Scott Benzel

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Scott Benzel - Inversion I after Dennis Wilson
Scott Benzel - Inversion I after Dennis Wilson

Scott Benzel (born Scottsdale, Arizona. lives and works in Los Angeles) is an American visual artist, composer, and producer. Interested in the contradictions inherent in mythologized cultural histories, Benzel's work shows an ongoing fascination with the disjuncture between embodiments of popular culture - from the classical music score to photographic ephemera - and their accumulated meanings. Undertaking research into the genealogy of seminal pop music and cultural moments, Benzel’s interventions such as turning a pop musical score upside down to be played by a classically trained quartet and pressing the resulting recording to a lacquer which degrades upon play (Inversion I after Dennis Wilson) explore the processes and contradictions of mass media systems of production alongside the development of collective cultural imaginations and identification.

His visual and sound-based artwork has been shown at The Los Angeles County Museum of Art, The Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, The Contemporary Art Museum of St. Louis, The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (in collaboration with Sam Durant and Tom Recchion), Performa 09, New York (in collaboration with Mike Kelley) [1] Maccarone, New York, Blum & Poe, Los Angeles, Human Resources, Los Angeles, The Santa Monica Museum of Art, Santa Monica, CA, The Western Front, Vancouver, BC, Mandrake, Los Angeles, and Art Basel: Statements (in collaboration with Andrea Bowers). He has collaborated with Mike Kelley on the soundtracks to Kelley’s installations Day is Done at Gagosian, New York, Profondeurs Vertes at the Louvre, Paris, and Kelley and Michael Smith’s A Voyage of Growth and Discovery at the Sculpture Center, New York and West of Rome, Los Angeles.

Musical projects have included Machines of Loving Grace (of which he was frontman and primary songwriter), and Destroy All Monsters, the band led by American artist Mike Kelley.

In 2012, Benzel was selected for in inclusion in the first Los Angeles biennial, Made in L.A. at the Hammer Museum. His 2011 solo show Maldistribution at Human Resources, Los Angeles, was selected by Artforum and Frieze magazines in their year-end Best of 2011 lists.

In 2009, Benzel released Blak Bloc, a composition for string quartet and guitar feedback and synthesizer, chosen by Artforum magazine as a Best of 2009: Music.[2]

In addition to work with Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, Lucinda Williams, Boss Hog, Destroy All Monsters, The Red Krayola, and various others, Benzel has produced albums for Fat Possum Records, Plug Research in Los Angeles and for Par Avion.[3]


Benzel was born in Scottsdale, Arizona and raised in Las Vegas, Nevada. He graduated from the University of Arizona after undergraduate work at California Institute of the Arts. In 1998, Benzel returned to California Institute of the Arts and received his MFA in 2001.

In addition to his own visual and musical composition, Benzel began producing and remixing for other artists, often working with co-producer Jim Waters (Sonic Youth, Jon Spencer Blues Explosion).[4]

Benzel currently works as a visual and sound artist.


  1. ^ Performa 09: Mike Kelley’s Extracurricular Activity”, The New York Times, Roberta Smith,2009,[1]
  2. ^ Artforum: Best of 2009: Music: Scott Benzel Blak Bloc’ Artforum, Stephen Prina, Dec. 2009, [2]
  3. ^ All Music Guide
  4. ^ All Music Guide

External links[edit]

  • [3] Scott Benzel Tumblr
  • [4] Made in L.A. 2012 at the Hammer Museum
  • [5] ArtReview Review 2011
  • [6] Artforum Review 2011
  • [7] Frieze Best of 2011
  • [8] Artforum Best of 2011
  • [9] Artforum Music Best of 2009
  • [10] New York Times Review
  • [11] LA Times PST Review
  • [12] At AllMusic Guide
  • [13] At IMDB
  • [14] at Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis
  • [15] at Bard CCS
  • [16] Official Site
  • [17] w/Mike Kelley
  • [18] Maccarone Gallery
  • [19] Technoscience and the Avant-Garde, Journal of Aesthetics and Protest, Vol.1 Number 1, 2002