Ben Blatt at Half Gallery
Blatt’s intricate watercolor paintings focus on enclosures set into abandoned piazzas, rigorously rendered with twisting, virtuosic detail. Outcropping bell jars, fountains, terrariums, monuments, and medallions serve as incubators for lush, botanical worlds in which the artist cultivates a psycho-suggestive bounty.
Within these containers, Blatt explores notions of un/natural paradox: overturned, architectural constructions spill water on teeming plant life; leaves unfold to receive crystalline forms; water is both frozen and flowing; veins (or vines?) crawl through stone; mountain ranges plot like ant hills. Life overgrows life in an endless cycle of death and rebirth.
Blatt’s paintings make me feel like I’m feasting on the lushness of nature (I added to the experience by feasting on some chocolate as I browsed his galleries, just for extra decadence). Here are a few details not featured in the current show that I happen to adore…
This man is ridiculously talented. I truly hope he continues to gain increased presence in the physical and virtual art world.