One word that comes to mind when first observing a Ben Grasso painting: dynamic. Just about every piece of his large scale work is in motion – either being blown outward by an explosion, being blown away by a hurricane-force wind, or in many examples, moved by a mysterious energy beyond explanation. Much of his work features classic wooden buildings from the American plains – their timber frame details, long strips of siding and even surrounding foliage moving quickly in divergent directions. It’s a chaotic sight, but one filled with a surprising amount of beauty.
Perhaps what lends his work so much beauty is the unlikely clear skies and bright saturated colors. The dark weather during a hurricane or the dust of an explosion don’t lend themselves to bright, crisp details or vibrant colors. In this way Grasso’s work takes on further elements of the surreal, beyond the mysterious forces which are ripping them apart.
Grasso has two upcoming shows planned for this year; one at the Thierry Goldberg Projects in New York from June 9 – July 14, 2013, and other at the Jerome Zodo Contemporary in Milan (date TBD). You can see more of his work at bengrasso.com.