Benjamin Britton: The hope and desire forecast
More often than not, it seems to me that life calls for the senseless wonder of pursuing something as likely to fail so exquisitely as a painting might. The threshold for adventure is there, at least. The practice of painting gathers what it wants to it, and some things can't help but help themselves to painting. When it's working out, painting is a unique agreement on the circumstances of beauty and meaning which is rarely simple. It is frequently and actually messy. Painting is a way to constitute the experience of looking in an ecstatic sense by projecting one's body into a field of illusion, color, and space.
Each of the paintings in the hope and desire forecast either represents or embodies its own conditions. They contain explicit references to weather conditions like moisture, temperature, pressure, and wind speed. The conditions of making a painting through paint application are similar; moisture, temperature (as color), direction, orientation, contact, duration, and pressure. The hope and desire forecast refers to inquiring with anticipation and longing into what we are about to enter, with the knowledge that the conditions of the world and our sensations of it are ever in fluctuation. The condition of the present moment is woven out a constant shuttling back and forth through past memories and future plans or fantasies. Our desire is anticipated by the beauty that we hope to experience.
Benjamin Britton was born in Palo Alto, CA, in 1976, and raised in the Pacific Northwest. He received his BFA from the School of Visual Arts in New York City and his MFA from UCLA in 2008. His work has been shown primarily in commercial galleries and alternative spaces in New York and Los Angeles. His work is included in the West Collection and the collection of the High Museum. He was awarded the J.B. Blunk Residency by the Lucid Art Foundation in Inverness, CA and a Ballinglen Artist Fellowship residency by the Ballinglen Artist Foundation in County Mayo, Ireland. He teaches painting at the Lamar Dodd School of Art and lives in Athens, GA.