Description

Ben Reeves’s favourite subjects are inspired by scenes of daily life and represented as if seen through the lens of a camera. To create this photographic illusion in paint, Reeves typically dots his foregrounds with what appear to be raindrops splashed on the lens. And to generate tension between representation and abstraction, he zooms in on areas of past paintings. Detail – Laurel Street is part of a new series of works whose motifs are at once hyper-figurative and abstract. It is an enlarged detail of a scene set on Laurel Street, in the artist’s neighbourhood. He has framed one of the raindrops from that scene and reproduced it using thick daubs of paint and heavy brushstrokes. The painting is thus self-referential, in that the earlier work has become the subject of new exploration. The impasto lends the motif a physical presence: like a tiny lens, the droplet of water refracts the ambient light and the colours of its surroundings. M.-E. B.