Benjamin Heiken

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I envisage paint as a malleable material, like mud or clay, that once dried becomes hard, yet is always ill formed and so collapses from its own weight. I find these failed clay objects (the paintings) as a metaphor for the human condition and struggle for achievement that makes us both beautiful and tragically flawed. Yet we as humans still have the desire to make clay forms regardless of their uselessness.

I am interested in the cyclical forms that repeat or reappear intuitively out of the material, changing their structure and meaning as they materialize over and over. I imagine these forms to have a desire for concreteness that won’t break down so easily. Yet as each form is composed of imperfect marks, its foundation is intrinsically flawed and structurally unsound.

In each painting, I search for an interior logic that comes from the material itself. Each mark is a kind of stuttering that wishes to exist or say something yet is a failure. Each brushstroke is like a word that wants to be fully realized yet comes out as gibberish, until something is malformed solely from the density of failed attempts and intrinsic flaws. However, that these forms exist at all should be celebrated.