Benjamin L.M. of landscapes, only this description doesn’t could be considered a painter grasp the complexity of the landscapes he creates. Rather than re-create an impersonal perspective—as though anything could be known without a knower—L.M.’s painting are shot through with the warmth and intimacy of embodied sentient life. Even when his landscapes are plenum without any readily identifiable figures within them, they sinuously bend and wrap around themselves, writhing with organic life.
As suggested by his painting’s titles, it’s not unfair to call L.M.’s work visionary. One work dated from 2003, The Glorious Present, is a good example not only of how visionary themes enter into his work, but provide a glimpse into the general methodology underlying his landscape works. At first blush, it might appear that there is no one in the picture. The various marking and objects represented in the work (a rainbow, a horizon, the outlines of a city, etc.) seem entirely bereft of human life, even desolate. And yet, upon reﬂection, one realizes that these very entities are impossible without the existence of a human perspective. The phenomenal crystallization we know as a rainbow exist only for the spectrum of colors visible to the human eye; similarly, there is no actual point where earth and sky touch—this is a human construct, one with a richly symbolic meaning.
As for the outlines of a city, this also has a strictly human significance. But even when L.M. is not painting delineations of cities, his landscapes will have a kind of layered fracturedness about them, with diﬀerent areas painted in diﬀerent colors. These diﬀerentiated parts then come into a kind of anatomical harmony, as though L.M.’s landscapes were a body continuous with the body of the viewer.