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Catalog Essay by Peter Devine

 

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After many years of thinking about what it is that I am trying to do, and writing many statements about this or that aspect of my “process”, I have lately concluded that I am nothing more or less than a painter of pictures. I have been in love with the material of oil paint, and with what it can do on the surface of its ground, ever since I first picked up a brush at age ten. I also love pictures, especially the sort that look unremarkable at first, or else merely familiar, only to reveal all sorts of surprises and contradictions over a longer acquaintance.

Is this art? It certainly is to me, but in all honesty, I can't claim to know what that word means in the broader cultural sense. I do know that a kind of artistry has gradually evolved in my hand and eye. Beyond the problem of always trying to improve that ability and to continue to find interesting subjects to bend it to, the grand philosophical questions about what it all means to society as a whole grow increasingly irrelevant to me. I just want to make the best pictures I can. When I’m gone, I hope they will remain accessible to anybody who takes the time to look at one. Whatever qualities they may hold, or lack, should be personally determined then and there, by each viewer, one at a time.

— Christopher Benson , Santa Fe, 2016