10 Masters of Photorealism
From The Pearls Series: "My paintings of pearls and hair gel merge varied notions of art as creation with biological and mythological concepts of creation. Visually, the pearls seem to emerge from the hair gel, suggesting biological processes such as cellular division, or the primordial soup that preceded life on earth. The all-over, abstract qualities of the hair gel recall the abstract expressionists’ concepts of the sublime art object and art as a transcendent act of creation. Additionally, the pearl itself is a naturally produced object of profound beauty. I use it to symbolize my understanding of creation as a feminine power, intrinsically linked to beauty (as in Boticelli’s The Birth of Venus). Finally, the pearls are an ode to Audrey Flack, one of my early artistic influences." - Ben Weiner
Series: The Pearls Series
Signature: Signed Verso
Connecting two opposing styles—abstraction and photorealism—Ben Weiner creates hyper-detailed, lush paintings and videos of extremely magnified consumer products, including hair gel, chemical food additives, and deodorant. In his work, he presents such meticulously rendered, close-up views of his subjects that they read as pure abstractions. A through-line in Weiner’s various bodies of work is contemporary culture’s obsession with bodily enhancement through chemical products—whether by using hair products or taking illegal drugs. To create his drawings, the artist soaks monochrome drawings or to-do lists on chromatographic paper in solutions of drugs, creating colorful psychedelic washes generated by chance based on the substance’s chemical composition.
American, b. 1980, Burlington, Vermont, based in Queens, New York