The Gifts of Lockdown
Andrew Maughan (London)
Emecheta Stanley Ekene (Lagos)
Xiuching Tsay (Bangkok)
Filippo Cegani (Milan)
Alexi Marshall (London)
Yulia Iosilzon (London)
Sophie Ruigrok (London)
The Gifts of Lockdown is Daniel Benjamin Gallery’s first online exhibition of 2021 featuring works by seven international artists.
We have been debating extensively on the need for an online exhibition: paintings need to be experienced in person!
The cuts in the canvas of Andrew Maughan, opening another dimension from which the Great Assassin seems to be spying on us, the translucent silky fabric of Yulia Iosilzon, Filippo Cegani’s smooth airbrush technique, the flowing strokes of Xiuching Tsay, the colours in Emecheta Stanley Ekene’s canvases, the embroidery of Alexi Marshall and the bold impasto of Sophie Ruigrok…we know it can sometimes be difficult to perceive details from a digital image.
But we simply could not wait any longer to show you the new works by a selection of artists.
Throughout the numerous lockdowns in different countries, our artists continued to explore their practices. At home, in the studio, in the garden, no matter where they were, they continued to create. As we all navigated these unprecedented and strange times, the artists adapted and kept doing what they do best, help themselves and other with the creativity and deep sensibility that only they can have.
The Gifts of Lockdown focuses on the effects of the lockdowns on the practices of the artists, with all works having been created in the annus horribilis that just ended and in this first month of 2021. Some changed their subjects, some went more in depth in their research, void of the distractions and constraints of everyday life, finally able to focus only on their practice.
The choice of figurative works an intentional one, dictated by the immediacy that such images can evoke in the viewer, a connection established at first glance with certain works that resonate with our psychological state in that moment. The pictures of the studios aim to provide context about the creation of the artworks, and elucidate whether the artist’s surroundings may or may have not affected the final result.
This past year had been [insert literally every single synonym for difficult] for everyone.
But we must look to the future with hope and an open mind, ready for the endless opportunities that will most assuredly present themselves to us.
Now more than ever art is essential, whether as a beam of hope, a touch of cheerfulness, reminder of mourning, to focus our thoughts, pinpoint our sadness, bring out happiness… always an open window towards a different world.
These are the gifts of lockdown.