The gallery welcomes UK artist Ben Slow for a project room solo show featuring new paintings on canvas and paper.
Everybody can relate to the difficulty of balancing your personal and professional life and the pressures that arise. History tells us it is a challenge many artists confront and either overcome or succumb to. It takes massive amounts of energy and determination to execute a painting from start to finish from a creative perspective. When you mix in the demands of family, finances and life in general, the impact can be overwhelming. Conversely, it has been also been observed that creative expression can be a very cathartic and powerful outlet to work through ones issues.
“Treading A New Path” is a title symbolic of Ben’s current personal situation and gives insight into his inspiration while creating this new body of work. Over the past year Ben has finalized a divorce and confronted lingering matters in his mental health, both had great impact on him personally and professionally:
“I did not want what I was trying to convey to be overtly obvious. The friends I have painted have already seen completely different things in the work than I intended and I enjoy that. I have my own story to tell but I am not there to shove it down anybody’s throat. If people are interested than I am more than happy to talk about it from my side but at the same time I think it is just as important for the viewer to make up their own mind about what it is they see and how a particular painting makes them feel.”
A painting that represents Ben’s intentions well is the portrait on canvas titled “We’re The Lowest Of The Low, The Scum Of The F’ing Earth” – Ben appears to be laying on the floor weighed down by a large section of black paint. His head is resting on his hand, you can only see a portion of his face because dense vertical scratches cover his mouth like a mask. His facial expression reveals a hint of anticipation within the chaos – a moment of clarity as the painting begins to fade to white.