New York

Steve DiBenedetto

Cable Gallery

The Op image’s greatest potential conquest of the mind is its ability to induce a headache. The essential banality of pure optical patterning prefigured its short life within high art and relegated it primarily to psychedelic paraphernalia, such as black-light posters. Maturing generations of American youth who invested in these icons of adolescent decadence tended to lose interest in them when their black lights burned out. But Steve DiBenedetto is still a fan.

DiBenedetto works with this degraded form of imagery, creating hallucinogenic paintings out of vibrating stripes and swirling moiré patterns. It is difficult to look at these paintings for long without hearing electric guitar solos. But DiBenedetto’s work does not exist purely on the level of the appropriation and resurrection of a bygone esthetic. In fact, DiBenedetto produces his strongest paintings when he plays down the

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