James Hyman Fine Art is delighted to present an exhibition of Ben Spier's recent paintings.
Ben Spiers's hyper-realist paintings are fictions based on combining a sophisticated array of Western and non-Western sources: a Japanese woodcut, Roman portrait bust or the pages of Vogue may all inform his re-imagined portraits.
The paintings of Ben Spiers inhabit a world in which the smooth aesthetic of Photoshop replaces the dislocated collage of cut-up and repainted imagery: a time in which music may be seamlessly sampled, without jerks and scratches, and an age when a fashion model is photo-shopped to improve complexion, remove wrinkles, increase curves, decrease cellulite and this is accepted, visually, as accurate, not as distortion.
Precedents for this type of painting include Francis Picabia with his engagement with kitsch, Francis Bacon with his appropriation of film and photography, John Currin's peculiar physiognomical distortion and Glenn Brown's admiration for science fiction. Yet Ben Spiers's painting has a peculiarity that is all his own. Superficially this is simply the result of his own particular tastes and the specific sources that he has appropriated, but more deeply it is to do with the way in which transfigures and transposes these various sources.