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Ben Aronson
Risk and Reward
Tibor de Nagy Gallery
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by Donald Kuspit

Thereís a subdued, muted irony to Ben Aronsonís new paintings (all 2010), the peculiar quiet before -- and after -- an explosion, not only literal but emotional. His Wall Street traders, matter of factly going about their business of making money, are haunted -- even taunted and stalked -- by death, implicit in the soldier with a gun in Volatility Index (2010), and more insidiously, in Aronsonís volatile handling. The policeman protects them, even as he conveys the violence done to Wall Street by terrorists -- and the violence the traders have done to Capitalism and America with their "speculations." They have betrayed both, suggesting the paradoxical meaning of the American flags on conspicuous display: Wall Streetís self-conscious patriotism masks its fiscal and social irresponsibility.