The Odd Curiosity Shop

You see the storefront just down an alley off the main road through town. You hadn't noticed it before ... an odd sort of curiosity shop, perhaps? And what are all these peculiar confabulations on its dusty shelves?

In “Threnody,” a collection of sculptural works by Seattle-based artist and framer Benjamin Malay, we find moody and allusive mixed-media works that would be at home on the dusty shelves of a magical curiosity shop. His juxtapositions of found objects are playful, intriguing, and full of hidden depths.

Artist Statement:

I assemble discarded materials and found objects to make reverent three-dimensional art. Inspired by wooden sewing machine drawers, fishing tackle, vintage glass, old first-aid kits, auto repair manuals and maps, my work includes a tribute to my grandfather, an appliance repairman and tropical fish enthusiast. Peering through the blue-green slide projector lens to the fishing lure beneath, I picture him tending tanks in his backyard greenhouse Saturday afternoons.

Self-reliant creativity is my family’s legacy. In rural northeastern Washington State, my parents built a cabin with timbers salvaged from an abandoned homestead. We hauled water from a nearby creek, cooked on a wood stove and read by kerosene lantern. My father taught me to reclaim rusty nails, unbraid a rug for winter insulation, and dig a well by hand. “Threnody” is an homage to his short and complex life.

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Reader Interactions


  1. Kathy Butterfield says

    Wow Ben! I am just blown away by your singular, wonderful creativity! My highest congratulations to you. Outstanding work.
    Kathy Butterfield

  2. Lisa Valentijn says

    Amazing work from a brilliant artist! So thoughtful and meticulous, you can just feel the history and meaning within each piece.

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Benjamin Malay

Benjamin Malay

Benjamin Malay is a self-taught artist who enjoys working with a variety of media and found materials. His artwork is in private collections in Europe, Australia and the US. He is the sole proprietor of a Seattle area fine art framing business.

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