Ben Birillo

Much Like Andy Warhol, Ben Birillo began his professional career as an art director at an advertising agency. During this time, Ben was an active participant in the Postwar Greenwich Village art scene. By the early 1960s, he began promoting Pop Art and the artwork of his friends and artistic colleagues. As a result, Birillo became one of the major forces behind the creation and promotion of Pop Art during the 1960s[1]. Birillo has travelled extensively throughout the world, including time exploring Japan and New Guinea. He currently lives and works at his studio in the Hudson River Valley.

Birillo’s work falls squarely within the Pop Culture vernacular. Like his contemporaries including Tom Wesselman, Claes Oldenberg, Richard Artschwager, Birillo’s artwork draws heavily on his life experiences in Post-War America. He collaborated with renowned art dealer, Leo Castelli, and was a partner at New York’s Bianchini Gallery. Birillo was also the creative force behind the lauded exhibition, The American Supermarket (1964). The groundbreaking exhibition included work by Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, Robert Watts, and Billy Apple. More than fifty years after its premier, Birillo’s innovative work still garners accolades.

Birillo’s work is found in the permanent collections of prominent art institutions such as The Museum of Modern Art, NY and the collections of prominent art world tastemakers including Andy Warhol, Leo Castelli, Paul Simon, Richard Bellamy, Ivan Karp, Walter P. Chrysler Jr., Allan Stone, and the late art historian John Rublowsky.

[1] All academic research provided herein is credited to Robyn Tisman, Contemporary Art historian and art advisor. Tisman has spent the past ten years researching Birillo and other overlooked figures in art history.