02.08.21 - 28.09.21
Mala is pleased to present Prata, a solo exhibition by Beatriz Bentes.
Prata brings together three graphite drawings produced over the last year, Untitled (Ghost Boot), Untitled (Magic Field) and Untitled (Miss Fevvers), together with two installation elements that invite visitors to use props.
Graphite is a material that we associate with sketching, with prematurity. In Prata, we seek to construct a space of mutation and transformation, which departs from the aesthetic values of graphite, and through the painterly and eerie qualities that this material can show. When scratched to its limit, a peculiar, metallic surface is created - which when flooded with light, reflects, depending on our point of observation.
Beatriz draws from the imagery of the fantastic, in particular RPG video games and fanart, in which a feminising space is evoked. Upon entering the exhibition, visitors are invited to apply long artificial nails, which resemble a harpy, a feminine and bestial figure. On the walls, the three drawings represent different elements that could belong to a video game narrative - Untitled (Magic Field) is an abstract graphic exploration, a magical energy, a mysterious abrupt movement, the sound of wind or the casting of a spell. Untitled (Miss Fevvers), presents us with a winged anti-heroine, a representation of a hyper-feminine body, inspired by the character Sophie Fevvers, from the novel Nights at the Circus, by Angela Carter. Untitled (Ghost Boot) shows us a bodiless artifact boot, surrounded by an aura. The four-leaf clover shines as if this object is coming to our aid. On the floor, we can find a pyramid of coupes, like a conjuring object, which when illuminated by the sun, reminds us of the shining qualities of Beatriz's drawings.
Beatriz Bentes is a Portuguese artist based in London.
Prata is Beatriz's first solo exhibition.
Photo: Beatriz Pereira, Courtesy of Mala and the artist.