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As a painter, I work with material, abstraction and illusion. My process involves revealing and veiling what can be seen in a painting. I look for a moment when a painting moves easily between abstraction and representational allegory, and make that moment into the subject of the piece. My ideas for paintings come from recollection of specific events, fantasies and landscapes combined with issues of national and personal identity, mythology and the collapse of those identities and myths.

The paintings describe a romantic impulse that bends inevitably towards self-destruction. They advocate for grace within chaotic circumstances. They acknowledge their dignity of humane acts of rebellion. I see the frenetic near-confusion that occupies the pictorial space as a bedazzled destructive force representing the beautiful and troubled relationship between nature and human culture. Textile patterns and other culture-identified objects, abstracted figuration of humans and animals, and details of specific settings are the sources for much of the imagery.

Whenever possible, I want specific information about an ambiguous situation. I want beguiling force without an immediately identifiable context. I want intriguing clues with no proof. I look for elements of desire in the aesthetic propositions of form to drive the curiosity of the eye. I want images and textures to become powerful enough to take the imagination on an adventure. A narrative develops at the same time the painting asserts its own determination to have its parts named and context remain elusive.

ABOUT THE ARTIST: Benjamin Britton was born in 1976 and raised in the Pacific Northwest. He received his BFA from the School of Visual Arts in New York and his MFA from UCLA in 2008. His work has been shown in New York, Los Angeles and Washington State.


Benjamin Britton

Benjamin Britton

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