Thursday, October 28, 2010

Ben Joyce Art. The view from up here.



“There is great beauty and intrigue in the layout of a city - from your everyday drive to work, to the historical creation of the streets, to your personal relationship with the town. I hope with my paintings, people will see all of these aspects.” Ben Joyce, Artist

As a last minute suggestion, I attended a "First Friday" Art showing at Barrister Winery on a cold winter night in Downtown Spokane a couple of years ago. To be honest, the draw was the wine, as we knew little about the up and coming artist, Ben Joyce. But since that spontaneous outing, I haven’t been able to forget the fascinating Art of Ben Joyce.

Topophilia: The Affective bond between people and place.
                    The love of place.

Joyce calls his latest series of work Abstract Topophilia. I just call it remarkable. This ingenious perspective of landscapes is created from a bird’s eye view. Programs like Goggle Earth allows Joyce an accessible and affordable view from above, which he then interprets in an engaging and thought provocative way. A unique connection is made when the viewer is familiar with the specific terrain, instantly putting themselves into the art. For this reason, many pieces are commissioned works of places with deep meaning to prospective owner. As if it wasn’t interesting enough, Joyce incorporates sharp edges and cutouts which expands the borders, making a rectangular confined piece of Art almost plain and ordinary in comparison.

The 30-year-old Spokane artist was born in Southern California, but landed in Spokane 10 years ago when his parents insisted he learn more about the world by attending an abroad program through Gonzaga University in Florence, Italy. For the Joyce family this is tradition. Ben is one of 8 children in an Irish Catholic household that attended the Gonzaga abroad program. In his extended family, there are more than 30 Gonzaga-in-Florence alumni.

While Ben worked on his degree in Fine Arts, he also honed his craft at Gonzaga's satellite campus in Florence. Upon returning to Spokane, he married his college sweetheart, Erin Higgins, daughter of former Spokane City Council President Rob Higgins. The Higgins family showed Ben there’s more to Spokane than he first thought. Now Joyce and his biggest fans, wife Erin and their young son call the Lilac City home. So even though Joyce is not originally from Spokane, were claiming him as a local artist.

Joyce’s love of landscape paintings and his unique vision have us thinking Ben Joyce may just be the Art world’s next big thing. Pictures do not due this intriguing art justice. To check out works on display contact the artist go to http://www.benjoyceart.com/. Ben Joyce's Abstract Topophilia is on permanent display at  Downriver Grill 3315 West Northwest Blvd. Spokane, WA 509 323 1600.


“Not only is Spokane a beautiful city, but this is a vantage point that most of us are not used to. I wanted to do something different, so in 2003 I decided to paint Spokane from a new perspective”
Ben Joyce, Artist

Photo Credits: Top: Sip
                          Center: Sip
                         Bottom: Barrister Winery
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