things, SMAC Gallery, Stellenbosch
Art Rotterdam, Nuweland, The Netherlands

Art Fairs

Cape Town Art Fair 2024
Art Cologne 2023
FNB Art Joburg 2023
NOMAD Capri 2023
Cape Town Art Fair 2023
Miart 2022
1-54 London 2022
Joburg Art Fair 2022