Born in New York City. Lives and works in Jersey City, NJ.
I am very interested in power, who holds it, how it is used, how it informs every narrative, and how it can be taken back – by women in particular. From a queer perspective I explore this notion of power: I play with the human body, both male and female, often anatomically exaggerated and at its moment of most extreme action. I believe the body holds the core of human power and by playing with its form and its relationship to other bodies – I can bring attention to power imbalances that exist within our society. Using the language of comics, caricature, and pop culture, I explore and expand my understanding of the physical and emotional limits of my own body. Each body I depict is an extension of my own body – and each image allows me to feel more powerful and to physically grow. I am infuenced by images of bodybuilders, anatomy books, gig-posters, and artists such as Tom of Finland, Robert Colescott, the Chicago Imagists as well as children’s artwork. Music and song lyrics often play a role in the titles of my works. My inspiration for this imagery comes from feeling powerless and often intense, overwhelming anger at what I view to be atrocities committed against women every day – both large and small. I want to create a visual world where women fnd their power: mentally, physically, sexually. My work is motivated in large part to my own emotional experience. As seen in my portfolio, humor tempers the anger in my work. Humor is a good lubricant in communication (and in maintaining sanity). I believe in the subversive power of humor and how those who are disadvantaged can harness it to topple the powers that be. I take pleasure in making work that on first appearance might look funny and appealing to the eye – but upon closer examination reveals a darker more serious nature. My hope is for my work to be a reflection of the world around us: exaggerated, yet truthful in revealing the unsaid reality. — Ana Benaroya
Baby won’t you come inside, I’ll take you on a fantasy ride. Take a journey through my universe, My love’s the softest place on earth. ⁃ as sung by Xscape As I began to think about this body of work, I looked back at the works I created for my previous solo Teach Me Tonight and I knew I wanted there to be some sort of continuity between the two shows. Both shows took place within the same year and I felt as though I was only in the beginning stages of exploring my relationship to the imaginary and how through it I can create a space for lesbian desire. At the suggestion of my friend Morgan, I read up on the weekly salons hosted by Gertrude Stein and became very interested in centering the location of my show in a space very much like this. Teach Me Tonight had taken place in a jazz cafe and now The Softest Place on Earth would take place in the domestic space of an apartment. In this apartment, women would be convening to discuss art and culture and actively take part in creating it. At this party, books are simultaneously read and written. They are worshipped over, used to cast spells and reanimate goddesses of the past. Books and bodies are sites of pleasure and knowledge creation. Magical orbs are served as dessert and lactating breasts create new universes and symphonies. Shadows, ghosts and spirits walk among the house guests at this party — all have been invited. The women who are in attendance are overflowing with creative passion and desire; it spills out of their bodies to create new bodies. In this salon, creation is intellectual, emotional and physical. In the microcosm of this apartment party, a new world is being created. The new world is chaotic and in its infancy, stumbling to find its feet and its language. Through this cacophony, however, permeates a constant throbbing and steady heartbeat. Blood is pumping and the air is filled with desire and excitement. With each of these paintings I hoped to capture and reveal just a moment of this sapphic genesis. - Ana Benaroya
Nina Chanel Abney, Trey Abdella, Ana Benaroya, Jonathan Chapline, Julie Curtiss, Timothy Curtis, Todd James, Ludovic Nkoth, Eddie Martinez, Tony Matelli, John Rivas, Koichi Sato, Anna Park, Erik Parker, and David “Mr. StarCity” White
The phrase “How ‘Bout Them Apples?” is a brassy declaration of one-upmanship made familiar by the 1997 film Good Will Hunting. Here it speaks to the resilience and toughness of the artists whose work is featured in this exhibition, New Yorkers who persevered through one of the city’s most trying periods. By opening a new gallery space, albeit carefully, with an ambitious group show during a pandemic, the show hopes to communicate that while things may not be the same as always, the spirit of New York endures, especially through the artists who create within its borders. The gallery will be presenting fourteen new works that embody the vibrancy of the city itself, the Big Apple. This inaugural exhibition celebrates the work of these fourteen artists while also giving back to our city and those affected by the pandemic. The gallery will be giving 10% of the proceeds from this exhibition to Project Sunshine, an international nonprofit, harnessing the power of play and human connection to help children facing medical challenges.
Ana Benaroya and Peter Saul
Ana Benaroya is currently working towards a two-person exhibition with Peter Saul to be shown with Ross+Kramer, East Hampton in Summer 2020. Entitled “Summer-Upon-Summer Love”, the exhibition will examine both artists’ abilities to draw upon the surreal nature of everyday and political events, bringing out the visually vibrant as well as the unintentionally hilarious. As one of the fathers of Pop Art, but decidedly outside of the canon we have come to associate with the movement, Saul’s work both historically contextualizes and ideologically complements Ana Benaroya’s choice to work in the vernacular of culture and what makes us weird.
Paintings by Ana Benaroya
I believe the body holds the core of human power and by playing with its form and its relationship to other bodies – I can bring attention to power imbalances that exist within our society." - Ana Benaroya We invite you to join Ana Benaroya and RKG this Saturday night for an opening reception for her solo show "Beach Bodies" in our East Hampton location, now open for the summer season. Saturday, June 22, 2019 6:00 - 8:00 PM