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Chemical Crabs, 2010

local limestone, wire, painted photographs.

Quintana Roo, Mexico, Universidad Tecnologica

in conjunction with the UN Climate Change Conference, Cancun

Benish, an American born artist who has settled in the Czech Republic, similarly dramatizes the effects of chemical and plastic pollution on marine and sweet water life. She paints on photographs of plastic toys of sea animals, ornamenting them with bright patterns of unnatural colors that recall the toxic chemicals and plastics that litter the world’s beaches and waters. Here her subject is the crab, a creature with a long mythological pedigree that has historically been associated with regeneration and rebirth. In the contemporary world, however, regeneration appears as a wishful fantasy, as the freshwater crab’s survival as a species is threatened by chemical pollution. There is a further irony in Benish’s use of plastic toys, because, of course, these same objects that serve to familiarize children with the natural world are also potentially toxic.


from the catalogue essay by Eleanor Heartney

Heartney regularly contributes to Art in America, and recently published "Art and Today"

What Will Be catalogue →

S. S. Palo Alto Project Website → 


Gyres series, 2011-12

watercolor on paper, sizes vary


'm a paragraph. Click here to add your own text Bruno series, 2000-1. photographs, oil paint, chemical bath. sizes vary 


IChemical Crabs and Other Play Things.    Text by the artist

Body Burden, 2010 

installation detail: cast glass, copper wire

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