South African artist Dominique Sarah Benton will be showing her work at a joint exhibition at Myeongdong Gallery’s Fantasy Festival this Sunday (October 16th). Her artwork gives a quirky impression, fabricated from alluringly bright colours, semi-disguising a melted, grotesque effect. It could be described as sugar-coated darkness; her art permeates your brain with its kitsch pop art-influenced façade hiding deep, dark layers. As well as taking inspiration from pop art she lists animals and the human sexual form as further creative motivators. As a self-recognised strong-willed and opinionated female, her artwork is an outlet for her frustration at living in such a constraining patriarchal world.
Benton has adapted her work to many different projects, both artistically and commercially. She has previously designed a range for Jack Parow and has set up her own clothing range with her partner, Friend or Foe, which is named as a comment on the exclusivity of the art world she has left behind in Cape Town. It is also a reference to her opinion that the city’s creative market is “saturated with cutesie kitsch- pop designy- pseudo art”. Due to this she decided “to produce exactly the type of work that sells ‘cutesie kitsch pop designy things’. The aspiration is that its aesthetic and commercial value will bring in the interests of a larger audience, at the same time making the audience aware of the double meaning behind the label’s name.
When delving into commercial projects Benton’s goes by the name of Orangeplaydough, with a tumblr in the same name giving us an insight into her inspirations and a visual diary of her life here in Korea. You can also find personal art on a blog in her name, Dominique Sarah Benton, or you can attend the Myeongdong Fantasy Festival exhibition to see her work in reality.
Images: Dominique Sarah Benton