BENJAMIN SAPHIRO: Art & Identity
“The West was built on American steel; China, on bamboo.” - Benjamin Saphiro
My guest for Episode #004 is Benjamin Saphiro. Ben is a poet and painter from the Midlands area of Birmingham, England. He is an intuitive and bold artist, and he brings a very thoughtful, grounded perspective to the creation of his work and to his life. We talk about everything from Abraham Maslow to metaphysics to Black Sabbath. It’s a wide-ranging chat that also somehow manages to go by very fast, too.
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I first met Ben on a Beijing trip 9 months before I actually moved here. We have talked a lot before, and as a result we had a very personal, philosophical, and revealing talk here. We did this interview in person, at Ben's home, and his beautiful golden retriever Sandy kept us company, so if you hear something in the background that you can’t quite put your finger on, that’s probably her! It doesn’t interfere with the sound at all, and it made the interview feel very relaxed for us, so I hope that there will be more dogs or cats keeping me company in future episodes.
In this episode, we discuss the nature of identity and some of the ways that long-term travel and living away from your country of origin impacts your life and your work, among other things. So regardless of what YOU do for a living, or WHERE you are living, I think there’s lots to relate to. We were both in a particularly reflective mood when we recorded this, having enjoyed some drinks and a good catch-up conversation before we ever started recording, so I think that helped us to - occasionally - go deep. But it’s also very light and funny in places, and it’s an easy, fast listen, so I hope you’ll enjoy it.
Carl King (composer):