Words: Erin Irwin
Born in Zimbabwe and educated in Adelaide and Eindoven, Netherlands, artist and designer Jonathan Ben-Tovim has settled in Melbourne after working for many years as a designer in London, UK. Sophie Gannon Gallery, Melbourne, has snapped up this international craftsman, whose practice encompasses experimental lighting and furniture.
Materials play a large role in Ben-Tovim’s approach to design, upending traditional connotations associated with mediums and materials to create pieces that are at once functional and visually striking. His work often incorporates found objects to create dialogues concerning the global economy and mass-produced goods, challenging conventional narratives.
Among many exhibitions both national and internationally, Ben-Tovim has been presented at Salon Del Mobile, Milan and Dutch Design Week (2007, 2009), Dubai Design Week (2015), and Melbourne Design Week (2017-2022). The National Gallery of Victoria holds several of his works in its permanent collection, including An ode to the airbag, which was featured in the National Gallery of Victoria Triennial 2020, as well as Off-piste bench and Crash Wall Lamps. He has also lectured at both RMIT and the University of Melbourne School of Architecture.
On top of his own artistic practice, the artist is well known for founding B-TD, a commercial furniture and lighting brand.
This article was posted 13 February 2023.
Image: the artist and Sophie Gannon Gallery, Melbourne.