Mr. Ben McCaffery paints mirth and love and controlled folly, and it’s aimed right at your heart. He’s been doing it for years.
Artist Statement

How might you describe your art?
I wouldn’t. I don’t mind when other people do, but I always feel resistant to voicing some fleeting intention or aim that I may have entertained but which may not now even apply to the finished piece. Most of the process is intuitive and it passes without being willful or having some internal dialogue. I try and work on something until I’m pleased with it and then, if it’s any good it will resonate – describe and present itself suitably. The work itself is the intended expression and it shouldn’t need more.

What inspires you to create it?
Curiosity.

A distinctive part of your art is the materials used to create it. Others have described you as an avid upcycler. What drew you to upcycling?
I’m actually more of a finder. There are so many items to be found. I tend to be drawn to discarded or abandoned objects – you can find them on the beach, the roadside, in second-hand shops, all over the place – and when lucky or awake you may stumble across some this or that that you like that has some quality you admire, and nobody has taken charge of loving it or putting it to use. So, then it’s your obligation to preserve this treasure that may otherwise go unappreciated. It doesn’t have to have universal value, the connection will be personal. And I will keep it for a while trying to figure out where it best belongs. Some objects are perfect as they are, like a chair or a glass bottle for example, and some may have no purpose at all other than being liked by me, but usually anything found and picked up will present itself as a timely solution to some puzzle down the line, and find its way out of the studio. I like to keep the inventory liquid and manageable.

I propose creating as near to scale as possible the head on view of a Taipei city bus, with one of the main Zhongshan routes showing in the destination crawl.

My concept is simple. The presence of a bus marked by one of the well known Zhongshan routes will evoke all the images that one may take in traveling north and south up and down our feature road.

I would like the work to have a realistic feel. To create the feeling of the front of a real bus, I will build up dimensions by layering images from the far interior to the up close lower bumper with and on materials that read like a real bus. I’ll select a view particular to Zhongshan Road to be reflected on the bus window.

I also am looking at portraying the driver as a naughty child or perhaps an old woman – someone incongruous. And further to that may be an added window reflection of the bus’s true driver trying to wave down the would be appropriator.

To add to the realism I will combine real photo images within the layers that help to strengthen the illusion. Also, I will use enamel paint for the body panels of the bus.

My model bus is this one, or one that I catch in photo when seeking out the right reflections:

Red [ 糸工 ]Visual Dialogues XXVI 藝術對畫 26

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