BEN SLEDSENS

portrait series for cyte magazine

I don’t know if being creative is the best job in the world. Painting can also be very lonely. To finish a painting and to see it exhibited is one of the best feelings there is. It feels like I created something unique and completely my own. Something that has the capability of becoming immortal.

I have a very narrative style of painting. The stories I tell have an open beginning and ending. I like it when the viewer can compose their own stories from my paintings. I also like to explore traditional subjects of paintings and translate it to my own personal visual language. I don’t believe everything has been said and done in painting. With my paintings I made a fictitious universe where elements from my personal life intertwine with fantasy and references to art history. I’m very inspired by among others Henri Matisse, Henri Rousseau and Claude Monet, but also by nature, my life, my friends, moments and images that circle around the internet.

I think I have many favourite colors. Colour is also a very important aspect of my works. The trick is how to combine them. For instance, I don’t particularly like the color purple. I wouldn’t immediately pick purple to paint, but sometimes it is exactly the right colour for the painting.

I believe canvas works the best for the stories I want to tell. The canvas offers me a kind of freedom where I can do whatever I want. The white canvas is the most difficult and confronting part of my painting process but also presents the most possibilities. There will always be the possibility to explore other materials, such as bronze, ceramics, wallpaintings, … 

Photographer & Interviewer CHRISTIAN RUESS
Artist & Model BEN SLEDSENS