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ben Hotchkiss About

My work has been exhibited at the 2008 and 2009 Outsiders Art Fair show and The Others Show at Pier #92 in N.Y.C. , and most recently at the Judy Saslow Gallery in Chicago. Both my watercolors and oils are availible at the Ricco Maresca gallery in Chelsea NYC. My work has been in galleries in Manhattan, Chicago, Connecticut , Pennsylvania , and Massachusettes , as well as some well known Outsider Art websites. In the beginning of 2009, one of my paintings was featured on the cover of the Boston based magazine Non Profit Quarterly which has international distribution. My work was reviewed favorably by noted New York Times critic Roberta Smith in her review of the 2009 Outsider Art Fair. I have been busy producing new larger 24x30 and 36x48 exquisitely detailed paintings that will be posted soon. Please contact for more information. Email: 1 comment


I was born at ST. Vincent`s Hospital in Greenwich Village to DeWolfe and Grace Hotchkiss on December 23, 1945.

A year later my parents moved to Sherman , a small town in western Connecticut. I went to a small grade school of about 100 students from 1st to 8th grade. We were isolated, and didn`t have a television until I was in seventh grade and then only received one channel. Other than hanging around various dairy farms when not in school, I spent most of my time wandering around the woods with a dog or cat for company.

I went to high school in Kent CT for two years, but my last name of Hotchkiss was the name of a rival school. Because of that and the fact that I was a niave country kid, I was the subject of more than my share of heckeling and abuse. I asked my parents to take me out and they eventually complied. I finished up my secondary schooling in the gritty urban surrondings at Mount Vernon H.S. in Queens NewYork. I then attended colledge, but dropped out after my first semester. Apparently my mind was elsewhere.

I spent a couple year in Venice and Santa Monica California, taking in the hippy experience. Then I spent some time at the Esalon Institute in Big Sur. I headed back east and for most of the next five years I lived in Gaylordsville CT working in my parents store The Basket Shop, a old fashioned roadside gas/gift shop. Eventually my wanderlust picked up again and I moved to Torrington , Waterbury , and New Haven Ct, all of which were run down defunct mill towns. Then on to Providence RI., Boston, Long Island City, San Francisco, and Chicago. I was a rolling stone, living in over 50 different places such as rooming houses, cheap hotels, YMCA`s, and other inexpensive places. I had about the same number of jobs; day laborer, factory worker, janitorial, and other bottom rung positions.

I was a restless soul with a raw curiosity about life. I didn`t know exactly what I was seeking; I simply knew that I craved new places and experiences!

I dabbled in art in my teen years by sketching and doing watercolors. But in my late teens,20`s and early 30`s I pretty much abandoned my pursuit of art. Then in a rooming house on Valencia St. in San Francisco I began doing watercolors again. I kept the theme alive, eventually moving from watercolors to oils, I`ve continued to do abstract oils ever since.

My father was my inspiration to become an artist. He was a fine artist who worked in oils and watercolors, and had a wonderful studio which I visited often. I observed him painting, his artwork on the walls, and I often thumbed through his collection of great art books. I became keenly aware of visual expression; either intentional or unintentional as expressed in all things in the world around us. I am intrigued by why certain things are attractive to me and other things are not. To me there is something mystical about intuitive facility. I can`t explain them but I find I use it all the time. I enjoy using my intuitive side to express my abstract artistic endeavors.


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