With Beach Goer, Degen returns to the sea using a bright yellow daylight cast to color the swirls patterning the subject's face, not unlike those found in Set. The sun radiates over a cloudless sky rendered in intricate marks and patterns as if to emphasize the pulsating motion of the sun's rays. Here, Degen combines movement with portraiture— while the subject is stolid, the landscape around him is abuzz with activity. Where Mare Insularum conveys a quiet serenity, Beach Goer presents the verso. Through his careful mark-making, Degen captures the sensation of being on the beach: the heat of the sun, the cool ocean breeze, and the soothing sound of the waves lapping at our feet.
"Benjamin Degen: In Waves," Susan Inglett Gallery, NYC, 12 March 2020 - 24 July 2020.