Ben Garrison is an award winning fine artist living near Lakeside, Montana. He has sold many works to discerning collectors and paints in an original style.
PHILOSOPHY OF ART
I have a desire to paint memorable images that do not tire easily. The problem with that is most people will not 'get' my work quickly, unlike kitsch. It takes time and effort. People who say they have looked at my paintings a long time really start to love them because they see something different each time. They are putting themselves into the work. It is an active, not passive engagement of the viewer. That is my intention. The human mind is wired to see patterns where none exist. People who look at my paintings long enough begin to see patterns that I have put down intentionally. They also may see things that I had not intended. That is good, too. It means they are putting themselves into the art and when that occurs, the viewer invests emotional energy into the painting. They are engaged in looking at art.
One of my main goals is to allow the viewer to provide their own meaning to what they're seeing. The universe created us and if some find it completely meaningless, then perhaps it's up to us to provide that meaning. Maybe that's why we're here...so the universe can know itself. Art and music provide a lot of meaning for me. When we can't find meaning, we often turn to destructive things such as alcohol or other harmful activities that bring about pain to ourselves and to others. Those things may provide temporary escape, but they do no not bring about any lasting meaning.
When people tell me they had to look one of my paintings for 15 minutes before they 'figured it out,' it's a high compliment. The same old clichés (kitsch) are understood instantaneously. After that, boredom sets in quickly. My paintings may confuse and irritate some people, but at least in that state they're not bored. When viewers put their own meaning into the paintings it's a phenomenon known as pareidolia. This is a valuable and relatively unexplored avenue of art.
ART AND THE MEANING OF LIFE
Nearly everything penned by man whether it be religion or philosophy can be refuted in one manner or another. Not so with great art and music. The latter two convey the meaning of life in an intangible, irrefutable manner. Someone once commented that Rachmaninoff's third piano concerto conveyed the meaning of life. Others hear it in Chopin. We can see it in art. Artists should be truth tellers who convey meaning that helps us to persevere in an unfair, unjust world filled with war and suffering. Artists and musicians play a very valuable role for mankind. — Ben Garrison, 2015