Ben DiNino

The Way Things Work
8.5″x5.25″x1.75″; excavated book, card stock, PVA glue; 2012

Ben DiNino
Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA


My two main methods of working are excavation and obscuring.

I have produced a series of book pieces where I’ve cut out all the extraneous text leaving only specific images exactly where they were originally located. This creates a collage that was ever-present in the book and which I just assist in revealing. The pages of the textblock are sealed shut so that only the cover opens. This offers easy storage of the pieces with the rest of your library when you are not interested in viewing them. I never know exactly how these biblio-excavations will visually culminate and it’s an exciting process to watch them divulge themselves.

Apart from these three-dimensional book collages, I also work in what I consider a more traditional collage sense. Using a variety of mostly paper-based materials I layer, eclipse, and obfuscate images in hopes of creating visually interesting situations. Much of this work has recently revolved around cutting up 4”x6” photos, many of them my own from the 80s and 90s, but some also scavenged. My attempt in making these pieces is to create something visually interesting or uncomfortable to myself. Some of this work is simply abstract, such as combining only the negative space remains left from cutting out specific imagery for other work.

I have also recently finished a new project which combined both working methods. I was given 4 typical paint-by-numbers that my grandfather painted in the early 1950s. He had passed away in 2001 and my aunt was ready to throw them out. He was a racist alcoholic and my few brief encounters with him were not positive. I chopped up these garish and boring images of landscapes and dancers in an attempt to reconfigured them into 25 mini, colourful, enigmatic relief pieces.


I was born in York, Pennsylvania, but now reside in Minneapolis, Minnesota. I attended Tyler School of Art graduating with a BFA in Sculpture and a minor in Art History (and a jaded disposition of the art world). I traveled the world living in South Korea, Chicago, Philadelphia, and Williamsport, Pennsylvania before settling down in Minnesota with my family. Over the past 2 decades, I’ve worked various jobs while constantly collecting ephemera and pursuing an assortment of creative outlets. Most of the art created over these years was given away with little to no interest in promoting my work professionally.

In 2011, I showed my work publicly for the first time since college at the Grey Gallery (now Art Haus Projects) in Williamsport. Since then, I’ve had a solo show at Boneshaker Bookstore in Minneapolis. I’m starting to feel more comfortable about showing work and am becoming more serious about getting into exhibitions. I’m still not overly enthusiastic about the art world as a whole, but I’ve come to realize that there are pockets where work can exist outside the traditional corporate art market.


(215) 558-8169
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Glimpses of Asia
10″x8″; silver mylar, collaged photos taken in Korea, Japan, and China; 2014

8″x10″; photographs collaged on paper; 2015

7″x5″; Paper, 35mm negative, collaged on cardboard; 2014

untitled #1
9″x6″; cut-up paint-by-number, glue; 2017