Benjamin Britton

Inventory | CV | Installation Images

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 New York City 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 in 2010 he was awarded a fellowship to attend the J.B. Blunk Residency by the Lucid Art Foundation. He teaches drawing and painting at the Lamar Dodd School of Art and lives and works in Athens, GA.


More often than not, it seems to me that life calls for the senseless wonder of pursuing something as likely to fail so exquisitely as a painting might. The threshold for adventure is there, at least. The practice of painting gathers what it wants to it, and some things can't help but help themselves to painting.  When it's working out, painting is a unique agreement on the circumstances of beauty and meaning which is rarely simple. It is frequently and actually messy. Painting is a way to constitute the experience of looking in an ecstatic sense by projecting one's body into a field of illusion, color, and space.

     These paintings may often appear at first to function like dense and dynamic abstract painting, but contain representations of nameable things and illusionistic spaces. I work with color, depth, illusion, and beauty to reflect and bring awareness to the mechanisms of sensation in the body, to inspire a feeling of motion, and to continually reward the investigation of pictorial space. 
     I am inspired by experiences in places where the relationship between culture and nature is marked by romantic themes such as the sublime, ruin, futility, and strong emotions such as love, yearning, and failure. I describe this relationship from the perspective of a lover enraptured with an oblivious beloved; day-dreaming, inspired to flights of fantasy and indulgent projection. As a result, the work is often celebratory, awkward, sincere, dynamic, and colorful. 
I use representational imagery in the service of structures that belong more to the realm of abstract painting, and in particular the sort of abstract painting that is concerned with inventing new kinds of spaces. The indeterminacy and the constant perceptual drift that it inspires are an allegory for negotiating the virtues and blind corners of a romantic relationship between culture and nature.

Benjamin Britton