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October 16 - 18, 2015
ARTA Gallery is pleased to present a solo exhibition by Toronto artist Benjamin Koffman, featuring an extraordinary new collection of figurative works in oil.
Drawing inspiration from the old European masters, as well as from more recent media including early 20th century ad illustration, American cinema, fashion magazines and vintage erotica, Koffman’s work straddles the boundary between the elegance of the classical world and the familiar decadence of the present. His lush palette, historic materials and complex surfaces remind us of traditions dating back to the Venetian renaissance, while his compositions often allude to themes emerging in more contemporary visual media.
“The figure to me has always been the defining subject in art, and as such it has the power to carry with it endless associations of time and place. As a figurative artist in the 21st century, I find myself inevitably torn between the traditions of the old world and the over-saturation of visual influences that abound in the present – much like the historic duality between the sacred and the profane as one might find in the allegorical works of painters like Guido Reni and Bronzino. For me, it is in the effort to reconcile these two worlds, to feel the influences of both simultaneously and in perfect balance, that I strive to give my work a sense of time and place that is recognizably and authentically my own.”