Benjamin Sasserson, He Never Said a Mumbling Word

As an early riser, Benjamin Sasserson prefers to paint while most are asleep. Yet contrary to his way of starting the day, his paintings depict scenes cast at the dead of night. Benjamin’s palette relies mostly on black and blue oils to dictate the mood, his compositions attempting to distill atmospheres akin to some of his favourite avant garde films, in particular Kenneth Anger’s '', in which the action unfolds under a brooding cerulean light. 

Residing in Odense, Denmark, he takes some of his influence from the neighbouring forests. In Benjamin’s paintings, flowers unfurl in radiant colour, emerging from the misty backdrops like luminous bulbs of light, in a similar vein to bosky forest paintings. Quite often animals find their way into the scenes too, bystanders either searching for prey or finding refuge amongst the foliage. He’ll often ruminate on a from the 16th century that made a deep impression: woven by an unknown artist, a unicorn is surrounded by a plethora of abundant blooming plants. Benjamin’s paintings search for a similar heightened surrealism, in which flora is as much a central protagonist as the fauna roaming around. 

His eye is often drawn to paintings where light, mood and shade are treated with exacting precision. As a long admirer of Vilhelm Hammershøi’s paintings of unpeopled, subdued rooms, he’s particularly influenced by his fellow Danish painter’s seamless ability for depicting chiaroscuro with the sparsity of only candle light. You’ll notice that in Benjamin’s paintings of rooms, a haunting glow emanates resonant of Hammershøi’s of a dinner party at night. Benjamin compares the motionless light to how our eyes flicker to adjust when moving from the shade to a sun-filled room, as colours augment into view. The same muted greys he applies to his backgrounds appear across some of his favourite paintings, notably, Lino Frongia’s obstructed by a tree branch and Mamma Andersson’s of a table adorned with disused bottles. 

In the only painting with a figure, Me with dogs, Benjamin paints himself summoning three dogs. The sparsity of light makes it appear, viewed from certain angles, like a monochrome, but from further swipes of the cursor his many layers reveal a textural outline around his body. The effect recalls another of his beloved paintings by , in which a woman is surrounded by a lurid blue halo. Like Hammershøi, who noted in his diary ‘I do not paint fast, I paint fairly slowly’, Benjamin equally labours over his paintings during long stretches of time, never letting the haste of his ever-churning mind affect his focus while at the easel, as the morning sun rises behind. 

Benjamin Sasserson (b. 2000, Skørping, Denmark) lives and works in Odense. Studies at Funnen Art Academy, Odense.


  1. 1

  2. 2

  3. 3

  4. 4

  5. 5

  6. 6

  7. 7

Benjamin Sasserson, He Never Said a Mumbling Word

Sign up to our newsletter

yes, I accept the cookie and privacy policy.