Ben Law is a British artist, living and working in London, and specialising in male figure portraits. He has been painting for over twenty years.
A client recently pointed something out to Ben that he really ought to have worked out for himself. "You think you're a portrait painter, but in fact you paint landscapes." That comment certainly says something about the nature of Ben's work. The rich warm flesh tones that are typical of these paintings - the pinks and browns and golden yellows - ripple across the muscles of the figures he paints like sun and shadow across hills and valleys.
Ben's process is a mixture of old and new technologies. Two and perhaps three identical drawings are made - one using acquarelle pencils to produce a drawing very similar to a traditional watercolour, and another using pastels or coloured pencils. These are scanned, and merged digitally. The resulting print is itself added to, with further layers of painting, scanning and drawing continuing over many versions, until the end result is reached: a multi-textured mixed media artwork. The works for sale here are all 1 of 1 prints, made digitally from these original paintings.
As a gay artist, painting male figures, Law had assumed a gay audience for his work. Life hasn't borne out the narrow assumption, and his work is finding an audience much broader than he had imagined. He's glad that he's not the only one who thinks male beauty can be as widely seen and admired as female.
Ben Law's work was recently featured in issue 65 of Blue, the world's most prestigious journal of male art and photography.