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Ben Kauffman

Mixed-media industrial collage

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art by somerville artist Ben  Kauffman titled  Northeast
Northeast Mixed media on board 24 x 24"

Artist's Statement

Twenty years ago, I’d convince myself I painted simply because if I didn’t, my head would blow up. Though I no longer believe that to be the case, painting remains both an outlet for creativity, and a necessary means of expression. I grew up in Philadelphia yet spent, and continue to spend, many summers in the woods, mountains, rivers and deserts of the U.S. Thus I’m often working with the materials of the city, now Somerville, while dreaming the colored landscapes of other places: greens and browns of northern Maine, rusted reds of South Dakota, or dusty ochres of Montana and Wyoming. I work with materials I feel some connection to. I grew to love the “hand-me-downs” received as a child, and now, be it clothes and furniture for myself and studio, or canvas, tree bark or scrap wood for my art, I like old, rough, time-worn objects. The idea is to construct “canvases” in which the placement of these objects in relation to each other creates not only a dynamic composition, but an intriguing dialog between the objects. They have stories to tell. And if I've done my job well, you can read them as I do—at an arm's length from the canvas—and piece together their puzzle for yourself.

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