Hi, my name is Jeremy Benson. I’m an American painter in my mid-thirties from Ohio. The images on this website are my original creations. I sign the paintings with a logo rather than my name, because I feel the paintings represent an idea: to illumine the mind. Adding a name to the images would distract from this purpose, to represent the beauty and creative process of nature and humans, where by the random and the intentional work in tandem toward ever unfolding outcomes.
These images rely on the unique ability of juxtaposition to create new ideas. To illustrate this point, consider the juxtaposition of an owl and a deciduous forest. This combination represents the cycle of life, the peacefulness of unspoiled nature, the infinite state of being. But because this image makes sense it says little about the symbolic possibilities of the owl or the forest. Now conjure a new juxtaposition in your mind: an owl and a stream engine. Now the mind has to make choices, some conscious and some not, in order to create meaning. The steam engine is destructive but simultaneously progressive. A tension is forged between the two items and an opportunity for discussion is opened.
These images are texts that can be read, but easy answers are not meant to be found. In short, they are symbolic, and the viewer should bring an understanding of symbolism when attempting to read them. During this process the viewer’s sense of visual literacy will be enhanced and along with it their ability to read the non-linguistic world around them.
For me, the images are at once deeply personal as well as broadly universal. The latter because they are not autobiographical or specific to events in my life and because all things are, at a fundamental level, culturally influenced. But the former because each painting, taking approximately a year to make, involved thousands of creative decisions both big and small, central and periphery.
In each image the animal is going through a kind of transformation of spirit, learning something profoundly mysterious yet shockingly apparent about itself. Of course as the creator of the images, the animals are me, and their environments as well, but my hope is that over time, by investigating and meditating upon these images, the viewer will discover a great deal about themselves - they will become, in a new way, illumined.