Wk 5 – Artist of the Week- Josh Benz

Josh Benz’s painting was something you just could not ignore once you walked into Gatov East gallery. It just held an array of vibrant colors that drew your eyes in at first glance. And then as you look at it longer you see that there are figures that you can make out, and others you can’t. Because of this the formality of the lines and shapes were abstract in every way, mainly because it made you wonder , “What is it?”.

When listening to Benz speak you could see how proud he was to talk about this piece. He began by sharing credit with his colleague, Karen, whom he collaborate with. That is when I was surprised to discover that this painting was done by 2 artists which led me to ask, “How did you guys work on the piece together,  how did you alternate who got to use the canvas?” Benz answered by saying that they began with the lower left portrait of the two people laying down. Personally Benz commented and said “I had no idea where she (Karen) was going with this”, but he said that they kept their pace with each other by constantly being open when communicating. Benz followed by saying that the best thing to do when painting is to throw some color on it. At first I was confused by this remark, but he informed me that the worst thing an artist can face is a blank canvas, so in order to get it out of the way he would just cover the entire canvas of a background color to relieve himself from the intimidating bare space. He then proceeded to tell me that from there he just continued to throw on all the colors that he liked and figures that represented him- like a teddy bear that he proudly admit he still owns. Mainly Benz states that  this piece is open to interpretation, but claims that overall the title should scream ” A Moment in Time”. Personally he said when he views this piece, it reflects a transition from adolescence to adulthood.

I really enjoyed this abstract piece by Josh and Karen because it was true, it was open to interpretation. When I initially saw the piece I thought it was portraying the hidden emotions and thoughts between the two and when I spoke to others they thought it was simply conveying a couple watching a variety of weird TV shows. Either way I did understand why Benz had said that this piece is a transition from childhood to adulthood because of the vibrant colors. When we are children we are filled with such joy and innocence and as we grow up we tend to lose that vibrancy due to the pressures and obligations of adulthood. Further more when we get the chance to relax we simply do the mundane activity of watching TV rather than going out to play with our toys or outside. Lastly, I really found Benz comment about a blank canvas an interesting thought because it was an insight into the mind of an artist that made me connect with Josh himself.

Josh Benz states he does not have a website or any social media accounts.

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