Major visual influnces:
Gregory Duthie - H.R.Geiger - Hermann Rorschach - M.C.Escher - Michael Parkes - M.K.Chew - Annette Beadleston - Christopher Luckenbach
Major musical influences:
David Helding - Steeleye Span - Nine Inch Nails - Iron Maiden - Brian Eno - Wall of Voodoo - Men without Hats - Front Line Assembly
Geoffrey Benjamin Chew was born in Phoenix, Arizona in 1978. In 1983, his family moved to Colorado. He began working with clay, oil pastels, and pencils, both in public school art programs, and in extra-curricular workshops. At age nine he began to experiment with graphics software on Macintosh computers.
In 1990, Ben and his family relocated back to Arizona, where he continued to work with computer graphics software both in public school and at home. In a high school multimedia class he gainedthe fundamentals of working with digital video, and began, through the efforts of his mentor, Scott Ryder, to further explore the possibilities of working in digital mediums. Through Scott, Ben was granted access the hardware and software needed to learn the basics of capturing and building virtual reality environments, (utilizing 3D design principals and Apples QuickTime VR software). With the kind assistance of Mr. Ryder and Apple Computer Co., Ben was able to create 25 original 3D renderings of fictional spaces, working with KPT Bryce.
With the help of his family and his art teacher, prints of several of the images he created during this period were purchased at a gallery in Scottsdale, Arizona, and now reside in the Permanent Collection of the City of Chandler, Arizona.
In 1999, Ben began working more with traditional pen and ink techniques, filling several sketchbooks with what turned out to be mostly worthless scribbles, with a few notable exceptions that turned out as some of his favourite neo-tribal portfolio pieces.
September of 2001 found Ben in Hilo, Hawaii, where he had recently moved with Kristel Foutch, the woman who would soon become his wife and the mother of his son. While attending Hilo Community College in 2002, he entered, and placed first, in a juried show held annually by the Kanilehua Magazine, the student published Arts and Literature publication for the University of Hawaii at Hilo. During this time Ben was also actively maintaining several of his own portfolio websites, most now defunct, and continuously searching for online communities that would showcase his work. 2002 was a particularly good year as far as his artistic development was concerned, with several online art competitions receiving his work well.
Near the end of 2002, Ben began to experiment with digital photography, concentrating on mostly architectural and natural subjects, and was enraptured with the possibilities of the medium. Continuing his experimentation with photography and digital photograph manipulation, he whiled away the hours of 2003 and early 2004 discovering new ways to use old techniques, and losing himself in the enormity of the range of graphics software available.
In early 2004, Banyan sprang upon the scene. Like his woody namesake, he has proved to be an unending source of inspiration for Bens works. In the first months after his birth, Ben completely filled his hard drive with new images, and was forced, finally, to knuckle under, and purchase a CD burner.
Much of his current digital work is an extension of the techniques and methods he learned at the earliest stages in his introduction to computer graphics, notably, his pre-occupation with symmetry, and his almost Rorschachian fascination with the images hidden within symmetrical visualizations.