Works By Ben Fink

            Unique Encaustic Mixed Media                                                                        

"Modern Day Myth and Mythology" The Series

In my photographs, I transform everyday people into characters in romantic and fantastical modern mythology. I work with models from all walks of life–from doctors to sex workers to other artists. Through extensive post-production, I put them into settings of epic proportion. These models are seen through an objectifying gaze which simultaneously casts them as hypermasculine while also allowing them to be vulnerable.

To form the backgrounds of the works, I combine fragments of paintings with my own photographs of landscapes and architectural spaces. This mix of elements creates an out-of-time effect in the works and makes the models godlike. Each image has an indeterminate narrative quality, which allows viewers to emotionally connect to the work and give it its final shape.

The work exists between painting and photography, influenced equally by artists in both disciplines. Renaissance painters like Jan van Eyck, Michelangelo, and Titian inspire the compositions and narrative, and the style is reminiscent of Baroque painters such as Johann Heinrich Schönfeld-Opferszene, Caravaggio, and Giovanni Battista Tiepolo. I weave in the romanticism of photographers like Edward Steichen and Julia Margaret Cameron as well as the hypersexual gaze of Robert Mapplethorpe.

The works, as objects, also straddle these mediums. I re-render some key compositions in oil on canvas, whereas others are encaustic photographs, meaning that the surface is treated with wax and pigment. Both of these processes heighten the depth of the images by building up the surface.