Swept Away feels like the show Ana Benaroya has always been destined to make. The Spring 2020 cover artist has been towing the line with her comic book meets fine art works, subversive and raw and fun and full of sound. For her solo show at Venus Over Manhattan, Benaroya takes on the tradition of R. Crumb, Spain Rodriguez and our founder Robert Williams with powerful use of color and comic flair, a storytelling exhibition that depicts women’s bodies in a leadership and ownership aesthetic that is rare. 

And much of the work is about escape, and water, and a sense of purity and judgement.  “Water is a place—but also a place that cannot easily be defined unless you start to place it in the context of history, art history, and contemporary culture,” Benaroya says. “For women, I feel it has been an especially fraught place, where our bodies have been on display for judgement and consumption, but also a place for rebirth and a symbol of purity.” But by flipping this narrative upside down, by depicting strength and nudity and laughter, Benaroya takes the power of water back. —Evan Pricco