Everything You Ever Wanted and More
March 2nd through 10th, 2016
Thursday, March 10th, 6pm to 9pm | The Bolsky Gallery
Everything You Ever Wanted and More explores the concept of the feminine as it relates to fantasy. The aspiration to be an archetype. The desire to be a dream girl. A promise that you can have--and more importantly be--anything you want in America if you play your cards right. The possibility to erode and fabricate oneself into a bigger and better version for the camera, if only one’s own. The reality that fake is just as good. Jean Harlow, Marilyn Monroe, Anna Nicole, Heidi Montag…where to begin on the fetishization of Blondness in America? Blondness as an ideology. I explored it because it’s the shiniest penny, its more prevalent than ever, and because of feelings of personal jealousy. Sometimes it seems the entire pornification of womanhood could be distilled into a bottle of 40-volume Quick Blue bleach, but that would be ridiculous. Even so, the trappings of artificial beauty carry the potential for interchangeability, providing an artifice that allows women to step into constructed identities. There she goes again, encored by each generation with little alteration. She’s out on the streets again--in publicity, advertising, and movies--until it’s all just part of the landscape. This work is not moralistic, because that would be boring. Instead, it takes the opportunity to explore both a repulsion from artificial beauty and a celebration of it. A desire to turn oneself into a fantasy because of sexual promise and adulation. An honest attempt to expose a conflicted relationship with the performance of femininity, the power of influence it provides, and the reality of the status quo that it reaffirms.
“To consume a myth is to buy a package along with the salesman’s pitch.”
Amanda Benefiel grew up in the 80’s in a trashed Victorian mansion on an idyllic lake in Kalamazoo, Michigan, a university town where she found early inspiration in the art, rock, and punk scenes. Her Catholic school upbringing at St. Augustine’s, a McCarthy-era institution where she was often reprimanded for shortened hemlines and clashing views, was offset by time spent in the student ghetto--lovely sprawling houses, ramen noodles and Gibson guitars, the sustenance of her Kzoo generation--at least till the factory closed. Amanda received her BFA from Pratt Institute in NY and is currently completing her MFA at Otis College of Art and Design in Los Angeles. After a few years of wandering the world like a trash cat, she has landed in Santa Monica, where she currently works and resides.
March 10, 2016