Jana Benitez: Wild Silence
Wild Silence is a solo exhibition by the Filipino-American artist Jana Benitez, which presents her recent work and investigation of the myriad ways that painting can help us understand the human body.
The exhibition celebrates painting as a unique medium that can explore the complexities and mysteries of our concrete experiences. In the title of the exhibition, "Wildness" captures the intuitive, limitless quality of what we feel and feel, while "Silence" means a deliberate withdrawal from worldly distractions to present us in our immediate experience.
In the exhibition, a uniquely lively spirit permeates the various painting styles and formats. For example, sparse, lyrical compositions of dancing figures hang in dense impasto alongside more visceral, explosive, gestural compositions, and calm abstractions of vast spaces. The artist employs a wide range of painting techniques, from traditional painting using brushes and scrapers to experimental water nets, all to express emotional intensity, depth, and complexity.
In addition, the artist varies the speed and size of her marks, the level of transparency or opacity, the relationship between color concentration and lines, the dryness and wetness of the paint, and most importantly the innovative ways these techniques can be stacked on top of each other. The human body, in turn, is identified in many ways: as a sanctuary as a whole, as a tuning fork, as a carrier of memory, as a carrier of bodily information, as a speaker of intuition, as a physical body, and as a site for energy alchemy. This is most clear in a series of intimate paintings by Benitez, which offer clues to potential interpretations of the exhibition as a whole.