Born in Butte, Montana, Ben Crase lives and works in San Diego, California. Crase's figurative works depict characters and scenes reminiscent of the American west in the 19th century imbued with a sense of optimism and humour. Western trope settings are reimagined and brought into the present with playful interiors and characters in signature pink hats symbolising camaraderie, compassion and kinship.
Working primarily with oil and oil stick, Crase masters the language of colour by layering materials to create rich expressive hues. Texture and skewed compositional elements evoke an emotional response from the viewer – one that may feel vaguely familiar while firmly rooted in the past.