Stephen Benedicto is a D.C.-based mixed media artist exploring the rich history of fetishism through deliberately satisfying art objects. Ideas of fetishism being "the material force of magical thought" and the "religion of sensuous appetites" inform and inspire his work.
The breakthrough series “Willing Resistance” explores fetishism with a visceral, minimalist visual vocabulary. Carved concentric lines into plaster illustrate forms that are choked off, pressed, and tied to other forms, evoking complex emotional responses to an austere geometric language. Abstraction of the subject matter allowed for the conceptual representation of fetish, eliminating the immediate stigma that reflexively occurs with its contemporary meaning; it disguises the subject matter, and mirrors the climate of sexual discretion in Washington DC. The work is a catharsis of simple form, seeking to reframe the notion of sexual fetish in a way that highlights a universal desire and satisfaction, bidding a primal sympathy from the viewer.