Ben Tinsley - Pippin (detail), 2016

Ben Tinsley

United States 1981


Ben Tinsley
Ben Tinsley
United States
May 10, 2016

Exploring the relationship between the real and imagined spaces, Ben Tinsley creates introspective paintings that reveal past moments, announce the future and express the present. Being a realistic landscape painter at the beginning of his career, over the years he developed a distinctive style that is now closer to gestural abstraction. Using the contrasts and layered textures he strives to conceive the balance between the order and spontaneity, making the pattern of random appearances. Tinsley’s compositions are the result of the color studies and photographic references. He works in a manner where the process itself have the main role, constructing representation that might live solely in the painting.

Ben Tinsley - Nightlife, 2015 (Left) - Hangman, 2013 (Right)
Ben Tinsley – Nightlife, 2015 (Left) / Hangman, 2013 (Right)

Education and Artistic Experiments

Ben Tinsley studied at the Maryland Institute College of Art where he earned his BFA and later MFA from Indiana University. His work has been exhibited in numerous solo shows throughout the Midwest, it was a part of artistic collaborations at the Union League Club, the Chicago Cultural Center, and Art Chicago, and has also been commissioned by several corporate patrons.

Experimenting with the painted surface and creating collages, he makes highly abstract artworks with the aim of leading the viewer on a processed, optical journey to the unknown places to experience the excitement of undiscovered realms. His bright colors give an impression of a perfect calm and frozen eternity but interrupted surfaces and strong brushstrokes break the tranquility, indicating the storm.

Tinsley experiments with the painted surface

Ben Tinsley - Western Prism, 2014 (Left) - Riff Raff, 2014 (Right)
Ben Tinsley – Western Prism, 2014 (Left) / Riff Raff, 2014 (Right)

From Controlled Chaos to Perfect Calm

Through the years of artistic creation and consideration of colors, light and playfulness are always present and deeply rooted in Tinsley’s work. The idea of controlled chaos is widely used and developed in this paintings. Sutured with a rhythm that determines the direction of lines and forms, he creates random imagery that flows in unique coherent composition. Directly inspired by patterns, photographic references and color studies, Tinsley encroaches into the viewer’s sub-consciousness aiming him to perceive the moments he wanted to convey.

Ben Tinsley lives and works in Chicago.

Featured image: Ben Tinsley – Pippin (detail), 2016
All images courtesy of the artist

YearExhibition titleGallery/MuseumSolo/Group
2015Material mattersMetropolitan Capital Bank, ChicagoGroup
20142nd annual Bridgeport art competition Bridgeport Art Center, ChicagoGroup
2013FEARMaxwell Collete Gallery, ChicagoGroup
2012VisibilityGrunwald Gallery of ArtSolo
2011Devotion showBlue line space, BloomingtonGroup
2011Breaking BoundariesThe Fuller ProjectsGroup
2011Celebrating 125 years of collecting artUnion League Club, ChicagoGroup
2011Words and NumbersUnion Street Gallery, ChicagoGroup
2011Fine Art Student ShowSofa Gallery, BloomingtonGroup
2011Seemingly objectiveUnion League Club, ChicagoSolo
2010Whole 9 yardsJudith Racht Gallery, HarbertGroup
2009Dirty DozenMcCormick Gallery, ChicagoGroup
2009DeelightfulJudith Racht Gallery, HarbertGroup
2008Fresh paint McCormick Gallery, ChicagoGroup
2007Peace TowerMcCormick Gallery, ChicagoGroup
2006Layer on layer: collage show Judith Racht Gallery, HarbertGroup
2005Faces and placesJudith Racht Gallery, HarbertGroup
2004Flo showJudith Racht Gallery, HarbertGroup
2002Franz AckermanMuseum of Contemporary Art, ChicagoGroup