Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Convergence, by Benjamin Edwards

Benjamin Edwards is a painter grappling with the capitalist/consumerist culture related to urban/suburban sprawl. His paintings are dense, resulting from an obsessive build-up of images, forms, textures, shapes and colors lifted from the commercial milieu he sees around him. The impact is a capsizing of our senses - as if the entirety of consumer visual stimuli has been gathered into a single rectangle - Like drinking from a fire hose.

Here is a statement from one of his writings where he is reflecting on the recent downturn in the economy, as symbolized by the closing of the Circuit City stores:

"Lately it’s occurred to me that the world my paintings have been about all these years is crashing down before our very eyes. If my work was ahead of the curve over the last ten years, visualizing capitalism and consumerism on steroids, now it seems that things have passed me by. Whatever paintings I make now necessarily look back on this era that is ending rather than anticipating something to come. The world as I have always known it, one of growth and sprawl, technological acceleration and anxiety, ever-increasing complexity and capitalist frenzy driven to unseen, dizzying heights—that world has been turned on its head. When I was making Convergence, I wanted to express a feeling that energy and speed were so intense that a flurry of fragments was momentarily held aloft. Now we see that when the consumption stops, it’s all just an illusion." - Benjamin Edwards, Elegy (Nov.19, 2008)

Benjamin Edwards online

Below this image are three detail shots to give you an idea of the close up density Edwards creates...

Convergence, 2000-2001
Acrylic, texture media, foam and spray paint on canvas
97" x 145"

Convergence (detail image)

Convergence (detail image)

Convergence (detail image)

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