Week #5 – Artist Convo – Josh Benz Featuring Karen Solis (collab)

For my week 5 artist conversation I had the pleasure of viewing Josh Benz’s art, as well as speaking with him. For this particular artist conversation Josh Benz’s pieces were all collaberations with Karen Solis. Their art was featured in Max. L Gatov and instead of snapping many pictures of different pieces as I usually do, I decided to pick one piece that stood out to me the most. The piece that caught my attention the most is titled “Netflix and Chill” and it is a painting. See the piece below:

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The painting itself is not only appealing to the eye, but also has a significant meaning behind the physical presence. Before we delve into that however, I’d like to talk a little bit about Josh and Karen– the artists. Josh was very passive while speaking to everyone and seemed to put a lot of thought into everything that he said. While Karen was not present, Josh was able to give us a little bit of information about her as well. Josh stated that Karen’s painting style was basically representative of whatever she wants to portray– she is adaptable.

As for Josh, he is a very expressive painter and is also extremely spontaneous. Josh’s main goal while painting, or favorite style of painting, is the inclusion of a narrative/story in his paintings. While Josh’s and Karen’s painting is neither extremely refined nor extremely rugged, it did take quite a hefty amount of time to finish. On Josh’s part alone, he spent several hours and painted every other day, for a total of 3 weeks.

When Josh first started this painting, he mentioned that staring at the empty canvas was the worst. However, once Josh began adding colors to the canvas, his characters began to gain shape and he was able to paint more comfortably. Josh uses larger brushes in the beginning in order to cover the canvas and then smaller brushes in order to add detail. Josh also noted that he blasted the canvas with many different colors– something he enjoys doing in his paintings is adding many colors. Josh stated that we could take whatever messages that we wanted from this painting. Furthermore, Josh would like to keep painting, find an art internship and study abroad after graduating. I highly recommend checking out Josh’s work, he can be found on Facebook @Josh Benz. Below is a picture of Josh next to his and Karen’s painting:

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