Artist Spotlight:  Jonathan Benitez

 

My Art

My art is about portraits of people and figures – oftentimes taken out of context, from ordinary to unknown entities, deconstructed and appropriated and juxtaposed on fragments of collage surfaces. My aim is to connect the relative essence of man and his relationship with other living organisms, their common traits, fragility and impermanence.

woman 4 collage

For me, art is not an occupation – it’s an advocacy. It’s a role given to me to help open the eyes of my audience or community about realities that may not be obvious to them; to orient them with the fact that there is more to life than just trying to get what you can get. We all have our roles in the society, and mine just happens to be that of a culture bearer. I live in a place where environmental advocacy is strong; I help reflect this in my art.

My Process

I have a strong fascination with figures and how they are affected in a given environment. I am inspired by my hometown’s lush vegetation. My world is populated with plants, wildlife, entities from folklores immersed in contentment while living in harmony with man. I believe man’s behavior is influenced by his surroundings, and in turn, the surroundings are influenced by man’s presence. It’s a symbiotic relationship.

nothing but everyday poetry collage

My temperament rests well with water based mediums and paints.  I like to see fast results so I could manipulate my composition whilst my excitement is at a high. Most times, I do not make a study – I just work with a reference, be it an image from the net, from a magazine, or a photo I snapped with my phone. It’s exciting for me to see how ideas manifest themselves through a mix of intuition and accident.

earth walker mixed media

My collage is a commentary on commercial advertising, which is a form of art with the purpose of capturing the minds of the viewer by showing a variation of truth. I utilized printed images, the glossy fashion magazines and books and all available sources. Ready-made images are codes, which are very potent in illustrating an idea. Their meaning, however, is the product of corporate manipulation. Our society is bombarded with it commercial mages every day, dictating how we should behave. This is where I engage the conversation with my art – my point of departure.

 

Artist Spotlight:  Jonathan Benitez

diwata-collage 

My Journey, so far…

I am one of the pioneers of contemporary art in my island of Palawan in the Philippines. I curate and organize art shows and events there, while showing my art regularly in Manila galleries. I represented the Philippines in the Peace and Art Festival in Uba, Brazil in 2014. My artwork was exhibited in Germany and Portugal. My art is featured in the prestigious Manila Art, an annual art fair in the country.

I hope to expand t the reach of my art as wide as possible – to reach to a larger audience that and represent Filipino art on a global scale.

Message to aspiring artists

For those who wish to pursue art: be honest with yourself and follow your own voice. Nothing beats a well-articulated vision fueled by passion and personal experience.

collage

Follow Jonathan on his social media platforms!

https://www.instagram.com/jonathan.s.benitez

https://www.facebook.com/tibur78

Photo credit: Katherine Jack

 

PULL QUOTE:

For me, art is not an occupation – it’s an advocacy. It’s a role given to me to help open the eyes of my audience or community about realities that may not be obvious to them; to orient them with the fact that there is more to life than just trying to get what you can get.

 

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