Benjamin McVey is a multidisciplinary artist focusing on the mediums of drawing, painting, and sculpture. His current work is influenced by architecture, design, and his direct surroundings exploring spaces and objects. He received his BFA from Texas State University in Communication Design and his MFA from The University of Texas at San Antonio in Studio Art. Previously, he studied painting and drawing in New York City at the Art Students League and National Academy School. Since graduate school he has taught drawing, painting, and sculpture at multiple universities and colleges along with working with local art institutions. He currently lives in San Antonio, Texas where he maintains a vigorous studio practice. He has exhibited extensively and has works in both private and public collections.
Artist residencies include Casa Lü, Mexico City, Mexico, The Studios at MASS MoCA, Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art, North Adams, MA, Vermont Studio Center, Johnson, VT , and the League Residency at Vytlacil, Sparkill, NY.
Two Glass Vessels, 2023, 18 x 18 inches, oil on linen
Four Glass Vessels VI, 2023, 16 x 16 inches, oil on linen
One Glass Vessel III, 2023, 14 x 11 inches, oil on linen
Five Glass Vessels II, 2023, 20 x 24 inches, oil on linen
One Glass Vessel II, 2023, 12 x 12 inches, oil on linen
Four Glass Vessels V, 2022, 18 x 20 inches, oil on linen
Two Glass Vessels II, 2022, 17 x 19 inches, oil on linen
Six Glass Vessels II, 2022, 21 x 23 inches, oil on linen
Three Glass Vessels II, 2022, 16 x 16 inches, oil on linen
Artist Style: Visual Art: Conceptual, Representational, Still Life
Artist Medium: Drawing Media; Oil
The vessel paintings come out of a time of personal loss, grief, and the resulting depression and anxiety. They are part of a search for a quiet space, simplicity, focus, and most of all, purpose, especially in today’s increasingly complex post-pandemic world.
For most of us, the pandemic created an enormous void in our everyday realities that led us to question our individual presents and futures, awakening a need for a more meaningful life. These paintings invite the viewer in to take a pause, meditate, and reflect. The absence of shadows is a decision to further simplify and focus on the vessels and space. Also, to avoid the shadows from becoming objects themselves.
I was drawn to the glass vessels because of their beauty and how quiet and calm they appeared to be. They sit with such intention and sureness; attributes I want in my life. I was also drawn to their fragility and emptiness, traits of being human, especially as we age.