Benjamin Buchanan was born in New Plymouth in 1973. He is of Te Atiawa, Taranaki and Pakeha descent. He attended the Otago School of Fine Arts from 1990 – 93, graduating with a major in sculpture. He later completed a post graduate diploma in fine arts [ painting ] from Elam School of Fine Arts, Auckland University.Read More
Since graduating from Elam in 1998 Buchanan has exhibited regularly around New Zealand. This has included contributing to a number of group shows and having many solo exhibitions. These solo shows have included “Sleeping” at the Dunedin Public Art Gallery in 2009 and “Forever” at the Dowse Art Museum, Lower Hutt in 2012.
Buchanan's obsession with abstraction, pattern making, music and popular culture has seen him develop a highly idiosyncratic style and way of making art. His current practice is primarily focused on translating modernist abstraction into hyper contemporary context. His fantastic sense of colour and form see the works shift and pulsate through a myriad of colour combinations and effects creating a psychedelic and hypnotic vibe. Through his hand crafted process the hard edges of the cut vinyl initially appear as grid like perfection but on closer inspection the works slowly reveal an organic quality, warming up and creating an open ended space which responds to the viewers perceptions. Buchanan's practice swings between the intimate and the monumental, ranging from small works on paper to huge site specific installation.
Buchanan was the 2012 recipient of the WARE residency. This saw him spend 3 months at the Red Gate Gallery in Beijing where he exhibited at Beijing International Design week. Buchanan continues to explore his interest in abstraction and its possibilities. He lives and works in Wellington.
Text courtesy Hamish McKay.
Since 2007 the Asia New Zealand Foundation has run a programme of residency opportunities in Asia for emerging and mid-career New Zealand artists. An exhibition of works by artists who have benefited from these residencies will be opened at Pataka Art + Museum in early 2015 as part of the Asia New Zealand Foundation’s 20th anniversary...