Best New Artist

Benjamin Jurgensen

There’s a fine and fairly recent tradition of pop sculpture in D.C., led by Jeff Spaulding and Dan Steinhilber, among others. Benjamin Jurgensen is poised to join their ranks—once he finishes school, that is. Though the 21-year-old artist is still completing his undergraduate degree in sculpture at the Corcoran College of Art & Design, he has a few shows under his belt. His work caught the interest of the Brooklyn Museum of Art during Art Basel Miami, where Jurgensen’s work was represented by two D.C. galleries. Jurgensen’s wood-based work casually references Matthew Barney and Robert Rauschenberg, borrowing formal composition from the former and subtle humor from the latter. Whereas Steinhilber and Spaulding use everyday things, Jurgensen’s work merely looks like things you know—the Super Soaker (as well as the keg it’s plugged into) in Spit Your Game, Talk Your Shit, Grab Your Gat, Call Your Click is made from wood, fiberboard, and latex paint. The cartoonish finish he gives his objects keeps them light, though the content is often stern.

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