Wednesday, August 29, 2007

JOpinion: Ben Tour

I have been a long time Ben Tour fan. He is a really cool artists currently in Canada with a tight, unique style all his own. Using acrylics, ink, spray paint, graphite and lettering (and really what seems to be anything that will stick to paper/canvas) he creates melancholy portraits that just draw you in and make you think. Ben Tour has this kind of raw talent that I bet people try to copy but just cant fully grasp; I can say that at least from personal experience (don't tell). One thing to note is that his pieces are pretty large, and since his subjects usually takes up most of the space, that is something to consider. Here are some of works, past and present.

This composite piece works so well together. It invokes a silent sadness (although most of his pieces does) and thoughtfulness. I love this one and something you'll notice is his use of lettering. Im not sure if it some kind of cool secret code or for obvious aesthetic reason, but its pretty neat.

This one is huge in person; something like 50x50. I wish I could post a bigger picture to feel the massiveness (is that a word?) of this piece. One thing I've always wondered about this one is if he meant for the hair to be that huge, or if he just got carried away and went it. Either way, its bold and I like it.

Hello deer! Ok, bad pun. I think this one really shows how much control Ben Tour has. What I like about him is his use of color. Its almost like an afterthought, but this one is so nicely planned and composed theres no way. Again notice the smart usage of lettering.

I don't even know. Maybe its a place where only dogs and birds can survive, but our brave hero risking it all seems content. I really wish I knew what he used in this one because it seems like watercolors and acrylic and ink and graphite and lettering all on a single, thin layer of gesso.

This is one of my favorites from Ben Tour. I mean who told him it was ok to use all these colors? Just amazing. The value he gets is just great. Plus he makes it look raw and messy with the subtle splattering.

This made me realize I believe in love at first sight. I'm not a freak who falls in loves with 2-D things, but this one is beautiful. I wonder if hes like me and hates drawing hair . . it works though. I think his shadow work in this one is great and really gives the drawing strength.

Oh man, this shit just gets me so excited. Now this old man is just amazing . .something we don't hear too much in the ageist society that we live in (but I wont go there . .for now) Just look at it!

Ok, now for his new stuff. Im really excited about the direction he's going in. Its pretty obvious that his style is more streamlined and developed (actually I shouldn't say that because it would be mean to those of you to which it isn't obvious) Anyway, this new stuff is rockin.

Although I dig his black and white stuff, there just something about his color work. It almost seems monochromatic in a way, but he uses so many shades and colors. And its not just about using them, its the appropriateness in which he uses color.

There are so many versions of this: Girl in a ponderous trance looking slightly upwards with her lips subtly apart while her hair tosses in the breeze; Ben Tours take on it is capturing. If I could afford to hang this on my wall, it would be the only thing on the wall. Not only that, it would be the only thing within three feet of the wall.

There are subtle details in Ben Tour's work that makes it super cool. This one really shows where hes headed.

A mix of old and new. I really dig how he has varying dilation in the pupils. Maybe it means a certain consciousness or awareness or something deeper/shallower. In any case, the imperfection of it all adds to the uniqueness. I also like the length in this one.

Seriously Ben Tour, you are ReDicuLous. Not sure how big this one is, but I bets its pretty big and ready to be on my wall.

Again you can see the refinement in this one. It almost looks digital. His use of (what Im assuming to be) ink in various consistencies is really cool. I think he uses the ink like water colors and builds to get the right shades. Cool technique . . I might have to steal that one.

This one get the gears spinning. This seems like a defining moment in the girls life. Maybe a new start . . or maybe a forced end? Maybe I'm reading way into it.

Well, Ben Tour is the shit and I'm glad I could review his work. His work really deserves way exposure that it gets. He is a thinker and it really comes across in what he does. I draw a lot of inspiration and motivation from him. Hopefully he makes it down to the Bay Area soon so I can see this craziness in person. You can bet there will be another JOpinion on him when that happens.

This is my newest piece: a duo titled "Distortion." It is acrylic on 12 x 18 canvas (each) Sorry, I don't know how to make it pop out as a bigger picture when you click on it, but you can see a larger version of it on my deviantart site (theres a link on the right column up top)

PS. Send me some love and write a note. It makes it worthwhile.


Brittany said...

i like the picture of the old man and the profile but a lot of his shit is so freakin cool


WHAT THE HELL?!?! THAT SECOND PICTURES IS FUCKING AMAZING!!!! LIKE WOAH! i like like love it!! i mean what the shit? its amazing. do you need a name for it i can make something up.
hey who is looking at my normandy site? well i don't really care. if they are cool and appreciate it then whatever. that is pretty cool though if people look at it and think it is cool ;)

Richmond said...

I like the top hat man with the black glass eye (at least I think it is glass) and the spacesuit man with the dog the most. All of them are pretty sweet, but those are my favorite.

You should also put larger images of "distortion" which I think should be renamed "Blue Man Group Disbands!", but to each his own. I get to see it life size every day, but others don't. Anyway, cool... BEANS!

Nooy said...

sorry, dropped off the edge of the earth for a while :) but I must say cruizing your blog is very interesting! It is nice to see the artists who inspire you (and it makes me have to look a little less hard for inspiration!) anduhhh.. wait till you do the love at first sight thing with someones hair.. you just might feel the need to draw it!