Jesse Benson

Region: Pacific Coast

My work asks viewers to question the means through which information is delivered by suggesting that mediating parties use methods such as documentation, curation, editing, design, style, image proliferation, and conditioning to channel information and aesthetics in a manner consistent with their interests. Common practices of this type range from airbrushing photos to whitewashing history.

Since 2003, my practice has taken many forms, including several curatorial projects for which I acted as the primary documentarian. My painting production has always relied heavily on the rich material uncovered within curatorial or otherwise organizational gestures. My work also functions in relation to appropriation histories, but rather than photographing as an appropriation strategy, I use a highly articulated hyperrealistic painting approach to methodically reproduce imagery and styles. Since we all know that every photograph is staged (and now alterable through apps or Photoshop), the paintings provide an equally legitimate (or illegitimate) documentation.