Benjamin McVey

Exhibition: Jan 26 – Apr 30, 2017

What kind of work are you currently making?
I am currently exploring architectural spaces on a two-dimensional platform through works on paper and canvas, and minimizing space through pure forms and geometric and abstracted imagery. I began to push this work toward the sculptural by intervening in the surface—cutting into it and adding alternative materials to create texture and depth. Coming from a “traditional” background, I am always looking at ways of combining classical and contem-porary approaches in art, wanting to blur that division between the two schools of thought. My current body of work is a further exploration of my multidisciplinary interests in drawing, painting, sculpture, and design.

What is a typical day in your studio practice?
There is no typical day in the studio. I usually start my process by researching—reading through books and studying images, which can run the gamut from anthropology to art history to architecture. I also like to work with maquettes and sketches. Working with tangible forms helps me think through ideas in an immediate way, to get a feel for the essence of the shapes. Even when I am not in the studio, I am always working through ideas, questions, and problems. It is truly in the studio that all of those thoughts coalesce, and I find my focus.

Why are you interested in “opening” your studio?
“Open” is an attempt to demystify what happens behind the walls of the studio. It is a way of allowing an exploration into the entire creative process. The idea of “opening” my studio came about while attending a residency at the Vermont Studio Center. From the first day of the residency I decided that I would not close the door to my studio while working because I wanted to encourage, as best as I could, a communal space with my fellow residents. I wanted them to feel invited to come in and to talk to me at any time. I wanted to allow my colleagues to watch me work. This allowed for conversations and a cross-pollination of ideas, from which my work benefited. Opening my studio doors not only meant that I was opening my studio to my colleagues, but that I was opening myself up as well.

I’m activating Main Space’s transparency—literally (with the windows) and figuratively (with the method-ology). I hope to replicate and expand upon the experience of exchange, and to allow a wide range of interactions and conversations that will provide, create, or facilitate a wider set of networks within the community of San Antonio. Art is a language that unites us. By making the experience of creating art more available, I believe that the product and the dialogue it inspires will be more accessible too. Finding and fostering connections are especially important in this current political and social environment.We must think about ways of breaking down boundaries and borders, whether they are ideological or physical, and focus on our similarities through conversation, transparency, and openness.


Benjamin McVey

San Antonio, Texas, USA

Benjamin McVey was born in 1971 in Houston, TX. He received his BFA in Communication Design from Texas State University in 1995 and his MFA in Studio Art from The University of Texas at San Antonio in 2012. Previously, he studied painting and drawing in New York City at the Art Students League and National Academy School. He currently lives in San Antonio, TX where he maintains a vigorous studio practice along with teaching painting, drawing, and sculpture at The University of Texas at San Antonio. He has also taught drawing and art appreciation at Northwest Vista College and painting and drawing at the Southwest School of Art. He has exhibited extensively and has works in both private and public collections.

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