Recently an artist in residence at the Queens Museum, Juan Betancurth, creates provocative hand made sculptural objects. Captured by friend, Benjamin Fredrickson, these sculptures were used as props in a series of Polaroid photographs with Betancurth’s mother, Nydia, as the subject. Since neither Fredrickson or Nydia spoke each other’s native language, a deeper level of understanding and communication was required.
The collaborative project will be displayed at Daniel Cooney Fine Art in Chelsea from 14 January – 27 February, 2016, and is the second time Fredrickson has shown in the space.
Included in the Museum of Arts and Design “New York Makers,” Fredrickson currently has a solo show running until 20 March, 2016, titled “Salon,” at the New York LGBT Center’s Bureau of General Queer Services Division (BGQSD). Longing for human connection, the Polaroids on display are personal to Fredrickson’s story, and rely on his intuition and relationship with subjects (including himself).
“…He also taps into the rich history of private snapshots, in a series of little Polaroids. Cindy Sherman is clearly an influence as well, and there are several self-portraits here, but even the most calculated works are revealing. Over all, the balance of raunch and finesse is finely calibrated.” – The New Yorker
In an interview with Dazed, Fredrickson speaks to what inspires his work, “We can learn and grow from exploring subcultural taboos just the same as any other topic. I feel that they should be explored until they are no longer subcultural taboos. Breaking down stigmas and provoking dialogue through art is important to me.”
Betancurth’s work, which exhibited at institutions like the New Museum, “blurs dream-life, memory, and the present through sculpture, installation, and performance. He creates installations to frame his performance work and draws upon poetry, witchcraft, religious rites, and domestic routines to both reconfigure roles within family and offer a place of community to participants.”