Knowledge Bennett: In Retrospect

A Look Back While Moving Forward

April • 2018

I’ve always thought it to be the responsibility of the artist to help restore a degree of dignity, integrity, and sense of humanity. At the core of my work is the hope to engage, enlighten and inspire. My use of visual imagery for the purpose of reshaping perception and narrative is of the utmost priority.
— Knowledge Bennett

Knowledge Bennett: In Retrospect

(A Look Back While Moving Forward)

Making its Los Angeles debut, Bennett’s “Orange Is The New Black” explores the ongoing systematic disruption of the black community via political and institutional corruption.

Consisting of six large scale uniquely hand painted and hand pulled silk screen paintings, this series takes the viewer on a chronological journey through almost a century of atrocities experienced by the black community at the hands of such entities as the U.S. Public Health Service, Federal Bureau of Investigation (F.B.I), three former Presidential administrations (Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton) and the New York Police Department (N.Y.P.D.).

Also featured works from Bennett’s earlier series which delve deeper into “Americana” through media and representation. Included in this display are Obama Cowboy (Six Shooter), Good Girl Gone Bad (Marilyn Monroe), Share A Coke (Coke Bottle), Mao Trump, and the critically acclaimed Cojones Series featuring pioneers of art history like Andy Warhol and Jean-Michel Basquiat among others.

Bennett’s utilization of pop art and its familiarity to  encourage serious matters of discussion, has been an instrumental component within his practice. Exercising the familiar, while also inviting the viewer to engage in enriched discourse, Bennett has been able to distinguish his use of the medium from that of his contemporaries, centering his message around history, politics, race relations and the public’s consumption of popular culture.