My paintings exist in the fine line between humor and tragedy.
Using expressive, immediate and comical painting language, I capture my feelings and reactions towards life in our current era— an age of anxiety, fear, and uncertainty.
The proverbial actors starring in my stage-canvases are suspended in a state of shock, stuck in the pictorial space with no possibility of escape - the horror show must go on.
The sense of horror and detachment we experience fluctuates from the personal to the public and vice versa. The edges/borders of the “self,” as we know it, have changed in the last few years due to our constant usage of social media. Unless our image is reflected back to us by complete strangers, we feel lost and confused, and the information we drown in becomes an integral part of our identity.
Much like the blurring lines between ourselves and others, and the interchangeable personal and shared trauma, so the figures in the paintings blend into each other and into their background, and become a throbbing mass of faces, hands, teeth, and organs.
Body parts merge to create new beings, the foreground and background are alternating and providing a sense of detachment and disorientation.
Everything is constantly shifting and we are not sure what’s real anymore.
The humorous and comical painting language in the work allows the viewers to distance themselves from the pain and to reflect about their own state of being, however much like the fusing body parts, the illusion of humor appears and shutters simultaneously before our eyes.
The sense of push-pull and disarray in the paintings are created by layers of transparent and opaque gestures, using various mediums aside of oil paint such as distemper (rabbit skin glue and pigment,) textile mono-prints, spray paint and wax medium.
The imagery and tactile and expressive brush strokes relate to the body and its many intricacies, passions and agonies. The painting becomes a body in itself, and echoes the physicality of the viewer; large scale paintings are pools of organs and screaming faces one can drown in.
Small scale paintings operate as direct reflections of the viewer, meeting them at eye level, their gaze follows.
Aviv Benn (b. Tel-Aviv in 1988), lives and works in Chicago IL. She completed her MFA in Painting and Drawing in the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2018, and completed her BFA at the Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design Jerusalem in 2013. Benn had a solo exhibition at Art Von Frei gallery in Berlin in 2016, Raw Art Gallery in Tel Aviv in 2017 and Devening Projects Gallery in Chicago in 2018. She participated in various group exhibition in Germany, Chicago, New York, and Tel-Aviv. She received the Rabinovich Foundation Grant in 2015.