02 February 2010
Manifesto: Quincy Benton
"Untitled (Vestido Montez)" by Dr. Lakra
To tell you that my art is personal would be stupid: all art is personal. When it ceases to be personal, it ceases to be art. Even the artist who attempts to detach far as possible for his work ends up allowing the viewer to make some sort of conclusion about him. I guess what I’m trying to say is my art is personal in that it often forces me onto other people. My experiences, my sense of humor, my ideas on sexuality and gender and how they are expressed. When I draw from my personal experience, it is often the most shocking and taboo that I become fixated on, yet I’m not beyond embarrassment or shame. The truth is, I’m probably just as rattled as everyone else, even more so in most cases. What might be the simplest of confessions to one person are the most poignant to me.
I guess my goal is to make my art personal to other people, not just to talk endlessly about myself and gauge the world’s reactions. I want to engage with pop culture and the way it constantly crosses the line between a capital commodity and art. Things with cult status and recognition obsess me: because of my father, being a Dead Head is just as much a part of my heritage as being Jewish is. In this age, television, movies, music and the innumerable glories of the Internet are just as much a part of identity as class and religion. Hopefully, this year, I will have the opportunity to explore this idea.