Loud alarms. Slight panics. Big yawns. Heavy eyes. Long showers. Blank stares. Dragging feet. Rough commutes. Emails. Lists. Reminders. Bitter coffee. Stuffy meetings. Groggy coworkers.
How was your weekend?
Taking cues from the 9-5 work life, Mark Benson employs the common conversation held in jobs the world over every Monday morning to bring to light the mundane and repetitive in the life of contemporary work culture.
Sculptures and paintings elevate weekend activities and place them on odd pedestals, a show of respect and honor for better times. Absent of their protagonists, a pall hangs over these moments alluding to them as dead and gone forever, or for at least another business week. Milkshakes, quick trips out of town, couch time, drunk time, and time spent working all have a place.
The resounding tone of this new body of work is just that: all things pass. The best part of the week is over, and here we are at its polar opposite. Let’s recap.
Previous Ever Gold Exhibitions:
Get The Flu, 2012
Group Summer Show, 2012
Mark Benson’s work examines how people move through the fences of their lives. Weekends, security lines, high rent, horrible markets, libidos, sickness, and health are all delineations in time, space, or self that define our actions and efforts. Most projects use everyday objects or materials to bring to life a variety of contemporary social issues and emotions, from anxiety around productivity, to the fear of failure, to the conflicted joy of being lazy.
To this end, puppies, flu shots, soap, paint and anything else rest on the same playing field for use in the work. Much of his multi disciplinary practice is humorous; some of it is grotesque, but it all looks to provide a new vantage point to moments that are—in one way or another—confined.
Mark Benson was born in Denver, CO in 1978. He received his MFA from California College of the Arts in 2011, and has exhibited nationally and internationally. He lives and works in Oakland, CA.