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Aviv Benn Main Profile Image

Aviv Benn

Berlin, Germany

Painting • Born in Tel-Aviv, Israel • Studied at Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design ,Jerusalem, Israel

Published  08/02/2016   |   Updated  21/04/2016

I laugh at death

On my first trip to New York, when I was 9, my parents took me to the Keith Haring retrospective at the Whitney Museum. I remember standing in front of an unfinished work of the painter I loved, and crying. The painting was unfinished due to Haring’s premature death of AIDS. This was my first encounter with the abstract idea of “death.” It struck a chord and formed the kind of artist I am today.
During my first year at Bezalel...

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On my first trip to New York, when I was 9, my parents took me to the Keith Haring retrospective at the Whitney Museum. I remember standing in front of an unfinished work of the painter I loved, and crying. The painting was unfinished due to Haring’s premature death of AIDS. This was my first encounter with the abstract idea of “death.” It struck a chord and formed the kind of artist I am today.
During my first year at Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design in Jerusalem, I came across an anatomy book at the library. I was immediately intrigued by the body parts, which tell the tale of who we are and what we are made of. I took the book everywhere and sketched the images over and over. The body, which seemed to be this perfect, well-attuned entity, in fact consisted of individual parts that could be separated, each having metaphorically independent existence and life of its own.
Both experiences are significant to my work today — visual interpretations of the primal fear of death. I paint images of body parts and deformed characters, symbolizing death and decay. Into this dark subject matter, I inject humor, graphic and cartoon-like gestures, ironic expressions and absurd combinations. I'm replacing the tears of fear with laughter, as a way for the viewer and myself to deal with our inevitable decay and demise.

Aviv Benn
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photo by Tina Sauerländer

photo by Tina Sauerländer

photo by Tina Sauerländer

photo by Tina Sauerländer

photo by Tina Sauerländer

photo by Tina Sauerländer

Spinnerei Fall Rundgang, Pilotenkueche, Leipzig, Germany

Spinnerei Fall Rundgang, Pilotenkueche, Leipzig, Germany

untitled, detail from TEETH DREAM (artist book)

untitled, detail from TEETH DREAM (artist book)

Spinnerei Fall Rundgang, Pilotenkueche, Leipzig, Germany

Spinnerei Fall Rundgang, Pilotenkueche, Leipzig, Germany

Sleep Tight Little Skull, 2015, Oil and acrylic on canvas, 110x156 cm

Sleep Tight Little Skull, 2015, Oil and acrylic on canvas, 110x156 cm

Detail from Exquisite Corpse installation

Detail from Exquisite Corpse installation

Detail from Exquisite Corpse installation

Detail from Exquisite Corpse installation

Big Heart, 2015, Oil and acrylic on canvas, 157x165 cm

Big Heart, 2015, Oil and acrylic on canvas, 157x165 cm

Big Heart, 2015, Oil and acrylic on canvas, 157x165 cm

Big Heart, 2015, Oil and acrylic on canvas, 157x165 cm

What sounds, scents and sights do you encounter while in your studio?

Pop music on repeat.

What is your favourite material to work with? How has your use of it evolved throughout your practice?

Oil colors, nothing beats oils. The palette I worked with used to be full of colors, but lately I am learning that less is more.

What themes do you pursue?

The fine line between humor and tragedy.

What advice has had the biggest impact on your career?

Just keep working and things will happen.


EXHIBITIONS

SOLO

2016

SHARE YOUR TEETH (WITH THE ONES YOU LOVE), Art Von Frei Gallery, Berlin, Curated by Tina Sauerländer (peer to space)

2014

www.teethfallingoutdream.org, solo exhibition, Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design Gallery, Jerusalem

GROUP

2016

GROSS, Schau Fenster Gallery, Berlin, Curated by Stefan Draschan

2015

ULTRA Y, Nuzhaa Art Gallery, Tel Aviv

Spinnerei Fall Rundgang, Pilotenkueche, Leipzig, Germany

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PUBLICATIONS


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