Ben Perini – self-taught artist with an imaginative vision.
Born in Brooklyn, my aesthetic was shaped early on by the great museums of New York City. My artistic vision continued to expand through the rigor of my thirty-plus year career as a professional illustrator, as I engaged in the practice of creating art everyday. Now I bring all of this draftsman’s skill, experience, and life to my art.
My art is focused on portraits, always fictional, presented as narrative visual poetry—provoking layers of environmental, political, and cultural themes. The work—charcoal and white chalk on Arches 300 lb watercolor paper—is bold to capture attention, while intricate when inspected up close. The mark-making techniques remain the foundation of my visual language, regardless of what is depicted—exploring the power of both the artist’s hand and the choice of tools. Working in charcoal on paper, usually at a large scale, gives me the satisfaction of the full range of tones. As a visual artist I’m investing time in my craft to create a space for the viewer to be drawn in to an experience—to give them something to think about, and if successful, to bring their own story to the art.
The fictional portraits begin as sketches from found images of various sources. As the sketches develop, other thematic elements are woven in. The process takes many forms at this stage—inventing, implying, shifting between the real and the imaginary until uniting them as one and the same. In the final fictional portraits, the artist has balanced layers of expressive marks and exaggerated imagery, all implying a narrative and a sense of movement – and energy potential.