I think his work is much more interesting than it used to be.
I haven't seen these in person-- nice dense surface-in imagery and paint
What is it all about?
Cthulhu F'taghn! Hail Dagon! Anyone want to ride in my black helicopter? We're gonna make some surgical steaks in the name of art and science. William T Wiley? It IS the dawning of the age of aquarius! all bout itBring it on!
At first he seemed like a William T Wiley-like eccentric but on closer inspection DiBenedetto's work looks, structurally, much more like Larry Pittman or something--random-pomo-floating-layers-of-unrelated-stuff.I'm not saying these paintings look like Larrry P, just that waht seems like weirdness at first is actualy a very common trope of piling stuff on top of other stuff without really building space that's going on in painting right now.
I have to admit to deep ambivalence about his work... I have total respect for him as a painter; his work is rigorous, intense, kinda wild, a bit of the vietnam flashback... but there's something repellent about the paint -- the color & junky-scrapey qualities thwart coherence, & drive me away. Could just be a taste thing. Maybe I will learn to love them.
(from anon) "...is actualy a very common trope of piling stuff on top of other stuff without really building space that's going on in painting right now."this is a painting made of piled up stuff but it does seem to have a tangible built space-more than Pittman.
I'm with you sloth. I've grown to appreciate what he does over the years, but also have total ambivalence. I guess his subjects just seem arbitrary. I don't really mind it formally. Maybe he's going for a kind of messy play-school colored Picabia kind of feel, but it doesn't really speak to me...
this is trying too hard-and too much gold in it-it's overkill-used to like his work,but it's confusing,here-
I like the picture-in-picture, the post-apocalyptic freakscape effect, the twirling mandalas, the fucked-up space. There is a lot to like, but I just can't fully embrace them. Maybe others here can convince me.
not me, sloth.
but how do you frame it?
anon, you nailed it-the collage-without-collage effect creates an overload of dimensionality that leaves the finished product flatwhich, of course, it is...
Carnivalization is the term used by Mikhail Bakhtin to describe the shaping effect on literary genres. The idea of carnivalism is the discourse of structuralism. Carnivalism is the opposite of everything deemed normal. Bahktin describes it as: ...the true feast of time, the feasts of becoming, change and renewal. Carnival originated from the Feasts of the Church. The feasts were a serious, formal occasion in which strict patterns were closely followed. Emphasis was placed on social standing. It was considered a consecration of inequality. However, during Carnival, everyone was considered equal. The festivities of Carnival were very popular, everything was turned upside down (the smart become stupid, rich become poor, etc.; fantasy and reality become one). The jolly relativity of all things is proclaimed.
some of benedettos stuff on the derek eller site reminds me a lot of jackson pollock pre-dripand i dont mean before he married that DRIP lee krasner
strangley meditativeit's okay but i dont think it plays well on a computer screenwhat are the dimensions?
Piecemeal, it's rather engaging, but I don't find any compelling reason to like the sum better than the parts.
anon 11:15, the "sum" = organic accumulation of mechanical forms
litlit, maybe you are convincing me a little.
I love these paintings! They totally blew me away at the Whitney last year. By far the best in that show, imo. I love the chaotic gooey paint and how they made me confused. I don't really understand the meaning of them. I guess they have some political stance... something about Vietnam??? Mainly I read them as post apocalyptic landscape. Beautiful reckage.
They are much better than Mehretu and Alex Ross, that's for sure...
i like the heraldic effect of the tent canopy as viewed from above (it's like a roulette wheel?) but the treatment of space on the whole is disorienting, and not in a way that gives the "theme and variations" approach any grip
Paul Laffoley does the same ideas
In terms of both artistic and social expression the clearest way to achieve heteroglossia is through the parodic -- through a deliberate displacement and subversion of the ideological constraints of the system. The carnival performs the parodic function on the level of social life.
Uh, are you on the right blog, litlit?
i dont buy the idea that theres any 'conversation', visually, happening in this paiting, if there is a dialogue its overwhelmed by too much going on
"ideological constraints of the system" - is that the picture-within-a-picture thing?
First Bas, now this. It seems we are having a river moment
poo poo poo poo poo poo poo poo poo poo poo poo
i wish that the backgroud wasn't so sloppy, it keeps the action from feeling grounded
What the hell is HETEROGLOSSIA?and, um, what does it have to do with painting?
kudos to dibenedetto for finally getting some attention
litlit you are right for once.
Remember the Maypole?
Heteroglossia: noun; A state of being where upon a set of males finds comfort doing each others nails in a form of masculine simpatico. 'We're going to meet Paul later at Starbucks for heteroglossia.'
prismatic presentation of reiterated forms --> playing with ideas of hypertextuality
frink-can I meet you there? I totally need a manicure...
someone above said something about tapestry, i like that, but the lack of narrative here keeps me from really liking it
the Maypole! the Maypole!
This one would be more interesting as a lithograph...or maybe a monograph...
at least he got a good deal on the "beginner's set" of basic colors!
this painting makes me hungry for snails
funny, I always thought heteroglossia had something to do with the surface of lamé
i love dibennedetto's paintings. they're ugly in the most accomplished way. look at that frame thing in the background - i mean, that's over the top. it's like a treasure chest of nauseating treasures covered in gilded cobwebs. i've seen a few that almost made me pee my pants they were so imaginative.
you can find a monograph of his (unfortunately they chose to print the thing in china) at his new york gallery, nolan eckman.
oops, redundant. sorry.
I agree about the treasure chest of treasures. Who doesn't like a treasure chest filled with treasures, WW. These paintings make me very excited, despite the old-fashioned brown sticky aura. He's moving a little beyond the squid vs. helicopter scenario, which is good. I don't think the Vietnam flashback thing is meant to be political, though. Just a hallucinatory sensate state of mind? Very much post-apocalyptic landscape - detritus, decay, roiling tentacles of entropy and kaleidescope effects. I especially like his drawings. Less encrusted, very detail-packed.
i prefer the paintings to the drawings. i like my treasure chests to be full of full-color treasures.
frink, I think that would be homoglossia.
right, Heteroglossia is glossia between a man and a woman.
quilting with paint.
yesterday's lamé is today's glossia
He might have done away with helicopters for now, but those propeller-mandala shapes are mighty suspicious. It really is a strange thing to dedicate yourself to a particular shape idea (spinning gyros).
What's with all the references to lamé?
oh for god's sake, you know what hetero means: different.and you know what glossia means: something about language. dont act dumb.
Do they mean "lame"? I am lost but engorged with manly painterly desires.
the comments come from some confusion originating from the fact that charlotta westergren apparently paints on la-MAY instead of canvas.Steve D's paintings resemble ceratin kinds of hallucinations so precisely that I can only assume they are actual records of them.
Lamé is a slippery term indeed.
Ok, isn't lamé a kind of glossy fabric? Weird thing to paint on. Is making reference to it a sort of running joke on here?
This man has obviously taken drugs which he chooses to exploit in his work. Typical artist behavior. Why don't artists smarten up and clean up. If you leave the drugs and alcohol behind you might actually make something philosophically relevant. I am serious.
whether the experience of people on drugs is philosophically relevant is a pilosophically relevant question.This puts me in mind of something the photographer Danny Lyons once said about how it was vital for an artist to be "normal"--to have a home and kids and a wife and all that--because otherwise the artist won't be able to make work that speaks to normal people.Personally I think he's completely wrong.
Who is Danny Lyons?Exactly.
so chaz...you're saying that a person who agrees with you is self-evidently wrong?
I think his work is rigorous, intense, kinda wild, a bit of the vietnam flashback... but there's something repellent about the paint -- the color & junky-scrapey qualities SLOTH, you couldn't of said it better. This is exactly why I love his work.
a devilish consistency is the hobgoblin of small minds i s'pose
"ugly in the most accomplished way"w.w. I luv ya! The way you talk, babe!
I'd rather see someone prove the same point can be made with a non-ugly painting--now that'd be an accomplishment.
Chaz, are you on the hooch again?
"rigorous, intense, kinda wild"what exactly about this is "rigorous"?
chaz and zipthwung should hang out together
ugly sometimes gets your attention to something that you might otherwise overlook or miss some idea. ugly ain't all bad.the hunchback was an ugly person but he was kinder than the church or the state so kindness came in an ugly package.
and me and w.w. should hang
The whole Vietnam flashback thing is lost on me - maybe in his earlier work, but here he's just exploiting overdone themes, it looks like something you'd see in a dorm room
it's easy to prove you can do something new and it'll be ugly--the challenge is to prove you can do a whole new thing and it won't be ugly.example--hey, let's make a painting using creamed corn!! it will probably suck and be ugly--but if you can make it and it's not ugy then you've shown people something counter to their expectations
anon 7:15-sometimes ugly is just ugly. it's no more a signifier of the worth of the underlying idea than beauty.why would something ugly make you think it has a more valid point?
we must all hang together or we will all hang separately
w.w. and anonymous...sittin' in a tree...K-I-S-S-I-N-G!
creamed corn - agrarianism - windmills - HELICOPTERS!
K-I-S-S-I-N-G in that tree from yesterday's Bas, for sure
Can someone please explain the Vietnam link?
New York Times 11/1/02Imagine a Vietnam War veteran with a history of psychedelic drug consumption who finds in drawing a way to exorcise his demons.
is that from an article?
"a war between the reptilian id and the technorational ego" - cute. But the product comes across as surprisingly undramatic, imo.
bugs! gettem off me! GETTEM OFF ME!
anon, i agree with "undramatic"its pretty static for something that you want to convey chaos, fluidityi dont know what to make of the frame beyond the self-referential "exoricising of demons", it doesnt have any aesthetic appeal beyond a symbolic function
This is such a departure from his work I've seen at Eller previously
Brueghel goes Cubist? After a war? and drugs?
The turbulence of this painting lacks the focus you find in his more stylized work. It's not ugliness that undermines his intent, it's sloppiness.
Why is there no Iraq vetran art?
i don't think sloppiness is the right word for it, its more like free association.
was dibenedetto really in vietnam?
who gets to decide whats "ugly"
7:51,on free association: artist is depicting consciousness, filtered through his own experience. free association makes sense then - it may not look esp. tight or well-composed but that also is the point
Perceptions of ugliness = seeing something as Other, ie, outside your own experience. As a result, prima facie, it doesn't make much sense.When it does "make sense," it strikes you as beautiful, so it's unlikely that a viewer who can't empathize with DiBenedetto's personal history/worldview is going to find his art beautiful, or at least not ugly. That alone does not discredit his work, though.
garish colors. UGLY.
is SD on record talking about his drug use?
"This man has obviously taken drugs which he chooses to exploit in his work. Typical artist behavior. Why don't artists smarten up and clean up. If you leave the drugs and alcohol behind you might actually make something philosophically relevant. I am serious."Is stream of consciousness not philosophically relevant? And even if an aritst does produce something "relevant" by conventional standards, what if the artist's intent is wrongly perceived by his/her audience? What I'm getting at is, there is some sort of message conveyed by all pictures, and it's completely different to everyone involved in the picture-making/picture-viewing scenario, so "philosophical relevance" is pretty relative. And why are drugs/alcohol counterproductive to philosophical thinking?
Painting something "relevant" requires a structured, logical approach, even if the logic is internal to the picture.Drugs make it all just wanking. There has to be some thought put in.
is the drug use a past thing? or is he still on it?
pkk:yet the artist is not necessarily a thinker. you're privleging the rational over the irrational, which is exactly NOT the point of any kind of art.
So the less sense his pictures make, the better they are?
We live in NYC, there is beauty everywhere. Lets make something else. Artist have the chance to do so much more.
no, i'm just saying they don't have to make sense to be good, and drugs are irrelevant
at first this looked dull to me but the more i look at it, the more i'm drawn in. there's a lot of depth here that doesn't hit you at first
All Dibenedetto's work wants to be all naked and disarmed and so autobiographical, but it's contrived.I'm not convinced.
"We live in NYC, there is beauty everywhere."yeah, okay...beauty is on the insidelook in your mind
debeneditto makes the most insane mindbending things (war, hallucination) seem so...boring
boring like an antique shop where you've already seen all the antiques
This is not ugly. It is interesting.
it does kind of have that reliquary thing going on
8:55- why is it interesting to you?
you mean there's dead body parts inside it or you mean it's really ornate?
"Love is a firey thing. And I fell in to a burning ring of fire."
Art in America"DiBenedetto knows how to paint, even if he denies us any show of craftsmanship. At first glance, lots of passages seem overworked or dashed off. Still, DiBenedetto's unique brand of skill-without-neatness is subversive, challenging and, for the viewer, a kind of welcome release from good taste."
No. "Love is a burning thing and it makes a firery ring."
it's really ornate AND it's got "dead body parts" - d.'s images are clearly products of psychological self-excavation
I'd never seen his work until now, and now that i know a little bit about his life i see the picture completely differentthat kind of rubs me the wrong way
what's wrong with ugly?
ugly is bad because it's the default setting of visual phenomena--ugly is just more of the same
this drug free painting guy is out of control. you are projecting some serious personal issues onto a subject that is totally seperate from those distinctions. no one is saying the less it makes sense the better a painting it is. drugs and 'sense' of subject matter are totally unconnected. a lot of people not on drugs make psychedelic appearing or stream of conciousness work. get a grip pal, you don't have to smoke the joint, just pass it to the next guy. we'll still like you and accept you.
what do mean. what rubs you the wrong way.
He's using his drug past as an excuse to make fucked up pictures that don't have a point beyond being fucked up pictures an drug user madeoooh...that's so specialbut now he's a prof at cooper union, so i guess it's all legit
what rubs me the wrong way is that this is just the same boring psychadelia --at first i thought it might be more interesting, like maybe there was actually a POINT--but then i got to the part about hos he's trying to project his "own personal cosmology" he's not doing anything interesting or new with ideas of conciousness
drugs! gettem off me! GETTEM OFF ME!
The image is so small, especially all the way from Portland, Oregon. But I like it. And why the big attack on drugs? Maybe you all need a hit of LSD.
Dr. Timothy Leary? I presume!
dude. chill with the drug thing. seriously.it's gonna be okay.
he is not saying anything about drugs YOU are. people who do drugs, used to do drugs, and dont do drugs make good work. And his job at Cooper has nothing to do with any of this.
I got some hits of lamé.Clean!Smooth!Uncut!Better than windowpane, for sure.
i think the point the drug guy (pkk? who are you?) is making is that the weird ugliness might be worth exploring if there was some INTENT behind it - but the drugs just kind of make it accidental.yes?
YEAH lame is back
sea monsters are kewl.
It's the shit. It'll make you see how truly bohemian and revoutionary you can be! And, you can draw while on it!
9:33--good pointlike when someone acts real weird and then you realize--oh, they're just on drugs--so then you stop trying to figure them out
Eva, Do you paint on drugs? Do you paint?. Is Eva short for Evita? do drugs help?
>>weird ugliness might be worth exploring if there was some INTENT behind it"Ever since the revival of interest in originalism that occurred in the 1980s, critics have charged that for a variety of reasons it is impractical, if not impossible, to determine the Framers' intentions."
Is that from Star Trek?
so now we're talking about the Constitution?or are we just talking about the frame again?way over the top, indeed
Okay, stop me if you've heard this one before...But what if you made the FRAME out of LA-MAY?
being weird doesnt make something ugly or beautiful
but "weird" is just a confused way of saying "ugly"
9:46 -- Sorry, that's done... by Dibenedetto.
Weird does not = ugly, or vice versa. Weird is something that challenges popular ideas of what's the normal way to beUgly is something that challenges popular ideas of what's nice to look at
9:54-where can i see this?!
there are no popular ideas of whats nice to look at--especially in painting right now
9:57 -- well there's a reference at the top of the page, but you really have to be there in the flesh, to truly experience Lamé.
DiBenedetto subverts conventional ideas of perspective, narrative, and semiotics. He does so in a visual medium, so his "weirdness" gets taken as "ugliness." That's the link between the two.
>>there are no popular ideas of whats nice to look at--especially in painting right nowThis is an interesting point.... what do you mean by 'popular'? And so this blog doesn't help you out?
why is it that you can't swing a dead cat in the art world without hitting someone claiming that someone subverts conventional ideas of something--especially narrative ansemiotics--and yet we still live in one of the most thoroughly UNsubverted era in recent history.
I don't see the semiotic angle. Please elucidate.
9:58 - there are ALWAYS popular ideas of what's nice to look at. Check out TV, magazines, movies sometime. It's not democratic, there's a definite idea of "pretty" that carries through. On the flip side of pop culture, there's fine art, where it's like anything that makes you think "wow that's nice looking" when you first see it is automatically supposed to be thought of as amateurish because if it looks "nice" it must be too simple to be "real art"
re:1st 10:06nobody seems to agree on what's beautiful in the art world--some people think it's clifford still, some people think it's laylah ali--people will make an argument for mud being beautiful or Hernan Bas or ANYBODY.therefore claiming that making something ugly is questioning ideas of bneauty is claiming a nonexistent source of rebelliousness
the semiotic angle -- dibenedetto makes signs that self-replicate, lying somewhere between organism and machine. much like a virus.
10:10-human beings always know when they look at something whether they find it ugly or not, it's a basic instinct. cf. william james and his theory of emotions - it's an extension of sizing up other creatures and deciding if they're enemies or not
"people will make an argument for mud being beautiful or Hernan Bas or ANYBODY."but a lot of times people make arguments that have nothing to do with how they actually FEEL. beauty is about the feeling, the rest is just theory and masturbatory academics.
10:07, I suggest getting last year's "top 10" issue of artforum. And while you're at it, maybe you can bundle it with 'Real Simple" and "Dwell" to save on cost and thinking. And try some Lamé. I think you need it.
2nd 10:06--I think that we live in such in "unsubverted" era exactly because everything claims to be so subversive. To truly be subversive right now, I guess you just have to be...normal.
...or perhaps do something slightly more active than just paint a picture.the subversive act never dies.the subversive gesture on the other hand, is bullshit.
>>the semiotic angle -- dibenedetto makes signs that self-replicate, lying somewhere between organism and machine. much like a virus.That's bullshit. The statement applies to a lot of art that doesn't profess any interest in semiotics. There is no explicit criticality or conversation of any system of signs -- at least in what I see. No conversation about sign, connotion, denotion. The conversation on Lamé had more to do with semiotic theory than what I see visually above.So elucidate further on the connection.
10:23, why must art require "thinking"? I'm being serious here. If you have some grand idea why not just put it in a book? why can't visual expression suffice itself "things you want to look at" rather than "things you ought to be thinking about"?maybe i'm just playing devils advocate...
You are right anonymous. I am sorry. Things ought to be about *You* want to look at. And that should be good enough.
1. art doesn't have to profess explicitly an interest in semiotics to enter into a semiotic dialogue2. signs - dibenedetto's use throughout his work of the helicopter blade/parachute/pinwheel motif (to pick one) does not depend on the context of the painting. without contextual information, the mere reiteration of the same sign in different guises gives it life, but no "meaning." in this respect, the artist's obsession with a particular mark creates a sign that does not apparently signify (granted, this is not exclusive to dibenedetto).3. connotation - connotative meanings are context-dependent, but d. dislodges his signs from their expected context, and this act (in this painting, at least) forms the whole narrative 4. denotation - note the "vivisection" of the primary motif that occupies the greater right half of this piece. it's a planar/tonal/structural legend for viewing the other instantiations of the same sign, yet it's clearly aggressive on its own terms.
um...what the fuck?
10:34-I totally agree with you.I think.
I want to hear more about semiotics and lame (la-may).Viva lame!
You've just described for us the process of image-making, as it relates to most of the art we look at. This is to say that every complex image or even utterance has a dimension of semiotic construction, sometimes, even self-reflexive semiotic construction (and only then does it deserve such a label).It's an entirely different think to attach the word 'semiotics' to a work that doesn't express semiotic manipulation that stands, self-refexively apart from most works of art. Examples. Duchamp. Broodthaers. Kippenberger. Sometime's even the Chapmans.I still don't see it, sorry.
the asshole semiotics professor , please elucidate on connotion and denotion blah blah zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzyou sound like 1995, and 26 years old with a chip on your shoulder. no one gives a shit about that anymore
"DiBenedetto's unique brand of skill-without-neatness is subversive, challenging and, for the viewer, a kind of welcome release from good taste." that is fucking classicreleeeeeaaaase us from good taste!
>>the asshole semiotics professor , please elucidate on connotion and denotion.....Chill out man. Just wanted to see from a poster what 'semiotics' had to do with this image. If you calm down, I'll hook ya up with some GOOD Lamé.
no thanks, i already got your moms Lame, and nothing can top it.gotta go brush my teeth and get ready for round 2
What is this piece like, texturally? has anyone seen it in person?
nooo he di-intt!!!
yeah its covered in boners and pussy and shrapnel and weed and jane fonda and old vienna beer caps and moustache hair and boogers and death to disco t-shirts
Taste is the enemy of creativeness. - PicassoIt is good taste, and good taste alone, that possesses the power to sterilize and is alwways the first handicap to any creative functioning. - Dali
AAAAAAAAAAH I WANT TO DIE NOW
11:10 - please say more about the Chapmans, I think you're dead on so far, but I'd like to hear more about this "sometimes"
people who quote anyone just make me so sad i want to fucking crawl under the covers and give up. its just so upsetting. like who cares. like is this what the world is comprised of, and then we diegod i can't take itaaaaaaaaah noooooooo suicidal thoughs nooooooo - don knotts
The artist must try to raise the level of taste of the masses, not debase himself to the level of unformed and impoverished taste. -Rivera
You're right. I should take away the 'sometimes'.I'd comment further about how they like to play withthe slipperyness of art signifiers (I think they takeLamé) but right now, I gotty guard my mom fromthat anti-professorial, anti semiotic asshole of a poster.Seriously, I gotty go to sleeps, and semiotics really doesput me in such a mood. Talking about it, that is --not making art about it. Good night.
Did you know that in Russian, the word for oil paint can also be applied to butter?... oil paintings should be very tasty! -Titovets
I wonder if he sketches it all out first or if he literally paints it as a stream-of consciousness--it doesn't look like he does.
yeah, it looks pretty deliberate
Honestly, I think it's hard to say--all the talk about how his art is self-therapeutic, he does it as a purge, blah blah--seems like it's the press. There's nothing I've seen that's actually in his own words.
he's too much of a drawer (draw-er) not to do at least a prelim sketch or something
does anyone remember Zubaz? because i'm pretty sure I had some pants like this circa 1991
There are people across the street who are not normally there. They just walked away, I think they heard me thinking. I saw a tentacle coming out of my roomate's pant leg, and sometimes really reality seems like a Quay brothers video where stuff moves really fast, like peoples heads. I thought I saw someone in a featureless mask like when the teachers are supposed to let the kids alone in the back of a black town car. ANd now my back really hurts, ever since I can remember. And I don't have a lifeline on my hand.Is that what you mean? Because One time I picked up a hitchhiker (this was before rape and murder) guy who said:"My name is James Chastain, son of a carpenter" and I told him, you know what you need? you need monogrammed towels, and thats how I maked my first fortune. Then, by Adam, I made Able, who was a total mad man in Nam. Judas was a total cunt, and I said as much. I'm going to shoot an apple off of my girlfriends head tonight, so I have to get one.I'm not that great to hang out with in person, but I'm cooler than an anxiety attack.
Maybe to be truly subersive today, one must first be lamé.Zubaz? Kind of like parachute pants or coolats?
Remembers only? Memory is subversive.
zipthwung u r an affordable treasure
After reading all of this I decided I like this painting.
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