Art takes on a new form of precision and beauty as Benjamin Pratt fuses state-of-the-art technology with traditional canvas painting to create minimalistic art pieces.
Based in Sioux Center, Iowa, Pratt is an industrial draftsman by trade and uses AutoCAD software before transferring the designs to canvas by hand. AutoCAD is a drafting and design software which allows Pratt to create precise, minimalistic designs that aim to simplify and symbolize rather than portray reality.
Pratt received his industrial drafting degree from Western Iowa Tech Community College and a Bachelor of Arts in art from Briar Cliff University, both located in Sioux City. His work has been featured in multiple publications and galleries. Autodesk, the software developer behind
AutoCAD, recognized Pratt alongside other notable artists on their website in an article entitled, “35 under 35.” Pratt’s website said he “has formal training in both hand drafting and operating AutoCAD.
As a visual artist, Pratt uses AutoCAD as a sketchbook to draft out his technical yet minimalistic paintings. Relying on AutoCAD’s many functions designed for exactness and speed, he then takes his designs to the canvas in a ‘no-tape’ execution of hand painting, which gives his paintings a very precise yet tactile quality.
The show includes a variety of acrylic paintings on canvas, featuring various flowers and fauna placed in a glass vase. The low variety of colors, precise and simplified shapes and implied lines make his work reminiscent of Andy Warhol’s work.
My personal favorite piece from the collection is Flowers 4, which features fern leaves and two simple flowers. Pratt has an extraordinary talent for seeing the basic shapes behind reality, which is most readily seen through his depiction of the water surface in the vase. There are two crescent-shaped shadows, but the line of water is further implied by slight bends in the stems.
This small detail indicates Pratt’s high level of mastery in the arena of shapes and shadows. He did not even have to paint a line for his viewers to see it. The shadows of the fern leaves and flowers are also incredibly precise and complete the work. What I enjoy most about his flower pieces are the shadows, which are a very light grey in color, rather than stark, nearly-black greys. The shadows, painted in this way, don’t distract from the subject of the painting, but rather enhance the shapes and draw the eye upward.
Pratt has an eye for the simplification of reality to create profound art and his collection in Te Paske
Gallery is worth a visit to see the precision and beauty up close.
His portfolio and
information can be found at www.benjaminprattpainter.com. His vibrant Instagram account, @1.800.ben.pratt, features his work and photos of geometric shapes he finds in nature and day-to-day life. On this
social media platform, he takes requests and sells his art to his followers.
Pratt’s collection of work, “Ben Pratt’s Flowers,” will be on display at the Te Paske Gallery in the Korver Visual Arts Center now through Oct. 26. The public is invited to a reception at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 11.