Leonardo Benzant

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Studio Building
Studio Interior
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Studio Location
Artwork
Afrosupernatural. 2011. 60” x 72”. oilstick and mixed-media on paper
Mayombe Magik In The Urban Jungle. 2011. 60” x 85”. oilstick and mixed-media on paper
Mama Kalunga And The Funky World Of The Kongo. 2011. 60” x 72”. oilstick and mixed-media on paper
The Fish. 2010. 88”x 83”x14”. Wood, chickenwire, paper-mache and mixed-media assemblage.
To Invoke The Spirits Of The Forest. 2011. 60”x 75”. oilstick and mixed-media on paper
Leonardo
Benzant
Artist's Statement

I imagine the artist as a kind of Urban Shaman. His aim is to bridge the visible and the invisible worlds. I use the rhythms of stitching, cutting, painting, constructing, and collaging to develop a statement that is at once personal and universal. My work grows from an inner dialogue to resolve and celebrate issues of identity, ancestry, race and particularly as it relates to my Afro-Dominican/Haitian-American heritage. Ironically, while growing up, I realized that many, if not most Dominicans have no consciousness of blackness even though about 80% of its population is of African descent. My work is a fiercely-driven embodiment of my self-determination as a black man, inspite of having had to contend with addiction, ghetto-mentality and the internalized racism of the majority of post-slavery/post-colonized africans in the new world and Dominicans in particular. My inspirations are fused with the complexities of growing up in Brooklyn.

Bio/Resume

Leonardo Perez (professionally known as Leonardo Benzant)
102-21 85th Road Richmond Hill, NY 11418
347. 444. 7217 cell
718. 441. 0220 home
leonardobenzant@gmail.com
Education
2007—2009 Pratt Institute
Solo Exhibitions
1991 Works on Paper, Washington Heights Cultural Art Center, NYC
Exhibitions/Screenings/Performances
1990 Works on Paper, 4W Circle Of Art & Enterprise Gallery, Brooklyn, New York
2000 Everything Ends—Principle Character: C-Man, INTAR, NYC
2001 March Salon, Gallery M, Harlem, New York
2001 Small Works, Fire Patrol no. 5, Harle