Ben van der Wel assumes he is a member of one of several kinds of artistically inclined carbon-based species. It is not in his nature to assume, or to write about himself in the third person for that matter; he chooses his battles. The puzzle of living continually fuels his curiosity and amazement, and surfaces in his art, literary science, rock climbing and child care. He is hardly self taught.
There is only one Ben van der Wel. From our perspective, this of course applies to quite a lot of animals and even a number of plants. Come to think of it, at least a dozen rocks can be counted that are singular. The artist combines unique yet interchangeable representatives of these, looking for similarities in structure, form and direction, through fragmented contrapositions and compositions, paused and zoomed until scale and position aren’t obvious anymore, dreamlike, but focussing on available daylight.
True to his socio-geographical origin, Ben van der Wel draws with a thick silver pin. This durable technique has mostly passed into disuse in favour of its manageable successor, the disposable fossil that is the pencil. Using silverpoint’s subtle contrast and brushlike weave lines in this age is conceptual: a much needed gentle emphasis on empathy and an ode to observing quietly.benvanderwel.nl