Twilight-lit paintings by Ben Reeves inspired by a Canadian childhood in winter

Tire Tracks, 2020 © Ben Reeves. Courtesy of Nicholas Metivier Gallery, Toronto

The culture and landscape of the West Coast of Canada have always been a powerful source of inspiration in Ben Reeves' work. The artist grew up in Lynn Valley on the North Shore of Vancouver and currently resides in Tsawwassen, a suburb outside of the city.

The paintings in his latest series, Vallery Nights, are inspired by his surroundings or memories of childhood with dream-like palettes of blues, purples, and pinks featuring characters we can barely see on the canvas. Ben's imagined scenes almost exclusively take place at twilight, a time of day when people become ambiguous silhouettes.

With his usual style of applying large mounds of paint to represent snow or rain, Ben does not attempt to disguise their material construction. Still, the resulting wintry landscapes seem to evoke happy recollections of our childhoods.

"I often confuse the space of painting with the space of the world," says Ben. "I am interested in abstraction where forms have autonomy and (on one order) are non-signifying. The way paint pushes across a surface is similar to how snow covers a street and tire tracks are like drawn lines. I find that painting echoes reality very closely in that both are a mixture of the actual and imaginary."

Valley Nights by Ben Reeves is on show at the Nicholas Metivier Gallery throughout October.

Lights, 2019 © Ben Reeves. Courtesy of Nicholas Metivier Gallery, Toronto

Lights, 2019 © Ben Reeves. Courtesy of Nicholas Metivier Gallery, Toronto

Streetlight, 2020 © Ben Reeves. Courtesy of Nicholas Metivier Gallery, Toronto

Streetlight, 2020 © Ben Reeves. Courtesy of Nicholas Metivier Gallery, Toronto

Dog Walkers, 2020 © Ben Reeves. Courtesy of Nicholas Metivier Gallery, Toronto

Dog Walkers, 2020 © Ben Reeves. Courtesy of Nicholas Metivier Gallery, Toronto

Yard, 2019 © Ben Reeves. Courtesy of Nicholas Metivier Gallery, Toronto

Yard, 2019 © Ben Reeves. Courtesy of Nicholas Metivier Gallery, Toronto

Viewpoint, 2020 © Ben Reeves. Courtesy of Nicholas Metivier Gallery, Toronto

Viewpoint, 2020 © Ben Reeves. Courtesy of Nicholas Metivier Gallery, Toronto