Contemporary artist Ben Olson had his opening “Blink through The Pink of Your Eyes” on Thursday, May 13th at the Ion Studio on Wooster Street.  His work has a dramatic figurative direction, which is highly emotive and passionate in color palette. A mix of downtown 20 something curators and artists were at the opening, as well as quite a few excited collectors. XXXX Magazine is looking forward to collaborating with Ben on an upcoming project for the next issue…

Ben Olson was born in Minneapolis MN.  He began his exploration of painting while studying graphic design and painting at the University of Minnesota, Duluth. That exploration turned into a passion that he has pursued since 1998.  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 is transformed with layers of colorful, dripping, textural acrylic 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.

Akin to the great classical painters, his knowledge of the human form is something few people are able to obtain in a lifetime; yet in an explosion of modernity he is able to transform these great classical forms into a juxtaposed state of the current human condition, to contain something alive in all of us today –an explosion of the emotions we all feel and only wish we could so aptly express ourselves.

The Show Blink through the Pinks of your Eyes is the artists exploration of viewing painting as a personal doorway, cracked for a brief moment but captured forever allowing the viewer to experience the full range of human emotion that happens in a millisecond and brining 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. 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 naught 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 blazing yellow.

Blink through the Pinks of your Eyes is a bold salutation to life. On the surface there is a beautiful simplicity about Ben’s 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 past/upcoming shows include 2010 Pretty Young Things – Chelsea NYC, Group Show Untitled, Tribeca NYC – Mayc’s Commissioned Windows 2009 Untitled Group Show, First Amendment Gallery, Minneapolis – BQE Open Studio, Brooklyn, NY – Buy/Collect: Arts Patronage in Minnesota, Placement Gallery, Minneapolis – 2008 Minneapolis 55408, Intermedia Arts, Minneapolis – 2007 Art Basel, Art Now Art Fair, Miami Feature in Place, Placement Gallery, Minneapolis – Spring: The color of the Sun Through the Pink of My Eyelids mplsart pop-up space, Minneapolis – 5, Gallery Co, Minneapolis – Will Work for Food, Minneapolis 55408, Intermedia Arts, Minneapolis – Solo Show, Rogue Buddha Gallery, Minneapolis

For more information please visit www.benolson.net or contact, cassandrarjones@gmail.com


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