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The Paintings of Ben Mclaughlin
Publisher: Perseus Distribution Services Published: Oct 30 2006 Pages: 160 Weight: 2.52lbs. Height: 10.50" Width: 9.75" Depth: 0.75" Language: English
Ben McLaughlin (born 1969) paints cinematic pictures steeped in ambiguous atmosphere and emotion. His works suggest human alienation, presenting everyday subjects dislocated through cropping and unusual viewpoints. The titles themselves, drawn from newspapers, the radio, crossword puzzles and other equally unexpected sources, confront the spectator with conundrums that deepen the sense of uncertainty.
In this, the first in-depth study of the artist's work, James Hamilton examines the eclectic influences and complex iconography that have shaped these critically acclaimed paintings - artistic and photographic influences that range from Sickert to Hopper and from Steichen to Stieglitz. Literature and film have an equally strong impact on McLaughlin's art, in particular the works of Graham Greene, T. S. Eliot, Alfred Hitchcock and Wong Kar-wai, as do the objets trouves of contemporary culture: the overheard conversations, half-glimpsed headlines and hotel rooms that form a backdrop to our lives. Continually drawn to the enigmatic, the understated and the detached, McLaughlin brings an alchemical wit and spontaneity to the seemingly mundane in modern life. Employing decidedly traditional techniques, and displaying an accomplished handling of paint that would have been the envy of many early nineteenth-century artists, he creates images that both charm and unsettle.