Pablo Benzo’s first solo show in Greece is a Celebration of Nostalgia and Modernism as experienced in Contemporary Painting.
Chilean painter Pablo Benzo joins Dio Horia for a residency in Mykonos, leading into his first solo exhibition in Greece. The exhibition Some velvet morning includes paintings and works on paper from the artist’s still life through cubism and abstraction series and opens on June 12th in the presence of the artist.
Pablo Benzo has been creating his Still Life Paintings since 2011. These are still life works with fruits and more recently with furniture, prompted by his interest in compositions, lines and colors found in urban spaces which, he repurposes strictly from memory as formal elements to create new constellations that are filled with energy. Each Still Life painting has its origin in a powerful moment, usually an encounter with an object. Yet in spite of its figurative references, each work remains non-linear in its representation and strictly formal in its conception. Benzo is not literally painting still life works but adopts the flow and movement he sees in objects, in order to address existential questions. As such, all his works are to be viewed both as exercises in color, composition, line quality, opacity, sheen, and as semiotic studies of and between humans. In this respect Benzo’s works are to be seen more as portraits that still life artworks.
Drawing inspiration from Impressionist and Cubist artists, Surrealist painters as well as Morandi, Bacon, Magritte and others, Benzo approaches figuration not as a visual result but as a process. For Benzo painting is a balance between technique and subject matter. His paintings arise from the recognition that human beings don’t exist outside history as autonomous bodies but are part of history: Each person forms a layer of an ongoing story. Benzo’s works consist of gentle lines and gradients of mostly soft colors not because they seek to reproduce an object but because, these contours are closer to feelings he has about being part of something familiar that derive from various sources like past experiences, readings and other unconscious sources that are not recognizable to the artist.
‘Some Velvet Morning’ is a song written by Lee Hazlewood and originally recorded by Hazlewood and Nancy Sinatra in late 1967. Reviewers have offered a variety of interpretations of the song’s lyrics. Hazlewood confirmed that he was inspired by Greek mythology when writing the song but that he himself was not sure what the lyrics are meant to express. Pablo Benzo situates himself in Greece and in an almost timeless artistic practice, titles his work and residency exhibition in a way that offers endless interpretations.