M. Benjamin Herndon

Region: MFA Annual

My paintings consist of carefully prepared grounds of handmade graphite paint on which I draw hundreds of individual silverpoint lines. My recent work is concerned with the idea of disruption: a pattern starts out under flexible conditions, and with a combination of intentional interruption and entropy the pattern breaks down. In the end, this subtle chaos creates something that resembles patterns in the natural world, revealing subjectivity through an apparently rigid system. The role light plays in the work similarly references those most conspicuous daily markers of natural change: dawn and dusk. The canvases appear blankly dark until illuminated, at which point a hopeful, glimmering record of labor, with the appearance of some sort of natural pattern, appears. I see this work as a metaphor for hope amid melancholy, and for embracing the chaos that disrupts the orderly.