Essay by Klaus Kertess.
Published by David Nolan Gallery
The single studio photograph that closes this volume shows a framed print of an octopus clinging to a human figure and, nearby, a model helicopter. Both subjects figure regularly in DiBenedetto's close encounters of the painted kind--over the course of 20 years the Bronx native and Guggenheim Fellow has created a cosmology of enigmatic motifs including ferris wheels, helicopters, octopi, dilapidated TV sets and haloed figures glowing with energy. He assembles them in eerie, industrial wastelands and cavernous, menacing reliquaries, creating an imminently self-destructing and at the same time wildly regenerating world where the eye ricochets from point to point, slithers from one embellishment to another. DiBenedetto's furiously worked oil paintings, composed in a dense palette of decaying, mucky tones, sometimes take him several years. Recent Drawings and Paintings illustrates his most recent works on paper and on canvas, which align him with the Surrealism of Roberto Matta and Max Ernst and the mysticism of William Blake, and with contemporaries like Carroll Dunham, Terry Winters and Gerhard Richter.
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