Benjamin Boss

KCAD Staff, Content Management and Scholarly Communication Librarian

A colorful painting featuring gestural marks.


"I create images based on feelings and memories. My work is expressed primarily through abstraction, landscape painting, and often somewhere in-between. When I begin a painting, I start with a feeling and the color to match. Then I apply the following strokes of color intuitively as I listen to where the painting wants to go. For me, the process is much like a dance. I use quick and active gestures, drips, and splashes of paint to reveal the process of making and the presence of paint on canvas. The paintings are typically energetic, lyrical, and expressive. I paint from a place of wonder and astonishment of this beautiful and mystifying world. My desire is for the viewer to connect with the piece through deep feelings of joy, sadness, longing, or hope.

In Duneside/At the Big Lake, I depict the natural landscape and dunes surrounding Lake Michigan. The colors of water, sand, beach grass, pines, and poplar set the scene on these two panels. I use paint to evoke memory and the feelings this place brings. And while the land serves as a reference, the work itself is abstracted and expressed through my experience. The gestural marks I make in acrylic and oil pastel celebrate not only the beauty of this place and the materials, process, and act of painting itself. Ultimately, I intend for the viewer to feel connected through their own experience and memory and share in my hope for the infinite future of this remarkable place."


Benjamin Boss is an artist living and working in Grand Rapids. He paints in a gestural, intuitive, and expressive style. His work is about color, feelings, memory, place, and desire. Of the many influences on his work are Joan Mitchell, Cy Twombly, Helen Frankenthaler, Jose Parla, and Heather Day. Benjamin is also a librarian at KCAD, where he is surrounded by thousands of art books that help inform his practice. When not painting, he enjoys spending time in his flower garden or at Lake Michigan, both of which provide inspiration for his art. His works are in private collections throughout the United States. Several pieces have been featured in Vanity Fair UK and World of Interiors.