While most people avoid touching the scummy exhaust built up on unwashed vehicles, British artist Ben Long happily digs his hands into the mess. Unabashedly unconventional, Long utilizes rough, industrial materials to render surprisingly delicate natural beauty. For his “Great Traveling Art Exhibition,” he relentlessly wipes the grimy backs of trucks with his finger until a large-scale, realistic drawing of a horse, owl, dog or other animal emerges. What started out as a low-budget form of mark-making became a way to bring art to people who may not have access to museums and galleries.
For his “Scaffolding Sculptures” series, Long creates towering, 3d animals from construction-site materials. The artist draws his inspiration from his days working in construction as a teen-ager, but the work also brings attention to the potential to create beauty in mundane, urban environments — a rare sort of street art. Take a look at some images courtesy of Ben Long.