(too) Close for Comfort


110x140cm, oil on linen, unique piece, 2022

At what point does intimacy become intrusive?
When does desire become fetishisation? When is closeness too close?
Where do the lines blur and misunderstandings arise?…
and how does race play into this?

While working on this piece I was confronted with themes around fetishisation of Black, Indigenous and People of Colour. 
Even in consensual, intimate relationships it’s important to reflect on the questions above.

So far the feedback on this piece can be summarised in two ways:
Most white women I’ve spoken with view the piece as sensual, beautiful, erotic.
Most Black men and women I’ve spoken with feel discomfort when viewing the piece. For them, themes of racism, intrusiveness and fetishisation came up.
As a white woman I felt very uncomfortable painting this piece as I was reflecting on the same notions.

  • Anne Bengard
  • Anne
  • Bengard
  • annebengard@gmail.com
  • +4915223099326
  • https://www.annebenagrd.com
  • https://www.instagram.com/anne_bengard_art
  • Anne Bengard
  • Grunewaldstraße 15
  • 10823
  • Berlin
  • Germany
  • berlin
  • Petra-W.-Barathowa-@pwb-fotografie.de
  • Education:
    2007-2010: BA (hons) Performance Design and Practice (2:1), Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design, London

    Selected Group exhibitions:
    ‘ambivalent’ | Not A Gallery, Berlin
    Schöneberg Artists | The Ballery, Berlin

    Metawalls Berlin | The Embassy/Decentraland, Online
    Gekaufte Liebe | Not A Gallery, Berlin

    ‘Faces of Depth’ | Retramp Gallery, Berlin
    Berlin Mural Festival
    Game Over | Berlin
    ‘Fetish’ | The Ballery, Berlin
    ‘Art Safari’ | Kliemannsland, Elsdorf
    Stroke Art Fair, Munich
    ‘Mondo Bizzaro’ | Alte Münze, Berlin

    Future Binkhorst - VR painting installation | Trefpunt Rotterdamsebaan, The Hague, The Netherlands
    Spotlight on Anne Bengard | Sammlung Seibert, Berlin

    Modern Panic | Truman Brewery, London, UK
    Parkhaus Neukölln, Berlin
    Fabifa/Anne Bengard’s Praxis | Oberschöneweide, Berlin
    Fabifa/Anne Bengard | Bar Eigengrau, Berlin
    Light Noise Art | Zwei Drei Raum, Berlin

    Monumenta, Leipzig
    Berlin Mural Festival, Berlin
    Wandelism, Berlin
    Helmets for Habitat | Microsoft flagship store NYC

    WE ARE PART OF CULTURE, with 100% Mensch Hauptbahnhof and travelling to 20 major train stations around Germany
    THE HAUS | Berlin Art Bang, Berlin
    Enter Art Foundation, 50 Contemporary Artists | Berlin
    Take Over | Nau Bostik, Barcelona

    ‘Monster Madness’ | Slushbox Gallery, Florida, USA
    ‘Stopjectify’ | Gallery Different, London, UK

    Modern Panic VI | Apiary Studios, London, UK


    Anne’s work deals with issues around connection, intimacy and fetishisation, understanding the term ‘fetish’ in the context of behaviour, devotion, obsession and consumption.
Often borderline voyeuristic, her visual language uses polarities to explore social norms, stereotypes and aims to create a sense of tension and sensuality.
    Her works ask questions rather than make statements, often probing the subconscious.
Anne studied Performance Design and Practice at Central Saint Martin’s College of Art and Design in London. She is a self taught painter influenced by 90s anime and old master paintings and pop surrealism. She can hold her breath for 5 minutes.

  • Nein | No


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