"I try to reward the viewer if they are willing to spend time with the work—it’s kind of exactly that," Ben Tolman told Juxtapoz back in 2016. "I try to impart a certain impact for when you’re looking at it from a distance, but the meat of the work is when you actually get up close and spend some time with it. I really invest a lot of time getting into the details. I am trying to tell a story with my work, so I try hard to make the viewer want to spend time with it." With his latest show New Drawings, running at Jonathan LeVine Projects from June 23 – July 21, 2018, it's exactly that. From a distance, and up close, Tolman creates an incredible universe that demands an intense, in-depth experience from the viewer.
New Drawings by Ben Tolman features intricate works depicting multi-tiered dramas of urban and suburban life that examine the quirky truths of the complex strata of society. His densely rendered ink compositions on canvas and paper dissect patterns of human behavior and the effect constructed environments have on those who inhabit them, while also offering a wider view of the extraordinary systems that shape modern day civilization.
"... Really what I love, and why I’m willing to spend so much time doing this, is the creativity in the process," Tolman has said. "I do very little pre-planning work, and I really just sort of start somewhere and build the story as I go. I start a piece of a story, and build the next piece as I move through the image, rather than sketching the whole thing out and then rendering it."