Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Ben Grasso

Brooklyn-based Ben Grasso paints these wonderful suspended architectural structures frozen somewhere between construction and deconstruction. It’s rare that I encounter oil paintings and have a strong reaction, Grasso’s work is definitely an exception. Via his web site:

Grasso’s paintings are feats of engineering. His is an architecture of the apocalypse, but one whose seams thread shapes we can as yet not fully determine. Excitement and surprise are as much part of this wildly imagined landscape as is a more measured, even nightmarish, uncertainty. Here the whacky, the sublime, and the catastrophic converge upon us unremittingly, but not without grace.

There’s much, much more to see on his site. (via hard feelings)

Found Here:

Ben Grasso is a New York based artist who creates paintings that are absolutely beautiful and carry a strong attraction power. It is really difficult to differentiate whether they are photographed or really painted. The details in each painting is very fine and one can quickly fall in love with his creations.
The theme of the paintings are abstract but the deeper look you give to them, the more you will find them beautiful. They are truly surreal!
Well, I have become a great fan of his paintings that led me to contact him for an interview. He has been so kind to accept the offer. Catch his interview and some beautiful painting by him below:
Ben, please introduce yourself to E-junkies.
I am a painter working in Brooklyn, NY.
Your paintings look amazing!! What motivates or influences the artist within you?
If there is an artist inside me he's probably motivated by the desire to see the outside world. Is there anyone whom you idolize?
Charles Burchfield. I've loved his work forever. There was recently a fantastic show curated by Robert Gober at the Whitney museum. He's one of a small number of painters whose work really took off towards the end of his career.
When did you start painting? Do you remember your first painting?
I started drawing and painting as a kid. I remember my first painting; I think it started off as a man and a car and then turned brown. And I had a hard time deciding what to do with the oil and the turpentine and all the colors. I remember drawing with paint and the process feeling clumsy. It was really difficult and I decided to stick to drawing with pencils and sculpting things with modeling clay until I was much older. Most of your paintings have abstract theme that appear visually attractive and very realistic. How do you manage to give them so unique look?
I have no idea. I intend to make things that are personal and unique but invariably someone annoyingly says "this looks like such and such." I'm glad to hear they seem unique. Mostly I work from images I take when I'm visiting cleveland, where i grew up. A lot of the city is slowly disappearing and evolving into something else. I find this endlessly fascinating. Which is your favourite painting; a piece of your work that you will always cherish?
I don't really cherish my own work. But I remember a drawing I made of my dad when I was six and my parents kept it. I really like this drawing. What are the other things that interests you?
I'm building a bicycle frame as a hobby. I've been building and riding bikes forever. I think my bike is like a part of me or something. I anyways love fixing bikes. I've been building bikes and wheels for friends, mostly out of things other people throw away. I decided to learn how to gas weld and am in the process of putting the frame together. I love making things; its learning how to work with a new material and how to deal with having only a few tools that I really enjoy.
Many other artists would draw inspiration from you. What message do you have for them?
My favorite bit of advice came from an undergraduate teacher and of course I forgot the actual quote and only remember the message; its was something like "go through life like a duck on water; appear to glide across the surface while treading like hell underneath."
Ben, that's a wonderful advice given by you. Thanks for sparing time to us. It was a pleasure to have you with us. All the very best!
Visit Ben's website and catch up some really cool paintings. Found Here:

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