Magic Johnson Smile
October 5th-26th, 2012
Reception Friday October 5th 8-11pm
Elephant is pleased to present Magic Johnson Smile, a solo exhibition of new works by Jesse Benson. The exhibition includes painting, sculpture, collage, and photo-based works. Through his interest in the many ways in which roles are defined for members of society, Benson has developed an arrangement of works that focuses on power relationships. Since 2003 Benson’s practice has consistently worked to complicate the compartmentalization of roles within the art world, specifically the blurring of artist/curator/collector. Calling upon design strategies, pop iconography, and commonly pre-supposed assumptions of “who’s in charge”, in conjunction with deadpan references to the artist’s own history of curatorial production, Magic Johnson Smile discusses the many ways in which we attempt to assert power, be they passive or aggressive, deft or clumsy, noble or perverse. Jesse Benson received his MFA from Otis College of Art and Design in 2003. He is an L.A.-based artist having recently returned from living in London and Brussels from 2009 through 2011. Group exhibition projects organized by Benson include the Delusionarium series, a nomadic group exhibition series initiated in 2004. The most recent installment of the series, Delusionarium 4, occurred in 2008 at 3 L.A. gallery spaces simultaneously. Benson has co-organized group exhibitions with Becky Koblick in 2006 and 2009, Brian Mann in 2011, and Steven Bankhead in 2012. Benson is currently in the process of organizing The Benefit of Friends Collected, a large-scale group artist-writing journal due for release at the end of the year. Magic Johnson Smile is Benson’s first solo exhibition in L.A. since 2004’s Hedge Your Bet at Mandarin Gallery.