K. Imperial Fine Art is pleased to announce its first solo exhibition of the work of Ben Skinner.
Vancouver-based artist Ben Skinner has a unique ability to transform language into art. Extrapolating words and phrases that he’s drawn to from their original context and isolating them lifts them off the paper and into visual concepts reorganizing their place in the world. Then adding-in innovate materials and processes incorporates layers to their original meanings reminding us that the visual arts is also a language. Color, form, texture, material can add to and also solely express an idea as vividly as word.
“I believe in the phonetics of materials and the grammar of space.” – Ben Skinner
In this new body of work, Skinner explores both ends of this spectrum. In one series, he has chosen to explore the semi-translucent or diaphanous qualities of silk. Using the silk as a frontal layer obscures and pulls you into another deeper layer. While at the same time allowing the artist to explore the use of surface marbling as it’s related to painting and image making. Contrasting the organic and chaotic forms in the marble with something more structured Skinner also explores grids trying to find fresh ways to distort and play with the constraints of a grid system. Influenced by perception and optical illusions throughout his work, flattened-out patterns and surface textures play a large role in this series.
In his Kiss Me Flow Chart series, he’s laid out a literal map of a very non-literal behavior. It explores imaginary scenarios in which a kiss might occur. Simultaneously romantic, cliché, nihilistic, adolescent, jaded and absurd, the flow chart is a contradiction in structure and subject matter. What should be passionate expression is absurdly broken down to a corporate chart. He’s interested in the constraint of the branching flow-chart with its hierarchy of word-phrasing while also maintaining a balance of the positive and negative, absurd and sincere, cliché and novel.
Ben Skinner grew up in a small oil town in Southern Ontario. He received his BFA from the Nova Scotia College of Art & Design and his MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. He has exhibited his work in Canada, France, Germany, and throughout the U.S. Ben lives and works in Vancouver, British Columbia.
I Will Not Be Entranced by Nostalgia will be on view October 5 – 29, 2016 with a reception for the artist Thursday, October 6th 5:30 – 7:30pm.