Exhibition text 2017 Loft 8 Vienna
„At first sight, the Benjamins little figures are formally alike to the living room decorations of the petite bourgeoisie. However, his flocks of shameless fruit-headed nudists are in no way a new Biedermeier. In their self-involvement they expose to the viewer more than just their pink bare skin coated with a layer of glaze. A good observer can find in their postures and arrangements several quotations from art history or more obvious inspiration with the character of Harlequin from commedia dell’arte. These figures seem to be funny even in the bitter situations, when each one of them bears the fruits of their own actions.“
By Miroslava Urbanova, Loft 8 Vienna
I work in different materials and medias, such as drawing (charcoal and pastels) sculpture (clay and glazes) or painting. They stand as autonomous works, but they influence each other. Sometimes an idea starts with a drawing and painting then i get an idea for a new sculptural work and vice versa.
My subjects are often pulled out of daily life such as buildings or structures, objects, gestures, situations. I separate them from their natural context and mix them with motives from foreign places, animals and fruits and vegetables or people. This aims to create a surreal momentum which is very important for all my artworks.
Our fruits and us.
My sculptures bear vegetables and Fruits as heads, which sets the focus rather on the gesture and the form itself then on any biography of a character.
I am interessted in what we produce and consume, basically the relation with our enviroment.
Sometimes the figures are included into house like structures, which can result in a symbiotic relation where the structures seem to move or grow like plants but they also create a certain feeling of melancholy and raise questions about identity, home or space in general. I am also creating larger installations, like “the Stars” or „Parrots, unknown origins“. Where involve the place of the viewer even more into my artwork.
Every ceramic object of mine is a unique piece of art, i craft them only by my self.
The newest series of large charcoal drawings are picking up on earlier drawings i did which approached the topic of “home” which showed interiors invaded by deep-sea fishes. A satirical view on the “home” as a safe haven which at the same can be a place of fears and unpleasant feelings.
In the new workgroup „Grauer Ozean – A concrete ocean“ 2016 – 2017 the imagine scenes literary moved outside, still matter of the individual fears, needs and wants, now also sometimes thematise global political issues. Not necessarily addressing daily politics but discussing developments of general western society such as population, housing, public and private space and personal and national identity.
An idea finds form.
In the process of creating new ideas I often playfully mix my fictional material and “what I extract out of reality”. After that first step a more analytical and reflective process begins, asking myself which elements are necessary, are crucial for the image and which are not? Then I go back to step one and repeat the whole process couple times, until there is only the most concentrated and relevant picture left, the essence of what I want to show.
By Benjamin Nachtigall