Maybe Vittoria Benzine was born when I was nine years old, writing a report for my elementary school English class about the black-footed ferret. Maybe Vittoria Benzine was born when I turned fifteen and fell in love with fashion as a means of escape from our small town in rural Pennsylvania. Maybe Vittoria Benzine was born when I turned sixteen and began to actively consider writing a career path.

By all factual measures, though, Vittoria Benzine was born when I was 22, on June 7th, 2018. I know the precise date because it’s recorded in my phone’s notes - this is the moment my name came to me, one week before I achieved my first six months sober.

Vittoria Benzine, her name laden with sexually-charged consonants evocative of flammable chemicals and Le Tigre lyrics, didn’t see this past as pain. She saw it as strength. Through Vittoria’s eyes, my wounds turned to wisdom, and my struggles to stories. Vittoria is my regard for writing personified. She is an embodiment of the American conflation between profession and identity gone awry, a system turning back on itself.

My Favorite Pieces

A Portrait of Ben Reeves

Vancouver-based painter Ben Reeves contorts his medium, experimenting with perception while nature takes center stage. His biography with Equinox Gallery explains that “Reeves is known for his sumptuous use of paint in compositions that deftly explore the relationship between abstraction and depiction.” No two moments look alike across the artist’s body of work—together, they form cycling permutations that disorient the eye before it surrenders to the hues ahead. “At first glance, many of his w

Smile Like You Mean It

I shot to the surface of post-grad life just below the Verrazano Bridge, my lungs choked with the bay’s refuse. College had been all riptides and sea squalls that dismantled my former identity centered around childhood’s structure. I’d once considered myself responsible, but that sense waned when circumstances shifted significantly for the first time in my life. College found me living a slapdash existence, propped up by the certainty pre-paid room and board offered. No one told me I should be s

Vittoria Benzine on Lara Nasser’s Second Solo Show with Meredith Rosen Gallery

Friday, October 9th marked the opening of Lara Nasser’s second solo show with Meredith Rosen Gallery on Manhattan’s Upper East Side. The exhibition, titled Faith Faith Faith Faith Bang Bang “continues to humor and confuse the viewer with cryptic tales from a queer Lebanese woman in America that confront a universal in-betweenness at the heart of contemporary culture,” as stated by a press release from the gallery. Nasser’s provocative works, rendered in rich oils and saturated hues, seduce view

By Any Means —

Three drags from an Uber driver’s cigarette bolstered my facade of calm. I swallowed the acidic taste in the back of my throat and stepped through the entrance for my first glimpse into Richard’s apartment. It was bigger than anything I’d ever seen in New York, with a spacious terrace featuring panoramic views of Central Park and the frosty Upper East Side. Black and white tiles gave the floor a sense of antiquity. I noticed a thin layer of dust covering everything and thought, Couldn’t he affor