Chad Rossouw and Matthew Benedict’s work operate on very similar aesthetic and intellectual levels. Both artists are interested in the representation of history and how its aesthetics both inform and rub against contemporary visual culture. Benedict’s work however, more often than not, is interested in culturally and socially specific ideas. He questions the form and subject that historical representations have taken and their relationship to the present. Conversely Rossouw’s work contains a triadic relationship to the present introducing a science fictional or an ahistorical displacement.
While Benedict in a work like Jason (2014) – a painting of the wreck of a whaler on a map of wrecks – questions the relationship of ‘the museum’ to art and contemporary morality, Rossouw’s work contains another worldliness to it. In Bougain Villas (2014) Rossouw produces a early renaissance style woodcut of a city, however, the city itself is not 15th century Nuremberg or Florence but instead is 21st century ‘Century City’, the Greco-Roman-Style shopping and residential monolith that sits on the outskirts of Cape Town.
Matthew Benedict was born in Rockville, Connecticut in 1968 and studied at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and The New School for Social Research, New York.
Chad Rossouw was born in Cape Town in 1982 and studied both his undergraduate and masters degrees at the Michaelis School of Fine Art.