Raised in Queens, New York, Heather Benjamin recounts tracing the exaggerated feminine images of Sailor Moon characters at her grandma’s house when she was a child. ‘There is a lot about it that is exaggerated versions of traditionally-sexualised female body parts, like long legs and big eyes, but there is also a bunch of stuff that’s almost surrealistic about them, the bodies are fairly abstracted, and that’s something I like to play with,’ she says. Her erotic manga scribblings transitioned into more hardcore scenarios in a series of monochromatic zines called Sad Sex that the artist produced during her super-angsty teenage years.

Heather Benjamin studied printmaking at the Rhode Island School of Design, graduating in 2016. She started to exhibit the following year, and her work now appears regularly in galleries across the US and also in Tokyo, Lisbon and Paris.

As her style has developed, she focuses on the nuances of sex, celebrating the female form through a more refined, ambiguous approach. ‘At a certain point in my personal life I became interested in working through trauma, not ruminating on it,’ she explains. Her signature motifs are highlighted in large-scale paintings showing women commingling with elements of nature and taming its forces, a surrealistic exploration of womanhood that recalls the artist’s real life experiences.

Heather Benjamin’s website can be found here, and her Instagram account, where she regularly shows new work, is here.

We are very grateful to our Russian friend Yuri for introducing us to this artist, and for supplying many of the images.


Example illustration