Statement and Bio
Ben Hamburger is a painter, socially engaged artist, and educator born and raised outside of Washington DC. Working within the convergence of visual art and social engagement, Hamburger creates artwork and facilitates artistic experiences with communities in the United States and around the world. The diverse range of his artistic practice is grounded in his belief in the universality of art and its potential to find meaning in the complex and rapidly evolving world we live in.
Hamburger holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Visual Arts from Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, FL and a Master of Fine Arts Degree in Community Arts from Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA). Hamburger has worked in schools, cultural institutions, and non-profit organizations in New Orleans, Louisiana; Baltimore, Maryland; Cochabamba, Bolivia; Bangkok, Thailand; and Gujarat, India amongst others. Hamburger ’s work has been exhibited internationally in numerous group and solo exhibitions and is part of the permanent collection of the City of New Orleans, Tulane Medical School and private collections around the world. In 2018, Hamburger was the recipient of an Orange County Arts Council Artist Grant and his work was awarded First Place in Orange County’s annual Plein Air Painting Event. Hamburger’s work has been featured in Indy Week, The News & Observer, Tampa Bay Times, The Baltimore Sun, local public radio station, WYPR, and Baltimore Style.
As of recently, Hamburger is based in Asheville, North Carolina where he is exploring his new cultural landscape, maintaining an avid studio practice, traveling, and teaching.
As a painter, socially engaged artist, and educator, I am interested in the potential of art to provoke critical thought and deepen inquiry into complex aspects of our world. As cultures and environments evolve, I use painting to look closer and explore nuanced moments of tension.
From landscapes, to figurative works, to depictions of current events, my paintings tackle a wide range of subject matter, each rife with thick brushstrokes and energy. I am fascinated by our ever-changing relationships with our landscapes and the intersection of contemporary culture and psychology. Often starting with a question and ending with more, my paintings offer a physical manifestation of my quest for meaning.
My socially engaged projects and teaching practice are a critical counterbalance to my personal studio practice offering an opportunity to listen, dialogue, and exchange with others.
Now, more than ever, the world seems to be in flux. The impacts of technology, urbanization, global warming, and mass migration are changing places and cultures. I hope that my work offers an opportunity for people to pause for a moment, to think, discuss, and wonder, finding some new insight or at least see a little bit of beauty in the chaos.