Ben McLaughlin's paintings are, at first glance, unassuming and conventional - representations of places, some populated, some not. Some show figures in elusive surroundings, or an occasional still life. But although appearing familiar, the places are non-specific and artificial. It's unclear what the inhabitants are actually engaged in, if anything. These disconnected individuals are often on the edge of something, be it geographical or temporal: caught in some kind of Limbo. McLaughlin's imaginary worlds are pictorial compounds - potentially humorous or unsettling tangles of the once real and the imperfectly remembered, framed through their titles by the date of their manifestation and a corresponding context from that day's news.
McLaughlin's recent work revolves around a nocturnal theme. Many of the paintings are very small in scale. Their titles reflect the time - somewhere between midnight and daybreak - and the name of a late-night TV rerun or movie. The images feel like voyeuristic views of intimate moments. Painted in a style that evokes a bygone era, their ambiguous scenarios in half-light and muted tones summon fleeting memories, existential musings, and the peculiar states of mind conjured in the dark of night.
00:00 Antiques Roadshow, 2012
04:18 The Blue Planet, 2012
04:15 Inside the Actors Studio, 2012
02:43 ELO Live at Wembley, 2012
05:35 Cruise with Stelios, 2012
Classic Boxing, 2012
Fri Apr 8, 2011-Cambodian fishermen have rescued 92 tourists..., 2011
Wed Apr 6, 2011-Laurent Gbabo of Ivory Coast is negotiating a surrender..., 2011