Ben Pines explores an inner life of thought and feeling. Emotional movement and an ordered sense of calm come together in his paintings and drawings. His work includes portrait, figure, and landscape paintings in oil and acrylic, and drawings in charcoal, pastel, and pencil. In his portraits, solitary people meditate, dream, or express subtle emotion within the solidity of their form. In his figure paintings, groups of people, often in landscape settings, search for meaning in family and social relationships. Pines' simplified, abstract landscape paintings, often small and painted on site, express a feeling of being outdoors.
Pines was fortunate to have parents who were thoughtful, creative people, and who supported his interest in the arts. His mother had a master’s degree in English literature from the University of New Hampshire, and his father worked in radio and had graphic design experience, before turning to advertising copywriting to support the family’s life in a suburb of Philadelphia. Growing up he and his sister were encouraged to read, draw, and explore their imaginations. Pines studied comparative religion, art history, and philosophy at Tufts University, and painting, electronic music, and digital art at the Boston Museum School of Art, receiving a BFA and a BA with honors in 1991. Six years later he returned to Philadelphia to advance his study of painting at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, where he received a Certificate in Painting in 2002. In 2008 Pines moved to Bloomington, Indiana, to attend graduate school at Indiana University, and received his MFA in Painting in 2010. Today he lives and works in Bloomington, showing work locally. His paintings and drawings are in collections across the country.