Ben McLaughlin paints cinematic pictures steeped in ambiguous atmosphere and emotion. His works suggest human alienation, presenting everyday subjects dislocated through cropping and unusual viewpoints. The titles themselves, drawn from newspapers, the radio, crossword puzzles and other equally unexpected sources, confront the spectator with conundrums that deepen the sense of uncertainty. In this, the first in-depth study of the artist's work, James Hamilton examines the eclectic influences and complex icography that have shaped these critically acclaimed paintings, and identifies the alchemical wit and spontaneity that McLaughlin brings to bear on the seemingly mundane in modern life.
James Hamilton is University Curator and Honorary Reader at the University of Birmingham. An art historian, critic and authority on Turner, his books include Turner's Britain (2003) and Hughie O'Donoghue: Painting, Memory, Myth (2003), both published by Merrell.