10 Masters of Photorealism
Series: The Gel Series presents a virtual environment that is in flux. The painting is based on an image of hair gel- a material that is physically malleable, and visually enticing, with the ability to change one’s physical appearance. In an abstract manner, the painting reflects our current global environment, subject to constant, dramatic change and rapid development- on the one hand through humanity’s ability to alter the face of the earth according to its ideas; on the other though changing environmental conditions and natural disasters. This environment in turn reflects the practice of art making, in which ideas are physically materialized though one’s engagement with a medium.
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