By Leah Wright | Photos Courtesy Jumper Maybach
Accomplished artist Jumper Maybach’s new exhibit, The Pride Collection: INTROSPECTION, opens at the Mary Hong Gallery on July 3 and will close on July 31. Maybach, born Ben Workman, is known for a full face of clown makeup and canvases filled with vibrant color. He is the subject of his own documentary, The Jumper Maybach Story and he was recently named the Official Artist of Pride Houston 2018.
In his youth, Workman suffered bullying and harassment at the hands of his peers and behind the clown makeup, Jumper Maybach was born. Whereas Workman was a misunderstood and mostly closeted man, Maybach was the very colorful alter ego who was not afraid of being seen and heard. Maybach began to express himself through painting and discovered that Maybach is a persona completely separate from that of Workman, someone others look up to and see as a symbol of courage in the fight for equality. Maybach created his new exhibit specifically for those in the LGBT+ community who might be similarly lost and struggling.
Says Maybach, “My inspirations for creating The Pride Collection is to inspire humanity to take a moment in time and think of the past and the times we are living in today. The chaos that’s today is a culmination of humanity’s violent past. The LGBTQIA people must be PROUD of themselves first then PRIDE follows.“
One particular painting speaks to Maybach more than the others in the collection. “My painting “Be Proud #1” is my favorite because it touches the soul of so many LGBTQIA people. ‘God loves us all’ is written within the piece. The religious zealots who condemn us should take interest in that statement.”
The Mary Hong Gallery Nashville is located at 414 Union Street in downtown Nashville. They are open Tuesday-Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and can be reached at 615.423.0818.