Ben studied painting at The University of the Arts and the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in Philadelphia, PA. As a student, he found an early direction in Impressionist-influenced paintings that focused on the natural world as it expresses itself in urban areas, as well as in the wild. Upon graduation from the Academy's Certificate Program, Johnson began exhibiting with Artist's House Gallery in Philadelphia, PA, and The Field Gallery in West Tisbury, MA, and continues to exhibit his work in galleries and museums throughout the United States.
Ben's overriding fascination with the natural world often turns its gaze upwards. Bird watching has led him to produce a broad series of intricate bird paintings and drawings. He comments, "Birds inspire a natural ascension. They’re stunningly beautiful, and the act of flight places them directly in the realm of spirituality and mystery. In these works, I’m discovering more about the birds themselves, but simultaneously I’m searching for the vastness of flight as it exists in me. I’m hoping that I also evoke that search for others.”
The mystery and open interpretive space that has been present in Ben's work continues to be an important aspect of every piece, no matter what the medium. Maintaining a delicate balance between overt representation and minimalist abstraction is his goal, aiming to create work that provides a ground of thought, introspection, and inquiry.