Primal attraction to all that is sexy, noisy, shiny and bright permeates the work of Brooklyn-based painter Todd Bienvenu. Mixing chiaroscuro with DayGlo punch, his voluptuously painted canvases address, if not celebrate, all forms of hedonistic impulse — from self-aggrandizing states of drunkenness to voyeuristic lust. The scenes could be dismissed as products of blasé hipsterdom if not for the very human light in which their subjects are portrayed: vulnerable in their weaknesses, and occasionally resplendent in their vices. Bienvenu’s images of strippers and keg-party belles would irk even the most low-key feminist were it not somehow clear that the works’ real subject is less “girls” than a bittersweet homage to life lived through an adoring and beer-goggled lens. CHRISTINA KEE
Todd Bienvenu: Stealing Tomorrow’s Fun is on view through September 28, 56 Bogart Street at Seigel Street, Bushwick, 718 417 3935
Todd Bienvenu, Pumps, 2014. Oil on canvas, 76 x 67 inches. Courtesy of Life on Mars.