FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE through February 3, 2018
BUFFALO, NY – Benjaman Contemporary, of the Benjaman Gallery Group, is pleased to announce Safe Word, an exhibit of erotic art, from the implied to the explicit. This January Benjaman Contemporary will be taking over Anna Kaplan Contemporary with an exhibit co-curated by Emily Tucker and Dana Tyrrell. This exhibition will survey the state of sex as represented through the practice of visual artists tied to Western New York, and drawing inspiration from BDSM culture – whose practice involves bondage, discipline, dominance, submission, and sadomasochism.
Safe Word includes work by Jack Drummer, Dorothy Fitzgerald, A.J. Fries, Rosemary Lyons, Colette Montague, The Estate of George North Morris, Kathleen Sherin and CJ Szatkowski.
Safe Word was conceived in part through the well-known bodies of work produced by both A.J. Fries and Kathleen Sherin; Fries’ hyper-realistic paintings explore sex and sexuality through the notion of objecthood and reverence, specifically using the sex toy as a launching point to interrogate sexual mores, interpersonal relationships and the uneasy juncture between public and private selves through the large scale depiction of “adult” toys.
While less overtly sexual, Kathleen Sherin’s well-known Drypoint, variable relief monoprints of coiling rope seek to both bind and unwind the viewer’s sexual unconscious. Sherin’s ropes and knot work - for which she is known as an artist – act as kinks in the garden hose of the visual field; interrupting, tying and winding their way through each piece, viewers are invariably seduced by their complexity and held in place by their beguiling aesthetic simplicity. These ropes echo the Japanese erotic art of Shibari whereby ropes are tied in geometric patterns to both bind and accentuate the human body.
At a cultural moment in which privileged men have abused positions of power, and have forcibly taken advantage of women, this exhibit also seeks to grapple with the mechanisms of power surrounding phalluses – both real and artificial – as well as the complex, negotiated power that comes with sex and sexuality. The artists presented within Safe Word utilize sex and sexuality in every deployable manner – from a power struggle, to incandescent humor, toward literalized and obfuscated representations of the body, and how society writ large both embraces and denounces sex.
Safe Word is on view from January 11 through February 3, 2018, with an opening reception the evening of January 11th. Anna Kaplan Contemporary is located at 1250 Niagara Street, Buffalo, NY 14213. Following the opening reception the exhibition will be on view by appointment. Contact Emily Tucker at 716.886.0898 or at firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule an appointment.