wk5 – Artist Conversation – Josh Benz & Caren Solis

This week I had the opportunity to meet artist Josh Benz and talk to him about his piece. Unfortunately the other artist, Caren Soils that partook in helping create the piece was not available today. Josh does not have his own site yet but you can find his work that he posts on his facebook page searching for Josh Benz. Josh and Caren’s oil painting was very interestng, and I decided to interview him because I wanted to know more about it. I wanted to know more because It was the most relaxing piece in the room to me and you will see why in the picture below.

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Josh’s goal for the painting was to create a relaxing piece, and show the transition from childhood to adulthood. The painting started out as a somewhat self-portrait that Caren made, seen in the bottom left of the painting. After making her self-portrait, Josh had covered everything in paint. This action had angered Caren and she told him ” What are we going to do now?!” He did this because he wanted them to collaborate since they were supposed to work as a team. So they would take turns adding stuff little by little. Josh said he had things flowing, and she would have to force her stuff to fit. Her paintings were more realistic figures and he did implied paintings instead of literal. On their last day of painting they decided to paint together and put there ideas together.

The whole thing took  about 3 months, after they got to a late start. After they decided to keep her self portrait of the 2 people watching TV, they agreed on that he would paint what they were watching and she painted them watching. They wanted the colors to bounce off of each other and make realistic figures into abstract art work. Even though they had different ideas, the colors created a better sense of perspective which made their ideas work together.

This piece means a lot of things to me; my emotions are kind of thrown around every where because I have no idea what my imagination is trying to do. I definitely could tell that two different artist’s worked on this piece because of how things met in the middle. She started off with drawing the people watching TV and it also looks like they are floating on water. In the middle of the river, it looks like 2 different waters meet representing the 2 artists. On the left side of the painting you see realistic figures like people working and then on the right side there is a 2 headed dragon. To me, this means that sometimes we get so caught up on what’s in front of us that we don’t know what we are swimming in, or what is going on around us. So does this achieve the transition from childhood to adulthood? Maybe if you look at it a certain way, with how on one side you have people working and the other is a fantasy land, which is why I love Art, because every piece means something else to another person.

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