Art Brokerage: Ben Jackel American Artist: b. 1977. Ben Jackel was born 1977 in Los Angeles, CA. Jackel creates subtle activist art. According to Jackel, art needs to be socially conscious, but first and foremost, “it has to be a beautiful object.” Jackel’s monochromatic clay and wood sculptures picture realities of war, natural disaster and death. His interest in emergency equipment came in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Coinciding with this national, catastrophe was the more personal news of his father-in-law’s untimely death, inspiring his sculpture, "Fallen" (2005). The two events brought to the forefront a tragic sense of angst and loss in realms both public and private.Tuning into NPR in his garage studio, Jackel listened to a Katrina victim lamenting over her day-long mission to acquire the basic necessities of gasoline and ice. This simple statement loomed in Jackel’s mind, and it was then that utilitarian, ubiquitous objects like gas cans and fire extinguishers became strange, sturdy symbols of the fragility of life. Listings wanted.