Ben’s work is based upon his relationships with his subjects. The content of his paintings is conveyed by the closeness that he shares with them and the fictional world he places them in.
The simple form of plywood and canvas are transformed with layers of colorful, dripping, textural acrylic paint that make the viewer feel the vitality of the moment in every stroke. One cannot help but imagine the brush that caressed the painting a thousand times, adding layer upon layer of paint, changing the look, the form, the situation of reality until its molded into something so beautiful the viewer is not sure weather to laugh or cry.
A common theme Ben’s work is the use of a painting as a personal doorway, cracked for a brief moment but captured forever, allowing the viewer to experience a full range of human emotion that happens in a millisecond and bring to it there own desires, biases, wants and dreams. The paintings are revealing and often personal and the viewer cannot help but to have a moving experience, a drop of the stomach, a missed, skipped heartbeat or a moment of bliss.
Through vivid colors of blazing yellow, scarlet red and lollipop pink juxtaposed with cerulean blue, prism violet, and emerald green each painting becomes a jewel in which Ben challenges the viewer to suspend their views and explore what happens between fact and fiction…to look closely and to see more, brining the sensation of closing your eyes to block the sunshine only to discover hot bright color filled with vibrant patterns.
The images serve as portraits of himself and his muses yet act as sounding boards for the viewer to place themselves, examining the threads of truth, of human nature and more often then not, the fictional life that humans surround themselves in. Each painting is created with intensity, love and compassion…labored over and intimately constructed. The layers of paint, color, texture and emotion become the facts, the facts become fiction, the fiction becomes reality, the reality becomes truth. This truth begins to unravel bit by bit, leaving the viewer suspended between ruby red and sunshine yellow.
Ben’s work is a bold salutation to life. On the surface there is a beautiful simplicity about his enquiry into the human form, which once inspected more closely, begs the viewer to feel the psychological aspect of each piece, every detail, every moment of bliss, of sadness, every tear that really wasn’t there, every shade of sky blue used to set a mood of agitation rather than a sense of calm, and then quietly but surely slip ecstatically into that shade of citron to bring the viewer back to the beautiful feeling of pure joy. The final twist of beauty is that each time the viewer comes back to a piece they leave with their own new color-drenched truth.
Ben Olson currently lives and works in the Minneapolis area with his Wife and 2 Boys.