Category: Abstract

Ben Weiner

Artist Q&A with Ben Weiner

Ben Charles Weiner lives and works in Queens, New York. Weiner studied painting under José Lazcarro Toquero at La Universidad de las Americas (Mexico), before completing his BA at Wesleyan University (CT). His work has been exhibited widely within the US and internationally, at institutions including The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, The Tarble Art Center, and The Carnegie Art Museum. Recent gallery exhibitions include “Notebook” at 56 Henry, “Dropout” at Super Dutchess, and “Gel Variations” at Mark Moore Gallery. His work is represented in various public collections, including Microsoft, Sammlung, Progressive Insurance, and The Frederick R. Weisman Collection. His work has been featured in publications including Artforum, Artnews, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, W Magazine, Interview Magazine, Artsy, and Vogue.

“Crazy Quilt”, oil on canvas, 14 x 18 in | 36 x 46 cm, 2021

Who is your favorite artist of all time?

If I had to choose one it might be Lynda Benglis. But Audrey Flack, David Alfaro Siqueiros, Jack Whitten, and Brice Marsden are all artists to whom I frequently look for answers. 

How did you become a professional artist?

I’ve been obsessed with making art for as long as I can remember and have pursued it for my entire life. When I was younger I always had notebooks filled with drawings and made comics and zines. Then in college I was studying abroad at La Universidad de las Americas in Mexico when I studied painting for the first time with Jose Lascarro Toquero, a protege of the great muralist Ruffino Tamayo. That was when I decided I wanted to be a painter. I traveled all over Mexico to seek out the work of the muralists there. Their scale, material experimentation, symbolism, and futurism inspired me to want to make … Click here to read more

Jonathan Freemantle

Artist Q&A with Jonathan Freemantle

Founded on encyclopaedic and intimate understanding of painting and art history, Freemantle’s work explores the intricate relationship between his body, time and the earth as materials and as inspiration. Spanning egg tempera, mountain rocks and ochre in his paintings, he situates the body as an organic presence at one with the landscape, at the same time as integrating the landscape physically in the human act of painting. In an age damned as Anthropocene, In his passionate and viscerally undeniable canvases, Freemantle consciously and resolutely makes the case for redemption and forgiveness of the human and as a male of the man, on the planet.

Freemantle, has been exhibiting internationally since 2007, with group and solo exhibitions in London, Cape Town, Amsterdam, Johannesburg and Edinburgh, including a major commission by The Standard Bank Gallery, Johannesburg. 

“Unknown Pleasures (VI)”, oil on linen, 40 x 48 in | 102 x 122 cm, 2021

Who is your favorite artist of all time?

That’s an impossible question! I don’t think I can answer with just one artist. At different times in my career I’ve had artist’s who have inspired me deeply. Different artists at different times. At the beginning there was Leonardo Da Vinci. We had a reproduction of his cartoon for ‘The Virgin & Child with Saint Anne and Saint John the Baptist’ (the original is at the National Gallery in London) hanging in our home in Cape Town where I grew up. My father is also an artist, he spoke about the work with such reverence and it rubbed off. 

When I finally arrived in London age 17 to study Fine Art I made a pilgrimage to see the original and it was so deeply moving. Then there is Cezanne. He was the first painter that I felt … Click here to read more

Joseph Nechvatal

Artist Q&A with Joseph Nechvatal

Joseph Nechvatal’s contemporary art practice engages in the fragile wedding of image production and image resistance. Through his version of an art-of-noise, he brings a subversive reading to the human body through computational viruses, articulating concerns regarding safety, identity and objectivity. Since 1986, Nechvatal has worked with ubiquitous electronic visual information, computers and computer-robotics. His computer-robotic assisted paintings and computer software animations are shown regularly in galleries and museums throughout the world.

“Plagued Orlando Tracking the Viral Storm”, virus-modeled artificial life acrylic paintings on canvas, 12 x 24 in | 30 x 60 cm (diptych), 2020

Who is your favorite artist of all time?

Marcel Duchamp. Because Duchamp’s entire artistic activity since the “definitive incompletion” of his masterpiece The Bride Stripped Bare by Her Bachelors, Even (La mariée mise à nu par ses célibataires, même), most often called The Large Glass (Le Grand Verre) in 1923 was an exercise in strategic invisibility, giving rise to objects and events which―because they were apparently too impermanent or unimportant or insubstantial, or because they eluded established genre conventions, or because they confused or diluted authorial identity―evaded recognition as traditional “works of art.”

How did you become a professional artist?

I went to art school, moved to New York City, and began showing my drawings in non-profit spaces during the early 1980s and, through those exhibitions, was invited to show with the commercial galleries Jack Tilton, Brooke Alexander, and Paula Cooper. Good reviews in the press helped.

What are the influences and inspirations in your work?

Dionysus, the apocalyptic, communication excess, the virus, and gender fluidity. Recently I have been inspired by the Virginia Woolf book Orlando (1928) and Antonin Artaud’s prophetic text The Theatre and the Plague, originally presented as a performance-lecture on April 6, 1933 at the Sorbonne (now an essential element … Click here to read more