Ben Sando first exhibited at Aptos Cruz in 2006, having his first solo exhibition in 2008. He is now a regular artist at Aptos Cruz Galleries. His paintings have rich surface qualities that display strong composition and considered mark making. The works are warm and inviting.
Ben seeks an implicit presence with his works. With earlier work there was a deliberate aim to not over ‘clutter’ his paintings to allow the viewer to also contemplate notions of emptiness, erasure and quiet. More recent work utilises a kind of over-abundance, becoming almost clamorous in its effect.
While the paintings remain abstract, there is a consistent probing of how we look and what an image actually is and what it does. In his early exhibitions, Sando’s paintings emphasised the material qualities of the paint and ground; images emerged from the process of painting and the gestural movements of the artist, producing organic forms whilst shunning representation. From there, Sando made a body of strikingly large paintings on paper that investigated geometric abstraction with an emphasis on ideas of repetition, erasure, signage and non-natural forms. These works had a particularly direct impact on the viewer. He continued to evolve his work, using techniques such as chance procedures and application of simple systems, resulting in paintings that were visually decentred and flickering, creating a kind of thrill or pleasant agitation in the viewer. The most recent work shows a renewed interest in deletion and replacement whilst examining the internal formal structures of imagery. These vibrant, visually tangled paintings seem to propose themselves as zones of play and wonder.
Throughout these changes in Sando’s work over the years, there is constantly an exciting and dynamic visual energy at play; the work is always bold and matter-of-fact. His paintings enliven the viewer and ask for an equal and direct exchange.