Filled to the brim with cultural and art historic reference, Alben’s paintings walk us through the jungle of collective imagery and then leave us there to find our way back. His dizzying array of everyday objects, well known personalities and anonymous characters create dreamy narratives of spectacular proportion.
Despite the fact that Alben is a self-taught artist, his work seamlessly pulls from a multitude of aesthetics belonging to the artistic canon. Viewing his canvases, one can detect hommage to Renaissance, Surrealism, Pop and Street Art; yet similar to Warhol’s silkscreened appropriations, Alben’s work is a catalyst for contemporary thought.
Growing up in France during the early 70’s, Alben was exposed to a world growing increasingly smaller, thus it is not surprising that his paintings use social, political and artistic visuals that transcend border. Fittingly, his work has been received throughout the globe, speaking to audiences from Paris, Bordeaux, Brussels, Dubai, and New York City.
Despite this diversity of setting, the universality of Alben’s images prompts the viewer to set up his/her own internal dialogues. As the eye frenetically jumps from one subject to the next, one is able to see history through Art’s allegory. In a world where everything becomes a symbol for already consumed knowledge, Alben’s paintings beseech the viewer to acknowledge his/her state of « presentness ». De-codifying the past’s iconic puzzle, one is able to slow down the whirlwind of the now. If only for a moment, perception becomes clear and Alben’s amalgamation of blurred memory is marked distinct from our own surroundings. As if walking from an intimate lesson, one leaves Alben’s canvases with clarity of mind and the autonomy of a new step.