Leon Benn seems like a really fun dude. He is a New York City based painter who creates pooling, colorful works that are somewhere between bold colored nature paintings and still life jokes. His work has a foot in the sensitive, glittery lovely and two slapping hands high fiving into a cloud of LOLs.
Benn’s work focuses on texture and feeling which he achieves through colorful maximalism and great juxtaposition. They’re abstract and real works as you can see by the swirling Flower Pot With Fungi, a work found inside of a jewel toned lava lamp that has psych mushrooms growing out of it. Then there is Lazy Haiku which indeed feels like a dropped off version of the poetry form: you have knotted, gorgeous florals that feel appropriate for a nineties mattress pattern, which unfold themselves until the nonchalant, non-caring end at the hand of an outlet and a Garfield toy.
That’s the thing about Benn: his paintings are fun ways of looking at the world. His eyes must always be twinkling, refracting light into baby colors and over/undersaturated hues. Everything he does appears to be on fabric and involves multiple media which both point at his want to play and create dreams of blobbing thoughts. Even the more literal abusurdities like Abs Of Monet crash subjects, materials, and stories together.
A lot of Benn’s paintings feel like they were done as a goof, to make you smile and think and then lean in to see what else is going on in his world. Art always excels when it feels relatable, accessible, and excitable, something that warms a viewer to react. Benn does that in his manic representations. Like a non-sexualized Max Maslansky, Benn is all about the action of fun. They’re easy to fall in love with thanks to a grabbing color palette, amorphous yet physical depictions, and the occasional joke.