For Benjamin Edwards, progress is a hollow concept

The New Future,” curated by Kristina Bilonick . District of Columbia Arts Center, Washington, DC. Through Jan. 13. Artists include Urban Scout, Jade Doskow, Jo Wonder, Benjamin Edwards.

In Washington City Paper, Kriston Capps zeroes in on lone painter Benjamin Edward’s cynical vision of the future. “Outwardly, Benjamin Edwards� world looks pleasant enough. Sure, the traffic�s a bitch: His geometric-abstract paintings portray dense grids of bustling avenues of flying symbols, crisscrossed by boulevards of floating patterns. But as crisp and clean-looking as his urban landscapes are, they reflect the artist�s cynicism about the world around him. ‘I lump the utopian and the dystopian together, into one category,’ says Edwards, 37…. Edwards� work certainly fits the show�s title. If anything, his cityscapes�based on models he creates using 3-D modeling programs and other software�appear to suggest the distant futures of science-fiction cornerstones like Blade Runner or Minority Report. But the artist stresses that he�s addressing present-day reality. ‘[The work] has a sci-fi flavor to it because the aesthetic is hyperbole or exaggeration,’ he says. ‘But that�s how I feel the world really is, whether we see it or not.’ The varied, colorful elements in Edwards� works become further transformed and distorted in his final paintings based on the digital images, and his separation of source objects from their meaning speaks to his central thesis, inspired by the work of political philosopher John Gray: Is progress now just a hollow concept, lost in so much noise?” Read more.

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