Spotlight on Artist John Benitez
Welcome to The Elective’s digital art museum, dedicated to the incredible work of AP Arts students. This week we feature a mixed-media piece made by John Benitez from Delbarton School in Morristown, New Jersey.
Welcome to The Elective’s digital art museum, dedicated to the incredible work of AP Arts students. Each week we highlight a work or series created in one of the AP Arts concentrations—AP 2-D Art and Design, 3-D Art and Design, and AP Drawing (the AP Program also offers Art History and Music Theory)—as well as a statement from the artist (and, occasionally, their teacher).
From the first cave paintings to contemporary breakthroughs in virtually reality, art, in all its forms, has been a crucial way for people to process, make sense of, comment on, and grapple with the world around them. After more than a year of life in a pandemic, AP Art students have risen to the challenge of processing and making sense of the challenges—and opportunities—that have come from this perilous time. The work they submitted in their final portfolios is explicitly of the moment. It’s often challenging and provocative, but always insightful, inspiring, and expansive.
This week we feature a mixed-media piece made by John Benitez from Delbarton School in Morristown, New Jersey.
Here’s John’s statement on the work:
“I have always been fascinated by the amazing variety of plants, colors, and forms that I have seen in my many walks in the Jockey Hollow State National Park. With this in mind, I began my Sustained Investigation by exploring how to depict all the different impressions I experienced, everything from the graphic forms of plants to the myriad of colors I saw.
“Beginning formally with dry-point etching, I experimented with various print processes which allowed me the creativity to capture the effects I initially saw. In this image, a previous etching print was revived and worked upon using various mediums. In doing so, foliage reveals texture and form, multi colors punctuate the landscape and the overall impression reveals a brief personal insight into what I saw and felt.”
And here are a few other works from John’s portfolio:
Monotype print utilizing contrasting plant forms and expressionist background.
Drypoint etching investigating graphic forms focusing on positive and negative forms.
Focus on plant shapes against an impressionist background. Watercolor renders subtle form and color.
Mixed media utilizing foliage, color, and textural chaos.
Mixed media study of a single chaotic section of undergrowth.
Create a graphic representation of the density of colors and forms surrounding a single stark plant, with a focus on different forms within a decayed plant against multiple areas of vegetative color.
Drypoint etching examining linear, tonal, and textural qualities seen within a wild plant.
Drypoint etching displaying linear and textural components of flower heads, with accentuating color.
Mixed media interpretation based on the theme of ‘Evolution’.
Student and teacher statements are lightly edited for length and clarity.