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FRANK BENSON AT THE RANCH

Frank Benson hijacks statuary memorials for the outcast and displaced, in Castaway (2018) allowing the pirate to become the subject of monumentalization. In identifying his subjects and transforming them into bronze casts, Benson navigates the formal syntax of the monument and the statue. The pirate, as a cultural siren for the industrious scavenger, provides a clear cognate to the sculptor working with found objects. Indeed, the pirate in Benson’s imaginary has found a bottle of detergent encrusted with barnacles that can become a multi-purpose tool. At the same time, however, Benson’s marauder lends the authority of the monument to the marginalized—those castaway by society. Working against the traditional verticality of the statue, Benson charges the viewer to lower their body to meet the pirate’s crouching squat.