"Repository (Freud's penny)," 1997
Barton Lidice Benes
penny and graphite on paper, 8" x 6"
From the artist: Benes assembles modern-day reliquaries out of everyday objects that have been touched by fame -- here a penny found under the cushion of Sigmund Freud's couch and in the next image panties once worn by Madonna. Whether his creativity is fueled by discarded objects that have the pedigree of fame or infamy, or by unusual and strange artifacts from human and natural history, Benes assembles the items into mini museums that are alternately provocative, disturbing, or amusing -- but always compelling.
Why we chose these pieces: The way Benes turns seemingly irrelevant items into visual time capsules is amazing and beautiful. His pieces reflect how modern culture has shaped and continues to shape both our lives and the global fight against HIV.