Artist: Michael Benevenia of Montclair, NJ
2013 Abstracts Art Exhibition – MyArtContest.com
The darkness under the shield is claustrophilic. The awkward heavy gloves and jacket are now comforting, warm and tough. I strike the arc, the darkness goes away, and the chase of the tiny puddle of boiling steel begins. Reassuringly, the burning hot splatter hits the back of my neck and finds the painfully small holes in my gloves. Every weld is a modest, unadulterated record of this sequence of actions.
I am from a small town outside of Newark, NJ. The area and my family have helped structure and inform the art I create. I come from a family that values labor. I see my sculpture as a labor, an art of building. My work is informed not only by my experiences as a structural welder and rigger, but also the close ties of my Catholic Italian-Polish family and the multi-ethnic diversity of Essex County. My Catholic upbringing has conferred in my work an investigation in self-reflection of mortality. I consider myself to share sculptor John Frame’s aspiration to explore contemplation, material and narrative in objects. I am also investigating the kinetic and participation with the object by examinations of Neo-Constructivist artist Lygia Clark’s Bichos sculptures from the early1960s. My explorations will continue to create in a handmade space to ask questions of iconography, the inorganic, and emotional reflection.
Art is my vocation. I want to build not only my studio practice, but also continue to pursue a lifelong artistic community. I will continue the chase of the little light confronting the darkness beyond the shield.