Benjamin Britton was born in Palo Alto, CA, in 1976, and raised in the Pacific Northwest. He received his BFA from the School of Visual Arts in 1999 and his MFA from UCLA in 2008. His work has been shown primarily in commercial galleries and alternative spaces in New York and Los Angeles. His work is included in the West Collection and the collection of the High Museum. He teaches drawing and painting at the Lamar Dodd School of Art and lives and works in Athens, GA.
The paintings in Desire, broadly are representations of what it feels like to think about things. Specifically, what it feels like to think about following desire while wrapped up in the landscape. They are reflections of consciousness as a perpetual attending-to the sensed, cognitive, residual, and formative. In practice, because they are paintings the desire-to-look stands for a multitude of analogous manifestations of desirous feeling; including yearning, bedazzlement, pining, itching, fancy, and wonder. To this end Britton deploys what has become the calling card of his recent paintings; multiple views, multiple methods of paint application, an emphasis on the possibilities of the painted surface, and the use of representational imagery in the service of abstract form. The result are paintings that take advantage of shifts in velocity, humidity, pressure, and temperature to embody the sensation of moving through space down one path and up another, following a myriad of digressions and moments of beauty.
The title of the show, posed like a crossword-puzzle clue, is a prompt to contemplate the multiplicities of desire and landscape. Think of all the ways you have desired a place, all the ways you come to want to be there. The resonance of all those concurrent perspectives contained within you, even about just one place, creates a representation of the feeling of thinking about a place on the earth that is special to you.