Portland-based multidisciplinary artist Benjamin Ewing embraces human nature and the beauty of mistakes within his editorial photography.
Through simple yet striking compositions Benjamin’s work explores the triggers and meanings behind emotional responses.“I’m interested in how emotions are passed down through bodies of work,” he explains. “For instance, if I’m moved emotionally by something, and then I do my best to replicate that feeling utilizing color, form, and light. That feeling then transcends the work itself and you inherently get to feel what I felt firsthand. What excites me is that often times the truth of the feeling gets warped a bit when it’s interpreted by the masses. Which in turn allows me to have a greater read on current culture and what rings true publicly. By framing my work in this context, my hope is to strengthen my voice as an artist to minimize the gap of interpretation. Feelings are the only inarguable truth.”
“I’m interested in how emotions are passed down through bodies of work”
As such, Benjamin describes himself as a meticulous over-planner — both in terms of achieving the desired image and overcoming personal obstacles, “Many artists are paralyzed by the fear of not being good enough,” Benjamin tells us. “This can be a very crippling mentality. Overcoming the idea of perfection in my own life was a liberating step for my work. Often times ‘awful’ ideas simply just haven’t been given enough time to breath. I meticulously over-plan my shoots so that once I’m on set, I have the freedom to make mistakes, to benefit from spontaneity and to create honest moments for my subjects. I’m interested in capturing the moment when people let their guard down. That being said, I think my strongest photographs are ones that I didn’t have much control over from the start.” Benjamin’s images radiate an intriguing beauty, exploring themes of structure, complacency, relativity, loss and rest, a combination that prompts the viewer to question the narrative beyond the frame of his photographs. Benjamin’s work spans editorial photography to fine art and print design. He is the Founder and Creative Director at Aesthetic, an independent design house located in Portland.
All images © Benjamin Ewing