Artist of the Week

Trudy Benson

February 10, 2014

Trudy Benson is an abstract artist who lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. She was born in Richmond, Virginia in 1985. She received an MFA from the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, NY and a BFA from Virginia Commonwealth University. She is represented by Horton Gallery. Trudy Benson is known for her large scale abstract paintings that utilize large swaths and globs of paint. Her style was influenced by early computer painting programs, such as MacPaint and Windows Paint.

Photo by Jamie Beck

Tell us a little bit about yourself and what you do. I’m a 28 year old female artist from Richmond, Virginia.  I make paintings, mostly large-scale abstractions combining a variety of paint and paint application.

What are you currently watching on Netflix? The Host. Derek. Peep Show.

Image Courtesy of Horton Gallery

What materials do you use in your work and what is your process like? Most of my paintings contain all of the following: Acrylic, Flashe, enamel, and oil paint. They are mostly on clear-primed canvas, but I will occasionally paint on a panel. I use so much tape I’ve thought about getting 3M to sponsor me. My favorite brand of oil paint is Winton, which surprises some people. The cadmiums are bright, the titanium white won’t yellow, and the tube opening is the largest I’ve seen. Also the consistency is almost waxy, the paint really sits up and says, “Hello!”

Image Courtesy of Horton Gallery

What artists are you interested in right now? Tomoo Gokita, Roy Lichtenstein, Katherine Bernhardt, Kerstin Brätsch, Ann Hirsch, Joanne Greenbaum, Sarah Crowner, Kate Steciw, Johnny Abrahams, Ellsworth Kelly, Jonathan Lasker, Russell Tyler, Tauba Auerbach

Image Courtesy of Horton Gallery

How has your work developed within the past year? My palette has gotten cleaner and as a result I think my compositions have become more maximalist.  My process has slowed down a lot since I decided to only add linseed oil to my paint, and the result is a more deliberate painting.

Image Courtesy of Horton Gallery

What was the last exhibition you saw that stuck out to you? Michael Mahalchick and Jaques Louis Vidal at 247365

What is your snack/beverage of choice when working in your studio? I have coffee, a croissant, and water almost everyday.

Image Courtesy of Horton Gallery

What are you really excited about right now? My new studio.  I’ve just moved into the second floor of an old church in Greenpoint, where I have huge windows, high ceilings, and a disco ball.

What are you listening to right now? Trio by Dolly Parton, Emmylou Harris, and Linda Ronstadt

Can you share one of the best or worst reactions you have gotten as a result of your work? Probably the best reaction was a few years ago when a young girl, probably 4 or 5, ran up to one of my paintings and just smacked it with both hands.  She had to run across the whole gallery to get there, past 5 or 6 other paintings.  She was really happy to see it.

Image Courtesy of Horton Gallery

What is your ideal studio situation/workspace? Anywhere I can get natural light, some peace and quiet, enough space to work on a set of paintings at once, and a door large enough to fit them through.  It’s best if there’s coffee nearby.