The captain, from The Secret Sharer
The Captain, fromThe Secret Sharer, 2005 -2007
Toned gelatin silver print, with book
Sheet size: 24 x 20.6 cm
Image size: 22.2 x 18.8 cm
Limited edition of 25,
Signed and numbered
Matthew Benedict (*1968 in Rockwell, Connecticut) lives and works in Brooklyn, New York.
Matthew Benedict studied at the Art Institute of Chicago. He has been exhibiting in solo shows since 1993, and has received various awards from institutions such as the Joan Mitchell Foundation and the Penny McCall Foundation. His works are in the permanent collections of various museums, including the Dallas Museum of Art, Portland Art Museum, and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.
Matthew Benedict works in a variety of media. His sculptures, assemblages, reliefs, embroidered images, photographs, and gouaches are inspired by literary or mythical sources, and often deal with nautical themes. His imaginative scenes seem to come from children’s books or accounts of historical adventures, and could even be mistaken for antique ornamentation from English country estates.
Benedict has investigated trompe l’œil on several levels in his works. Looking Glass (2000), for example, features a relief of what seems to be a sinking three-masted ship, which turns out to be a common toy ship; the “ocean” in the background is a mirror, and the waves are painted on in white. The whole object is not a valuable antique, but simply made out of cheap plastic. And yet a fascinating effect exudes from this implied diorama: it grips viewers as they regard this disaster on the high seas and the imaginary, dramatic fate of its victims.
The photographic work selected by Matthew Benedict for our Collector’s Edition addresses the viewer’s imagination in the same way: a determined-looking man, obviously a captain, looks with great concentration over a railing. Is he steering his ship through the dangerous waters, or is he watching as valuable cargo from an exotic island is transferred from a dinghy on board his ship?
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