Benjamin Arnold (b. 1983, Newcastle upon-Tyne, United Kingdom) is a British figurative painter based in the Hudson Valley, NY.
For nearly fifteen years, Benjamin has painted people; exploring his fascination with the unique characteristics of the human face, the power of image-making, and the material properties and rich history of oil paint.
Benjamin has taken a somewhat unusual journey with his art, incorporating both contemporary and traditional educations. Having started out as the only painter on a multi-disciplinary contemporary arts degree course (studying Drawing "as visual thinking" at one of Britain’s leading art schools), and entirely self-taught, he focused his energies on exploring the relevance of realist painting to the modern day, and advancing his craft.
In late 2011, after several post-graduate years painting portraits and developing his aesthetic sensibilities, Benjamin moved to Florence, Italy, to study at the Florence Academy of Art. With the assistance of multiple scholarships and bursaries, Benjamin was able to study formally for the first time the methodologies, techniques, & materials of the Old Masters. Here he spent three full years drawing and painting exclusively from-life, his attention focused on capturing the ‘visual impression’; that is, the world as it is experienced by the human eye in all its subjectivity, rather than the flattened and distorted mechanical images captured by the lens of a camera.
In late 2015 Benjamin relocated to the United States, where he has developed a more contemporary approach to representing the human form, melding his interests in naturalism and realism with the pictorial possibilities of abstraction and design. He is particularly interested in painting as a physical act, and our experience of paintings as objects as much as two-dimensional images rendered in paint.
Benjamin is a recipient of the prestigious Queen Elizabeth Scholarship Trust (QEST) scholarship, granted on behalf of the Royal Warrant Holders Association, and is currently the Community Artist-in-Residence at the Barrett Art Center in Poughkeepsie, NY; a position he has held since March 2019. He is currently working on a themed series of paintings, drawings, and prints, using the figure of the traveling musician (or troubadour) as a means to explore numerous interconnected stories and visual ideas.
Benjamin Arnold - Painting & Drawing
On View: Cunneen-Hackett Arts Center, 9 Vassar Street