Interview: Ben Bonart

Bright colors and vibrant paintings are getting us excited for the warm weather to come.

We are thrilled that the immensely talented painter Ben Bonart is now part of Bridgeman Studio!

As a painter with a marketing and advertising background, Ben Bonart’s work is lively and energetic. His bold color choice, his intentional, yet fun brushwork makes his paintings the perfect attention-drawing work of art.

 

From Marketing to Painting

As former marketing director, it is no suprise that Ben Bonart's work contains many graphic elements such as striking text and recognizable imagery. From depictions of the American flag, sail boat, and city skylines to his more non-objective abstraction work, Ben Bonart's pieces reflect his interest in using vivid color and design to capture the viewer's eye.

With a practice that is reminiscent of the great abstract expressionism artists, such as Jackson Pollock, Bridgeman Images is overjoyed to have the opportunity to learn more about what drives this painter to paint. 
 
SUNSET SAIL, Ben Bonart / Private Collection / Bridgeman Images

 

What is your earliest memory of an artwork and who was it by?

I was privileged to grow up in Washington, D.C. and was exposed to the most wonderful art in galleries, museums and public spaces. It was Winslow Homer’s “Breezing Up (A Fair Wind)” at the National Gallery of Art that first captured my attention as a child. I remember it because it made me feel good imagining the innocence and freedom of those young boys sailing – almost like being in the painting (even though it was 100 years earlier).

What is your favorite time of day to be in your studio?

My favorite time to paint is in the afternoon when the sun is at its highest point and brightest. However, once I begin painting, time passes so quickly I often look up and it is dark outside.

How would you sum up your practice in 3 words?

“Feel Good Art”

What did you spend your first art-sale paycheck on and how did you feel?

A Ferrari (just kidding). I can’t remember what I spent my first sale’s proceeds. I certainly can remember feeling so humbled, flattered and honored. I feel the same way today.

Your work is very vibrant and graphic. Where do you start when starting a new piece?

I love color and design, which often dictate the direction of my art. I start with an idea that inevitably takes a life of its own - a line or shape can explode into a totally enlightening visual experience.

 

LOVE, Ben Bonart / Private Collection / Bridgeman Images

 

LIGHTHOUSE, Ben Bonart / Private Collection / Bridgeman Images

 

 

Is there a friend or family member you draw on for inspiration for your work?

I truly believe my family, friends, and shared experiences over a lifetime are my inspiration.

Which other artists, dead or alive, would you choose to have dinner with?

Pablo Picasso - anyone who said “It took me four years to paint like Raphael, but a lifetime to paint like a child.” is worth dining with. Also Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec who despite obstacles created so much life and energy in his art. And of course, the Abstract Expressionists; Mark Rothko and Jackson Pollock whose boldness I admire so much. Lastly, Warhol who championed and influenced change in cultural perspectives of art and design.

What brought you to Bridgeman for licensing of your work?

Ed Whitley introduced me to Bridgman and I was impressed with the company’s reputation as well as it’s commitment to its artists.

 

See all of Ben Bonart’s images available for licensing

 

BLACK FLAG, Ben Bonart / Private Collection / Bridgeman Images
 
Get in touch with your local Bridgeman office for any image research or licensing queries:
 
UK and Rest of the World: uksales@bridgemanimages.com
North and South America: nysales@bridgemanimages.com

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