Week 5 – Artist Conversation – Josh Benz

When walking into the galleries Josh Benz’s paintings could not go unnoticed. The vibrant colors and mixture of jagged and smooth lines kept your eyes looking. These oil paintings were extremely detailed and, I would say, abstract because of the randomness and almost incoherency at first look. To me, these paintings give me a feeling of almost Picasso style but with a very modern twist which I find extremely unique. I would have never guessed this painting came from a collaboration of two artists.

Benz was very humble when speaking about is painting, you could see how proud he was but he immediately shared credit with his co-artist Karen. When speaking about collaborating he said they started with the lower left corner of the two people and had no idea where they were going after that. He spoke about how communication is important and they took it piece by piece. He told that his grandparents were both artists and grandmother did oil paintings and his grandfather did water color which influenced him create art. He warned that the worst thing for an artist to look at is a blank canvas so when they were stuck, he threw color on it to have something to go off of.  As he painted he just added colors and pieces that represented him and three weeks later it was done. To him this painting shows the transition from adolescence to adulthood. The title is open to interpretation but Benz says to him it is “A Moment in Time”.

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It amazed me that this painting came from two different people. The fluidity achieved here seems like there is no possibility that there were two different sets of hands creating it. I loved that it was so open to interpretation. I feel anyone could relate to it in some way because we are all transitioning into adulthood and if you did not understand that aspect of it, everyone has relaxed and watched tv. I thought it was very sweet that creating art runs in his family and I feel you saw that through his passion when speaking about his piece. Unfortunately he does not have any websites or social media but his show is currently on display in the Gatov – East Gallery.

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