"Modern Myth and Mythology" The Series

   Unique Encaustic Mixed Media, The Art Of ©Ben Fink.                    

"Modern Myth and Mythology"

“I’m an interdisciplinary artist who intertwines the realms of photography, digital manipulation, and physical painting. My creative process merges the traditional and the digital, resulting in a fusion that breathes life into static images. Central to my practice is the application of encaustic wax painting, a technique that infuses my work with a tangible, evocative texture. This tactile finish imbues each piece with a palpable sense of depth and history, a quality that connects my contemporary work with artistic practices of the past. Through my project, 'Modern Myth and Mythology,' I explore the intersection of ancient narratives and modern perceptions, challenging viewers to perceive the world through a lens steeped in rich storytelling and symbolism, unearthing the hidden layers of the human experience, revealing the timeless tales that resonate in our collective consciousness.""As an artist, I believe that art serves multiple functions, acting not only as a conduit of aesthetic expression but also as a bridge connecting us to the richness of human experience that often feels distant in our fast-paced, modern society. My work aims to unearth these layered narratives and bring them to the fore, making them accessible and relevant to our current lives. I see my role as a storyteller, spinning visual tales that capture the diverse experiences of humanity.

In a world where many individuals, particularly marginalized groups such as people of color and the LGBTQ+ community, often feel excluded from mainstream narratives, my art seeks to amplify their voices. I am committed to creating pieces that represent their experiences, their struggles, and their triumphs. Art, in my view, should be a democratic space, where every story matters and everyone sees themselves reflected. Through my work, I aspire to break down barriers, challenge preconceptions, and create a more inclusive dialogue about the human experience. I want my art to be a platform for these marginalized stories, for I believe that in their telling, we deepen our understanding of our shared humanity."

"Among my artistic influences are a blend of literary and visual sources, with a primary emphasis on mythology and folktales. These age-old stories, with their universal themes and archetypal characters, provide a rich framework upon which I construct my narratives. The tales are not just retold, but reimagined through the lens of the individuals who stand before my camera, transforming the abstract into the personal.

The process is deeply collaborative, with each model contributing to the storytelling process. Shot against a green screen, they become actors in their own mythical tales, a technique that allows me to digitally craft their surroundings into landscapes of mythical proportions. This blend of the real and the fantastical creates a surreal environment, a space where the mundane meets the magical.

Once the image is complete, the final stage of my process involves writing a short story that intertwines elements of the subject's life into a grand narrative. These stories often echo the realities of the subjects, reflecting their dreams, aspirations, and struggles. They serve as a testament to the power of personal stories, their capacity to resonate with broader themes, and the transformative potential of art. The intertwining of visual and textual narratives allows me to create a deeply immersive experience, inviting viewers to step into a world that blurs the boundaries between the real and the mythical."

"My visual influences span across centuries, drawing from the rich well of art history. I am particularly inspired by the eras from the Renaissance to the late 19th century, a period that witnessed a remarkable evolution of artistic styles and techniques. These periods inform the aesthetic and compositional choices in my work, as I endeavor to bring their timeless elegance into the digital age.

Artists like Jan van Eyck, with his meticulous attention to detail and pioneering use of oil paint, and Hieronymus Bosch, with his fantastical and symbolic narratives, have significantly influenced my artistic process. The exquisite detail of Albrecht Dürer's work, the sublime humanism of Michelangelo's sculptures and paintings, the bold use of color and contrast by Titian, and the dramatic chiaroscuro of Caravaggio - all these masters have left an indelible mark on my artistic sensibilities.

In studying and appreciating their work, I have learned to imbue my own art with a sense of narrative depth, technical precision, and an understanding of light and shadow. The influence of these artists is evident in the stylistic choices I make, from the composition of my images to the application of encaustic wax, a nod to the rich history of art that these masters have shaped. By integrating these historical influences with modern digital techniques, my art serves as a bridge between past and present, marrying the old with the new in a way that is distinctively my own."

"In my work, I also explore the often subtle and overlooked sexual undertones that permeate historical narratives and relationships. While these themes might not always be explicit in the traditional narratives and historical art, a closer examination often reveals a rich tapestry of human interactions, desires, and identities.

In my art, I strive to make these undertones more explicit, to bring these hidden-connections and emotions to the forefront. By doing so, I challenge viewers to look beyond the surface of history and conventional storytelling, to question and reevaluate the relationships and dynamics presented in classical tales. This approach helps to humanize the characters in my work, revealing their complexities, desires, and vulnerabilities.

Incorporating these subtle sexual themes also allows me to connect with contemporary audiences on a deeper level, by addressing topics that resonate with today's sensibilities and concerns. Through my exploration of these undertones, I aim to create a dialogue around the fluidity of human relationships, the multifaceted nature of desire, and the often underrepresented aspects of our shared history.

By juxtaposing the overtly mythical with the hidden sensuality, my work seeks to challenge preconceptions, stimulate conversations, and provoke thought about the intricate web of human experience. Through this approach, I invite viewers to reengage with history and mythology, seeing them not just as distant, abstract narratives, but as living stories that continue to shape our understanding of ourselves and the world around us."