Home Visual Arts The Prettiest Girl in the Room: Frank Benson’s Human Statue (Jessie) at...

The Prettiest Girl in the Room: Frank Benson’s Human Statue (Jessie) at Taxer & Spengermann

Photo by Luna Catini

With Fashion Week, Fashion’s Night Out and the first openings of the September Chelsea gallery shows, it seemed near impossible that an exhibition of a singular sculpture could hold its own in the visual overload happening on the streets.  But, Frank Benson’s beautiful and detailed fashion-forward Human Statue (Jessie) (2011) at Taxer & Spengermann certainly was the most beautiful girl in the room at the opening on Thursday night.

Cast in all bronze, Human Statue (Jessie) presented the model, dancer and musician Jessie Gold, dressed in a black, flowing dress that looks as if it came off one of the runways at Lincoln Center.

The sculpture was created digitally by taking photographic scans of Jessie Gold and constructing a virtual model before casting it in bronze. Benson’s digital-age sculpting method translated into the futuristic feel of the sculpture.

Posed with her hands in a circle reflecting the vase that lies on the base of the statue, Human Statue (Jessie) resembled an experimental fashion photograph, wearing Blade-Runner sunglasses. The detail on the sculpture was astounding and she looked more real than some of the models in the windows at Fashion’s Night Out.  Up close, the perfection of her hands and face were so uncanny that it seemed as if she was going to move.

In comparison to Frank Benson’s sculpture, the opening was fairly lackluster.  Hipsters in plaid shirts and gallerinas in black dresses couldn’t compete with the fabulousness of Human Statue (Jessie).

New Museum-curator Massimiliano Gioni dashed in and out of the exhibitions, probably going on to the tons of Chelsea openings. Instead of fashion-forward and bizarre clothing usually associated with fashionable openings, this opening featured quite a few children and a ugly-cute Chihuahua. A few women decided to bring the quirk such as a punk girl who came in dressed like she walked off of St Marks Place in 1977.

However, the real star of the show was clearly Human Sculpture (Jessie). Mostly, everyone in the opening just stood around in a circle, gawking and becoming enraptured by her ethereal and powerful beauty.

Photo by Luna Catini