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Fusing Light and Motion on Canvas
Interview with New York artist Ben Krell
Thomas Johansmeyer (tomj)     Print Article 
Published 2008-07-04 11:40 (KST)   
New York artist Ben Krell wants to know what's going on in your head. More than that, he wants to reproduce it on canvas, exploring in public the boundaries associated with subconscious thought.

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Mixing vibrant colors with staid blacks, grays and whites, Krell creates a universe in which boundaries are skewed and divergent ideas are homogenized to reflect the totality of the human spirit.

The process, for Krell, starts with that first look at the canvas. As he charts his thoughts, the artist explains, he grabs a brush and crafts an underlying structure to capture his sentiments. Starting with the lines that, swirling, segment the canvas with unexpected finality, Krell integrates emotion and thought through a chosen palette.

What results is a contained search, with the artwork forcing the viewer inward. The gaps between lines set boundaries, and the action created directs the gaze to the center of the piece rather than upward or outward.

The lines ultimately define the direction of the piece, according to Krell. "There's a time lapse," he says. "If I continue to lay the lines in, the emerging overlaps can change the piece entirely."

Benjamin Krell Work on Canvas
©2008 Benjamin Krell
His inspiration for this style is driven by the process of change affected by human perception. Capturing the existentialist notion, Krell believes, "People change their worlds by capturing, recording and ultimately changing what it is they're seeing."

Thus, he paints in a way that creates depth highlighted by the passing of time. The result is a four-dimensional approach that captures physical and temporal reality.

Light drives the entire visual experience in Krell's work. "Light can't be restricted," he explains, and the emergent shapes and colors on the canvas take the form of layers, shaping and bending light without actually containing it. The twists and turns thus bend sight inward, leading to introspection.

Typically the domain of scientists and philosophers, Krell has found a way to present these ideas visually, ultimately leading the discernment to each viewer's act of perception. "I am an architect of my philosophy," Krell offers.

"It pushes me to document the human experience at an unexplored level."

Krell, who has painted professionally for more than 20 years, presents his artwork as a trigger for thought. As much as each painting reflects his thoughts, he says, his intent is to help others apprehend and explore their own ideas, ideally discovering pieces of themselves that have thus far been elusive.

"I want people to look inside," he smiles. "I just provide the magnifying glass."
©2008 OhmyNews
Other articles by reporter Thomas Johansmeyer

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