Back Burner: Paintings by Ben Bridgers
My painting practice involves time; and the realization that this curious alchemy – paint on brush, paint on canvas, paint on paint, continues to hold me, anchored to this process. In the studio where my head spins and my heart beats, I root around in ideas and images from my own experience. The themes include mind wanderings, sensations noticed, feelings remembered – transitory events that have shaken my sense of home – revealing loss, love, and obsession. My work looks to both representation and non- representation, for a middle ground that is imagined and observed, felt and touched, dripped and formed. The dark wells in my paintings are held open by the hopeful threads from painting to painting, each one revealing a new world to help make the next and so on. The process, as Philip Guston said, “…seems like an impossibility, with only a sign now and then of its own light.”
ABOUT BEN BRIDGERS
Ben Bridgers grew up in the rural farming community of Pilot, North Carolina. In 1995, Bridgers traveled abroad to begin graduate work at The University of Georgia’s campus in Cortona, Italy. He went on to earn an MFA in Painting and Drawing from the University of Georgia’s Lamar Dodd School of Art (Athens,GA) in 1999. He was an Associate Professor of Art in Painting and Drawing at the University of Redlands (Redlands, CA) before returning to North Carolina in 2012.
Bridgers has maintained an active studio practice over the past 30 years and exhibited his work in galleries and museums across the United States. His work is held in public and private collections throughout the United States, Italy, and Japan. Currently, Bridgers lives and works in Durham, NC and is the Manager of Park Collection and Exhibitions at the North Carolina Museum of Art.