Borne initially from the artist’s reaction to the devastating AIDS epidemic of the late 1980s to mid-1990s, BENJAMIN’s works on paper – his predominant format – executed in black cel vinyl inks, charcoals and wax pigments – addressed tangible fear and utilized language/text and made reference to Western Art’s previous period of plague – The Black Death – to confront and absorb what seemed unstoppable.
In due course, in his studio practice -and simultaneously in the larger worlds of medicine, science, and nature – a more holistic consideration begins; an aberrance in our natural world demands an investigation into the fluid architecture that underpins eons of history. In particular, BENJAMIN made study of the Fibonacci Sequence as it was revealed in nature; specifically, in his research, the sunflower, which mimics in structure living cells and mathematic systems of reproduction. This mirrors the granular and molecular study scientists and physicians were advancing in seeking treatment and, hopefully, a cure. Fear is turned to learning, to comprehension; toward solutions. Run toward it, not from it.
BENJAMIN’s most recent work – paintings in decidedly psychedelic chromes – conjoin the male figure in pastoral, Edenic nature – sourced from the Hawaii that he currently calls home, joined with images of young men from photographic sources including the homoerotic images of the late 19th/early 20th century German photographer Baron Wilhelm von Gloeden.