|Size:||24" x 24"|
|Medium:||Oil on Canvas|
Surface, oil on canvas, 24x24” 2016
This painting is about the space between worlds, and what is required to cross that space. Above water and under. Inside the diving helmet and out. The objects below are painted to scale. The sealed jar and the stone each have their own buoyancy (or lack of it), as well as the center object, a piece of rectangular wood found on the beach of Martha’s Vineyard which has been in the studio ever since. Painted here truthfully and representationally, the object reads somewhat strangely, crossing the line between realism and abstraction and then back again.
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Benjamin M. Johnson Benjamin M. Johnson was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and was raised in southern New Jersey. Growing up geographically between urban Philadelphia and the New Jersey Pine Barrens granted Benjamin an early appreciation for the interaction between wild places and the human element, which continues to inform his work. Benjamin studied traditional painting techniques at The University of the Arts and the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in Philadelphia. He was awarded a travel scholarship upon graduation from the Academy's Certificate Program, which led to two European study trips that greatly influenced his work and life. Seeing the paintings of late 19th century French Impressionists and the Glasgow School in person fueled his painting direction from that point on. Initially looking to the landscape as his primary subject, birds became a realm of fascination, and increasingly a focus within his work. A Fellowship with The Center for Emerging Visual Artists in Philadelphia led to a grant funded project studying birds in southeastern Arizona and southern Florida. He was so enamored with the Sonoran Desert that the trip led to Ben and his wife relocating to Tucson in 2009. Proud to now call the desert home, Benjamin lives and works in Tucson, creating works that are inspired by the natural world and our place in it.