As part of an ongoing series of artist profiles, First Friday Scranton proudly presents Ben Jackson, one of the many artists represented at First Friday’s most recent annual art auction:
Art can be viewed as inaccessible at times, a confusing, jumbled collection of unusual forms. What is it? How do you view it? How do you interpret it? How does it relate to you, your environment, or society? Sometimes the best question to ask is simply why. Ben Jackson seems comfortable in this position as an artist; asking the question why.
Much of his work is a journey of existentialism and self-exploration. Many an artist has been impelled by a sense of zeal that drives their work. A prime example being pre-renaissance artists who upon the discovery of mathematics and grid-like formations explored the foundations of perspective and the translation of three dimensions into a two dimensional space. Another being how artists used Freud’s idea of the soul or metaphysical universe to create imaginative landscapes, creatures, and dream-like spaces. Both allowed the artist to connect the abstract to reality, providing a way use metaphors as links to an inner reality. It’s at this junction of real and un-real that Ben Jackson creates his work:
“My creative process is hardly a process at all. Whether I am hiking in the woods, laying in bed about to fall asleep or reading a book, an idea will just work its way into my brain. I will then immediately jump up grab my sketch book or whatever else is around, and just very roughly sketch out the idea whether it is in words or picture form, anything just to remind myself of the feeling I got when I had the idea. These sketches might not be revisited for months, years or ever, on the other hand sometimes I will feel so strongly about an idea, I will grab a canvas and begin immediately.”
Raised in Lake Winola, Pennsylvania, his passion for art began at a very young age, drawing and painting on anything and everything he could get his hands on. He took a few drawing classes at Keystone College, but maintains his stance as a self taught painter, learning something new with each piece. In his artwork he enjoys painting and drawing portraits but his true passion is painting surrealistic images he creates from his imagination. “Every new painting or drawing I begin, I am always trying new techniques, some of them work out for me, others leave me frustrated, but I am always learning.”
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