“I’m interested in the way a microscopic view allows a person an intimate knowledge of the workings of a subject.”—Ben Weiner
Ben Weiner is a New York-based contemporary artist, whose work bridges the seemingly opposite styles of hyperrealism and process-based abstraction. As a free-thinking abstract artist, Weiner always challenges himself as well as his audience to adapt to new mediums and new perspectives in regards to modern consumerism.
Fascinated by the substances we put into our bodies, Weiner uses art as an extension of his curiosity and judgement to challenge what we think about generic products that we see on everyday store shelves. Ben has spoken of being greatly influenced by his parents, who were both scientists and unconventional free-thinkers (hippies). Ben’s work often depicts materials used to create illusions in art and everyday life, such as oil paint on a palette, hair gel, jewels and beeswax used in sculpture. From these photos, Weiner paints beautiful large-scale compositions in oil. Playing with the ambiguity of his paintings and choosing “incongruous but evocative titles” gives him the freedom to explore the complex relationship between our imaginations and the external cues that activate them.
Along with his paintings, Weiner also works with sculpture, video, crystal formations, and drawing/ watercolors where he combines drugs, alcohol and chemicals that we put into our bodies to create unique, glossy, gradient style pieces. “I always wanted to be an artist, and I had this scientific/materialist prototype of doing experimentation with the aim of answering big questions. Early on, I was drawn to a bunch of 60’s and 70’s theorists like Clement Greenberg, Barnett Newman, Robert Smithson and Marshall McLuhan who applied materialist concepts to art. For me, it’s an ontological pursuit—an access to existence beyond the anthropocentric.”