Benjamin Horns, some new social portraits

March 18th – May 20th

Press:

Artviewer

 

Hold The Door, 2017, oil on canvas, 60 x 34 in

Hold The Door, 2017, oil on canvas, 60 x 34 in

The Winds of Winter, 2017, oil on canvas, 72 x 48 in

The Winds of Winter, 2017, oil on canvas, 72 x 48 in

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The Winds of Winter, 2017, oil on canvas, 72 x 48 in

The Winds of Winter, 2017, oil on canvas, 72 x 48 in

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Glass Block in Front of an Air Conditioner, 2017, Oil on canvas, 16.5″ x 23.5″

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eps1.8_m1rr0r1ng.qt, 2017, Oil on canvas, 36″ x 24″

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Some early youtube videos, recorded in domestic spaces on cell phones or webcams, depict the reactions of people watching viral videos. With the ascendancy of social media, reaction videos have grown in popularity, and certain conventions and premises have been generated by their producers: they show individuals or groups watching and reacting to television episodes at home or in public gathering spaces.

Four new paintings on display borrow imagery from reaction videos. Scenes of private lives, these paintings portray figures in domestic spaces with personal decor and objects associated with leisure: a painting, a framed photograph, a pillow, cigarette rolling papers, wine glasses. Viewers are confronted by these outward gazing figures portrayed in exaggerated emotional states triggered by watching recent episodes of Game of Thrones and Mr. Robot. Despite the efforts of the artist at a realistic rendering, the content of the figures’ emotions remains unclear.

Glass blocks are commonly employed in the facades of buildings and rooms as a means of inhibiting voyeurism. A fifth painting, made from observation, shows an isolated glass block in front of an air conditioner in the artist’s studio. Multiple planes on display, which can partially be seen through, distort images of the private to the public and the public to the private.

Benjamin Horns is an artist currently based in Los Angeles. This will be his first solo exhibition with the gallery.