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A Layered Approach

James Benjamin Franklin

August 14-November 7, 2021. 

Detroit based artist James Benjamin Franklin creates sculptural paintings that double as unique craft objects and are informed by the intersecting modalities of art and design. Using carpet remnants, bathroom mats, kitchen rags, towels and other household items, Franklin glues and adheres his materials together into plaster molded frames with rounded edges, subverting most other traditional painting and framing techniques along the way. His paintings become containers of memory blanketed in vivid color and varying textures. The built-up, layered approach to his boxed in assemblages, made from found objects, pulls poetry from the commonplace, infusing the distressed fragments of a lived life with modernist elements of cut-out collage designs and bold painterly abstraction. Expressive and multisensory, Franklin’s compositions reveal how vitality can be extracted from the mundane.