Art Chowder September | October 2021 Issue No. 35 Issue 35 - Page 10

Not only is Ben ’ s art unique in that is embraces the identity of a location from a Google Maps perspective , but his approach to capturing that place is also unique and something that began for him at a very young age . “ As long as I can remember ,” Ben reflects , “( I ’ ve ) always had a fascination of place , geography , and topography . It ’ s always been the foundation of who I identified as , along with art .” He laughs , “ I had about 15 minutes of note-taking in the classroom until my notes turned into sketches .” Those doodles have come a long way and have strayed beyond tradition and practice that have been taken for granted .
For example , even as Ben began depicting place in his first pieces , he refused to present them in the expected manner , in a square or a frame . This typical way of framing one ’ s art contradicts Ben ’ s philosophy that “ Place cannot truly be contained in a single snapshot .” Many of his pieces are uniquely polygonal . If he does choose to frame a piece it will have broken edges , like a puzzle piece , inviting the viewer to contemplate more than is depicted . “ Like the places I capture , the pieces are moving , pulsing , ever-changing . The shaped edges and cutouts break up the traditional hard lines of square canvas that confine the experience , allowing the viewer to expand the painting beyond its borders with their own knowledge of the area .”
Ben recalls a time when he first overheard a group of people discussing his artwork in a local restaurant in Spokane . While