* All images used with permission. Please do not distribute without first contacting the artist.
Ben Tour’s paintings and drawings are primarily portraits, of characters real and imagined, forming a kind of visual diary of personalities that have impressed Tour, and inspired him, even in their absence, to attempt capturing the qualities of those impressions. The images are nearly always composed of a central figure occupying an indistinct ground, with passages of pristine white space offsetting densely detailed areas, keeping the eye curious. Subtle variations in color and the unexpected transitions between them give both the figures and their surroundings a haunting, indeterminate aura and rich painterly texture. Faces are modeled using dissonant pigmentation and jaunty, distorted contours; his portraiture is not realist, it is evocative. It has gravitas, wit and specificity without regard for accuracy.
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