Matthew Benedict: Dramatis Personae
Dec 7, 2010 – Jan 22, 2011
Dramatis Personae, a solo exhibition of Matthew Benedict’s photographs will be shown on the 2nd floor of Alexander and Bonin beginning December 7th. Photographs have been an important part of Benedict’s work for nearly twenty years, both as preliminary to his paintings and sculpture as well as self-contained entities. While some of the images on view are closely related to paintings from the past ten years, the majority of the works are singular portrayals of friends and models in the guise of Benedict’s characters – the sailor smoking, the sideshow man, a Brahmin or ship’s cabin boy. Others make direct allusion to biblical, literary or mythological characters such as Abel, Davy Jones, Neptune or Shipwreck Annie.
Shot in Benedict’s studio with minimal lighting, styling and production, these works are antithetical to much of the staged photography of recent years; however, their impact remains undeniably cinematic. As with his paintings and drawing in gouache, Benedict’s sepia prints take us back in time to moments evoked by illustration books and the pre-digital age. Although firmly situated in a turn-of-the century photographic style, Benedict’s models’ contemporary physique and demeanor are clearly contemporary.
Matthew Benedict was born in Rockville, CT and lives and works in Brooklyn. He has exhibited in New York since 1993 and with Mai 36 Galerie, Zürich since 1995. A text on his photography by Charles Beyer is included in Matthew Benedict: The Mage’s Pantry, a monograph published by Hatje Cantz in association with Benedict’s 2008 solo exhibition at the Von der Heydt-Museum, Wuppertal.