Mark Moore Fine Art is proud to present "Altered States," an exhibition of paintings and mixed media drawings by interdisciplinary artist, Ben Weiner. This body of work demonstrates Weiner's adept ability to synthesize abstraction with illusionism. Paired with his conceptual interest in consumerism and mortality, Weiner's technique yields arresting compositions rife with provocative intrigue.
In this exhibition, Weiner anchors his focus on materiality with bodily references, tension, and relationships. At once interpretive and literal, cropped images of artificial consumer products – such as body wash, hair gel, moisturizer, makeup, nail polish, energy drinks, and recreational drugs – mutate from their microscopic origins to macroscopic terrains and suggestive forms. In decontextualizing these ubiquitous materials, Weiner suggests the abstract, constructed, and subjective nature of beauty – as well as its most elemental components. Weiner obfuscates the differences between beauty products, paint, and comestibles, and in turn, highlights the increasingly fluid connectivity between seemingly divergent mass-manufactured methods and goods. In a Duchampian manner, Weiner intimates the readymade qualities of perceived fabrication; be it an arresting work of art or youthful visage. His painted matter swirls, drips, and fuses into psychedelic anatomies and topographies on a monumental scale, as if memorializing the uniquely human urge to prolong our physicality, mortality, and image. Weiner further exemplifies this social compulsion through his own meticulous handicraft, as he strives to create a near-mechanically perfect image. By addressing the threat of technology to the human touch, Weiner pairs the anxiety and celebration of the post-industrial era to create works that are similarly binary.
Weiner also debuts his "Altered States Drawings" in this exhibition. The work focuses on a series of works on paper that are soaked in different substances to further his ongoing process of the synthesis of process painting and photorealism, using principles from gelatin sliver printing to record an imprint of the chemical reactions between inks and recreational drugs. As he put it:"For these new Altered State drawings, I soaked my drawings in recreational drugs and inks, creating psychedelic, prismatic patterns that occur as the black inks chemically break down into a startling array of colors. I used a different drug in each drawing (Molly, Cocaine, 5-hour energy, Vodka). Thus, each drawing is a material embodiment of mind-alteration through drug use."
Weiner (b. 1980, Burlington, VT) received his BA from Wesleyan University (CT). He also studied under Mexican muralist José Lazcarro at Universidad de las Americas (Mexico) and has worked closely with artists Jeff Koons, Kim Sooja and Amy Yoes as an assistant. He has exhibited his work widely across the United States and in Mexico with solo shows in Los Angeles, New York and Puebla, and group exhibitions in Chicago, New York, Miami, New Haven, Ridgefield, Los Angeles and Riverside. His paintings can be found in the Sammlung/Collection (Germany), the Progressive Collection (OH), The Microsoft Collection (WA), and the Frederick R. Weisman Foundation Collection (CA). The artist lives and works in New York City.