Nils Benson Biography

Nils Benson’s (born 1966) paintings are characterized by their distinctive combination of figurative imagery and possibly surreal, everyday environments. His enigmatic compositions employ an eccentric iconography of human characters and common objects within familiar-looking but imaginary settings. While Benson often begins each work with a preconceived idea of the finished result, there is a uniquely recognizable, visual incoherence to his oeuvre. His paintings display palettes of contrasting strong and muted secondary colors, and recurrent subjects include the seamless integration of organic and non-organic elements as well as references to the creative process, brushwork, and artistic struggle. The artist’s treatment of representation as a conceptual construct is deliberately naive, inarticulate, and non-perspectival, and often seems to allude to different unresolved narratives, perceptions, or flows of thought.

Benson was born in Los Angeles, where he continues to live and work, and studied at the Pacific Northwest College of Art (Portland, Oregon). Since 2015, Benson’s work has been represented by The LODGE. Benson’s work has been the part of exhibitions at institutions nationally, and internationally — most recently during Sexy-Xmas  in 2018 at The LODGE.


Pacific North West College of Art, B.F.A. 1989

Chongqing Fine Arts School, Peoples Republic of China, 1986

Solo Exhibitions:

2000 N.W. Island Gallery, Lopez Island, WA.

1997 Studio Row, Los Angeles, Ca.

1990 Dirty laundry, Gallery114, Portland Or.


2019 Proud+, The Studio Door, San Diego, Ca.

2018 Sexy-Xmas, The Lodge LA , Los Angeles, Ca.

2016 Umpqua Valley Arts Association Artworks Northwest Exhibit, Roseburg, Oregon, juried selection 2016.

2015 Blue Sky Gallery- Pacific Northwest Photography Viewing Drawers

2008 After Hours- Laika Employees

2008 Internal Guidance System- Lewis and Clark College.

2007 The Art Traders, Sydney Australia

2004 Artist Trust Grant award winners, Seattle WA.

2002 Chimera gallery-“One from the heart”

2001 Chimera Gallery group show, Lopez Island, WA.

1990 Introducing 114, Gallery 114, Portland Or.

Grants and Awards:

G.A.P. Award Grant Recipient – 2004

Gamblin Paints Award – 1986


Numerous private collections in the United States, China, Australia, U.K. And New Zealand

Professional Activities:

32 years experience shooting/operating all film and video formats (features, commercials, documentaries, videos, shorts, animation). Films – “The Squid and the Whale”, “The Hollers”, “Knocked Up” “21 and Over”, “In The Cut”; TV – NBC Grimm, The Ropes; Commercials – Microsoft, Xbox, Nike, Union Pacific, LG, Bravia, Nike, Ford, Amex cards.

I.A.T.S.E. Local 600 Board member 2010-2019

Society of Operating Cameramen member 2012- 2018