Ben Woodward was born in West Philadelphia in 1974. He is a founding member of the artist group Space 1026, and he has shown in galleries and museums from South Philadelphia to Japan. He currently lives with his wife, Chi; daughter, Atari; and their one-eyed pug, Leroy.
The Dancing Critter series are part of The Graffiti For Five Year-Olds Project, which grew from father-daughter drawing sessions.
“I was interested in the way she interpreted my art and the process of drawing. I wanted her to be more engaged in the world around her and to know she had a place in it. We would make drawings together at home that I’d take to studio and clean up. I made prints from these and put them up around the neighborhood. The prints were placed at little kid eye level and I would wait for her to find them.”
Atari Woodward was not the only one to notice these characters. Spotting Ben’s Dancing Guys became a neighborhood ritual, enjoyed by children and adults. A friend near the corner of 4th and Brown offered Ben wall space for a mural. Here one can see a great gathering of Dancing Guys, an index of some of the many characters.