Ana Benaroya

Ana Benaroya’s (b. 1986, New York, NY) work centers substantial female subjects, whose extravagant musculatures upset more traditional expectations of femininity. Through her paintings and works on paper, Benaroya constructs a female gaze that recasts women in dominant roles, with an assertive, idiosyncratic presence. The muscles on Benaroya’s figures both distort and ornament her subject’s bodies, and speak to female desire and a queer sensibility. Striking, offbeat colors dominate the compositions, and the artist’s intense, slightly macabre palette balances their figurative vigor and allure.

In her practice, Benaroya pulls from diverse sources to assemble a unique pictorial language. She cites gallery artist Peter Saul as a major inspiration, and her work often makes reference to graphic styles familiar from superhero comics. Her current exhibition at the gallery centers on images of women in relation to water, and through references to sources both art historical and contemporary, Benaroya explores the dynamics of queer desire, in which bodies are on display for themselves and on their own terms. In compositions animated by complex networks of attraction, Benaroya makes visible forms of lesbian desire that are typically rendered latent or invisible.