Blinded By The Lights
Benjamin Werner: Blinded by the Lights Pt1.
The bright lights of the city are a recurring metaphor representing the seduction of the ‘big smoke’, with its promise of fame, fortune and endless possibilities. Indeed the city at night, seen from a high vantage point like a lookout, appears almost magical. We can imagine the lives of those living amongst the beckoning lights and dream about who we could become and what the city has to offer us. Sometimes it’s more about the visual experience of watching the lights dance across our field of vision, forming a blanket of light circles that envelop us and wash away the stresses of everyday life. Benjamin Werner’s latest works draw on these experiences as their starting points, but push them visually to explore perception, seduction and music in a search for the sublime in contemporary life. The night time setting of Werner’s works sees globes of light pulse across the surface, but the rest of suburbia remains unseen, rendered as a deep bluish black of possibilities…(Simone Oriti)
Benjamin Werner: Blinded by the Lights Pt2.
Where once the locations in Werner’s paintings were clear, this new body of work sheds the referent to engage more purely with colour, composition and sensory experience. Photographs and sketches taken from various cities initially inspire Werner’s circles of light, but during the creative process the artist becomes a composer, directing the circles like musical notes to create symphonies of colour. Many artists have explored correlations between colour and music over the past one hundred years. There were those who tried to capture the emotional intensity of music through colour, some who painted in response to specific musical compositions, and others, who created structured, mathematical relationships between the musical scale and the colour wheel resulting in colour organs that projected lights as notes were played. Werner’s works combine a number of these approaches. His soft focus circles are partly inspired by bokeh in music video clips…(Simone Oriti)
Benjamin Werner: Blinded by the Lights Pt3.
If Werner’s paintings read as jazz or classical music, his latest works with LEDs are their dance music cousins with their intense colours threatening to overwhelm our senses. The artist refers to the lighting works as ‘neon-noir’, a term that describes the combination of hyper coloured lights and dark scenes, but also captures the metaphorical conflict at play between the bright, promising lights, and the sinister realities that lurk in the shadows. There is also a strong sense of movement and energy in the lighting works that suggests the pulse of the city and its inhabitants high on life. While this is also present in Werner’s paintings, they read more as meditations, where the city has been frozen in time, the artist capturing the aspiration of a place. In this way, Werner’s works are as much about stillness and being in the moment, as they are about the pace of the bustling city.The works in this exhibition may take their starting points from everyday life, but through the…(Simone Oriti)