Matthew Benedict

Often working from photographs, Matthew Benedict creates paintings that relay archetypal or mythological narratives, carefully pulling parables from the ancient past into the present. Benedict grew up in New England and maritime themes and legends are prominent in his work, though the mythologies are often conflated with modern imagery and staged recreations that sometimes include evidence of their own artifice. His 2003 painting The Mariner’s Baptism depicts the god Neptune; despite all of the immortal’s grandeur, his beard is made of a mop, attached to his head by a clearly visible string. Such details are taken directly from Benedict’s source photographs, which render historical gravity with theatrical economy.

Benedict is the recipient of a Joan Mitchell Foundation Award and the Versailles/Giverny Foundation Award. His work has been included in exhibitions at the Wuppertal Kunsthalle in Germany, and at the Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts in San Francisco, among others.