Benjamin Gardner

Ontology and culture constitute the pillars of my research.  In a broad sense, I reflect on and investigate existence, time, memory, and human work and production.  Questions about the cosmological existence of the human race, why we produce culture, and the state of after-existence are important ones to my studio practice and reading.    

I am an artist striving to use a variety of media to create works that are hybrids of fiction and reality and that tell stories of peoples, lands, and phenomena. Recent works have focused on landscape and its relationship to folk traditions, narrative spaces, and beliefs. I see landscape and story telling as a way of advocating for the environment and new concepts of the Anthropocene and collaborative relationships with other species. While most of these landscape drawings and paintings can be seen through the lens of conventional landscape, each piece has its own complications – invasive species, human disruption, and shifting spatial understanding, for example.  

My films, Read-a-long books, paintings, and drawings function together to tell stories of impending major changes on personal and universal levels. I have difficulty comprehending the economics of The Art World and see my visual work as a vestige of systems that will be replaced. This does not diminish the importance of making art but rather reinforces my drive and desire to contribute to culture at a time when meaning is ephemeral and often trivialized.