A series of watercolor works draw attention to urban detritus,—a tree-shaped air freshener, a McDonald’s burger wrapper, a Chinese takeout menu—speaking to a particular cultural moment of mass production. With Coupons (2014), numbers like 1.99, 2.99, and 3.79 emerge from a coupon page that is almost entirely saturated in water stains. These prices clue the viewer in to what specific point in time the work aims to capture—our contemporary moment of mass consumption. It is notable that these works are less gripping when viewed in isolation, commanding more weight as a mini-series that serves as a counterpoint to his paintings.
Perhaps what makes Benson’s style the most memorable is his ability to collapse the foreground and background of his works into one plane—in so doing, he entwines natural environments with constructed ones, hinting at a future hybridized urbanization.