Benjamin Dray is an Australian artist whose work intricately weaves ancient Greek philosophical concepts with modern abstraction, creating a bridge between historical thought and contemporary artistic expression. His paintings, rich in symbolism and purpose, invite viewers on a journey through time and philosophy.
Benjamin Dray, an accomplished artist residing in Sydney, Australia, has honed his craft over three decades. Dray, a graduate of formal art education in Australia, has dedicated his life to painting, creating from his studio home on Scotland Island.
His latest series of paintings delves into the realm of ancient Greek philosophy, offering a poetic interpretation of the atomist cosmology, a concept pioneered by Democritus and further developed by Epicurus in the 3rd century BC. This revolutionary idea, which suggested that the universe is composed of indivisible elements called 'Atoms' rather than being divinely orchestrated, laid the groundwork for the scientific revolution and the onset of modernity. Dray's work reminds us that these philosophies form an undercurrent to our contemporary worldview, often without our realization.
For Dray, the intersection of philosophy and art is profound. He views abstraction not just as an artistic tool but as a fundamental part of human culture across all ages and societies. His paintings are more than visual compositions; they are vessels imbued with symbolism and messages, reflecting the indispensable role of abstraction in human expression. Each piece he creates is charged with purpose, bridging ancient philosophical concepts with the contemporary art world. Benjamin Dray's art invites the viewer to explore the deeper connections between our historical roots and the abstract expressions of today.
Each painting contains hundreds of hand-colored trapezoid shapes, hand-drawn with a sharp blade onto silver or gold leaf. Each colored shape can be interpreted to represent an ‘atomic’ element. On its own a block of color is insignificant but seen as part of a whole it becomes dynamic and alive reflecting on how nature works. The phenomenon of light is also important to the work. The light of the sun in a room illuminates and reflects off the paintings as they come alive and change through time.