"inside the painter's studio - painting in the abbreviated field" 2011 Oil on Canvas 45" x 56"
"the hunger artist" 2010 oil on canvas 35" x 42"
"the critique of pure reason" 2012 Oil on Canvas 35" x 42"
2010 oil on canvas 15" x 15"
2011 Charcoal on Paper 50" x 64"
Benjamin Rogers' paintings manage to be both humorous and serious at the same time. Actually they manage a lot of things. They're self-referential, inwardly focused meditations on the mundane life of the artist, and they are references to philosophical ideas and art history. They are executed in a quasi naive manner using simple lines and shapes of color, at times almost cartoon-like, and yet they are sensitively crafted paintings and carefully executed compositions. They capture something about contemporary American culture in which everything on the surface is a little tongue in cheek, a blunt joke or in affectionately poor taste, but hiding just under the surface is a well of heartfelt sincerity and self-examination. Some might call it self-indulgent navel gazing, but with the right dose of self deprecation and honesty, who cares? And with enough talent and intelligence, navel gazing can be a revelatory activity. I'll be excited to see his work progress. You can see more paintings on his website (benjaminrogersart.com) and follow along with his work, his thoughts, and the art that influences him on his blog.
The artist was recently featured on the cover (the cover!) of New American Paintings 99. Congratulations!