Ondrej Benes

Ondrej Benes
onbenes@gmail.com



Exercise bike, 2011
acrylics on canvas
100 x 150 cm

Buggy, 2011
acrylics on canvas
100 x 150 cm

Roof, 2012
acrylics on canvas
304 x 214 cm

Untitled, 2012
acrylics on canvas
150 x 190 cm



Last year I have found an old rusty red bicycle left on the terrace of our building. I felt its loneliness; it was dirty, had flat tires and no breaks. I painted it so that it occupies or even dominates the space on the canvas. I had the painting’s strength and intensity on my mind, rather than its exact precision. Acrylics helped to create a real-life (perhaps a bit melancholic) atmosphere. Following on this, I almost frantically painted a whole series of objects with wheels. I bought an old exercise bike from the 80’s on eBay, a used wheelchair on Gumtree; friends donated a buggy they were not using anymore. I always met the person the object belonged to and I tried to capture an impression of human absence in the paintings.
It is important for my work to use real and carefully selected models (whether they are things or people) as opposed to photography, so I can truly connect with the object.
Another donated object determined my next paintings. I had been painting people for a few months, but was often stuck on details or redoing the same part over and over. Then someone has brought me two large mirrors, which gave me the opportunity to paint myself without being dependent on a model. In one of the paintings my face is reflected three times. Somehow it turned out that in the most far-away reflection my face looks very young. As if the mirror reflected not only a certain point in space, but also in time. It reminds me of the film “The Mirror” by Andrei Tarkovsky. I continue to capture the illusion of space as well as time in my paintings.
I have also started to paint the surroundings that my objects or models are in, e.g. the roof of the building viewed from inside. It adds logically to the previous work and allows me to create a similar atmosphere, while this time focusing on space rather than a particular object.

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• Life Drawing Lessons (2003-2009) Intense life-drawing training at Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design (AAD) in Prague, lead by Boris Jirků.
• Visual Arts (2008-2009) Institute of Art and Design at University of Western Bohemia

Studied life drawing for about 7 years, then moved on to painting (last 3-4 years). Using acrylics on canvas.

• Figurama 09 (2009) An international life drawing exhibition organized by AAD, Prague
• Figurama 08 (2008) An international life drawing exhibition organized by AAD, Prague
• European Railway Art Exhibition (2007), Paris, France