By Angela Romeo
Being around Ben Jasper is a very Zen-like experience. The man epitomizes the soul of an artist – beauty is not a concept for him. Beauty just is and that is evident in his work.
Ben received his degree from the University of Northern Iowa in 1961. He continued his studies, finding himself in Sweden and eventually Japan. He has lived abroad. He has been a teacher. But always Ben is an artist.
On September 9, 2017, Ben Jasper will present a new series of work at my gallery, Colliding Worlds Fine Art Gallery. The exhibition features 17 paintings ranging in size from 6” x 6” to 27” x 27”.
“That I can show a body of my paintings in one designated space is wonderful,” said Ben. “All of my work is garnered from ideas in places I have seen and see. I can’t say that I am inspired but I am moved to consider ways that I can transfer what I see to paint and canvas.”
“My mind is a real thing and out of that reality new realities show themselves as a painting which is a definitive thing. What the viewer’s mind sees in any work may be something altogether different from my reality from which the painting sprang. In other words there is no need for the painting to be other than the thing it is. The painting needs no connection to the past as it has become a thing always in the present. The work stands for itself as an object of colors, tensions, shapes of confined relationships or whatever the viewer cares to provide. Any art work is always a game of participation and that is the defining reason for its existence.”
Art is truly the language of participation. “My responsibility is to share my vision. In turn, that work needs to provoke a response that is solely that of the viewer. To provoke a response, a reaction, is what gives life to a painting.”
In a world that loves labels, how does Ben see the title of each work in relation to that piece? “The title of each work does nothing more than imply a connection to the encounters I have had. Downtown LA, a Boulevard in Paris or a Canyon in Palm Springs tells you where I have been in some general way,” continues Ben. “If the title tells you everything I have seen then there is no participation by the viewer. At that point the painting has no purpose.”
For any artist it is the viewer that completes the piece. “I would like viewers to see my connection with the real world. I would hope they take away from the work a new understanding of the positive elements of their own lives. I would like those who see my paintings not to think of them as abstract but as an evolution of my encounters with the real world that l inhabit. Each painting is within itself a real thing. Each was grown from a real encounter. Each one can be seen as an interpretation of certain characteristics of what I have seen. In fact I can only paint what I see or have seen.”
For Ben, art is that and more. “Art for me is a permanent manifestation of our being in a part of a complicated world. I am one person in a very long line of artists who have gone before me and have left the legacy for all of us.”
For the next generations, the art we leave behind will help define our legacy. Ben’s contribution to that legacy? Beauty- beauty in its purest form!
Ben Jasper’s exhibition opens September 9. The opening reception is 5 pm to 8 pm. The Gallery is located at 68-895 Perez Road, I 13, Cathedral City.
For more information on Ben Jasper, visit https://www.facebook.com/ben.jasper.52
For more information on Colliding Worlds Fine Art visit www.collidingworldstv.com