MUNTHE ART MONDAY: MARIA JOSE BENVENUTO
Please introduce yourself and tell us about what you do.
My name is Maria Jose Benvenuto, and I am a visual artist currently living and working in the stunning surroundings of the Northern beaches of Sydney, Australia. My artistic journey revolves around the realm of abstract art, where I find myself constantly exploring the limitless boundaries of creativity. Beyond my passion for abstract painting, I am also deeply engrossed in the world of abstract sculpture. My curiosity and drive have led me to experiment with an array of materials, such as aluminum, copper, clay, and brass, each lending their unique textures and characteristics to my sculptural endeavors.
My canvas, so to speak, extends across various dimensions, both in terms of size and medium. I find myself working on both large and small-scale paintings, utilizing canvases, linen, and paper as my artistic surfaces. Acrylic painting is my chosen medium, allowing me to craft my visions with vibrant colors and dynamic compositions. Through my art, I aim to evoke emotions, spark contemplation, and offer viewers a chance to experience a visual language that transcends the constraints of the literal world. Each stroke, each sculpture, is an exploration of form and expression, a journey into the depths of abstraction.
Could you explain more about how being a woman has affected your career?
I'm delighted to say that being a woman has not hindered my career in any way. In fact, I believe that my identity as a woman has enriched my artistic journey. I've been fortunate to work in an environment and industry that values creativity, expression, and diversity. My experiences have shown me that art transcends gender, and that the art world is evolving towards greater inclusivity.
My gender has never been a barrier to pursuing my passion for abstract art. The art world is becoming increasingly aware of the importance of recognizing talent regardless of gender, and I've been fortunate to collaborate with galleries and institutions that share this ethos.
Can you name some other female (artist) that inspires you and explain why they do so?
Yayoi Kusama: Yayoi Kusama's avant-garde and immersive art installations have captivated audiences worldwide. Her use of repetitive patterns and bold colors to create mesmerizing environments resonates with my love for abstraction. Kusama's fearless exploration of mental health issues and her ability to transform personal struggles into powerful artistic statements is truly inspiring.
Hilma af Klint: Hilma af Klint is often recognized as one of the pioneers of abstract art, predating many of the male artists who are more commonly associated with the movement. Her innovative approach to abstraction and her connection to spirituality intrigue me. Af Klint's ability to merge the physical and metaphysical aspects of art encourages me to delve deeper into the conceptual aspects of my work.
Hvad har været det mest udfordrende ved at være kvindelig kunstner?
Balancering af ansvar: Mange kvindelige kunstnere oplever udfordringen ved at balancere deres kunst karriere med ansvar for familien. Personligt omfavner jeg denne balancegang med en dyb følelse af tilfredsstillelse og glæde, da jeg også elsker at være mor. Selvom forventningen om at være den primære omsorgsperson kan påvirke den tid og energi der er til rådighed for kreativt arbejde, har jeg fundet ud af, at moderskab beriger min kunstneriske rejse på måder, jeg aldrig kunne have forudset. At blive mor har forbedret min evne til at forbinde mig med følelser, historier og oplevelser, der er universelle og alligevel unikke og personlige. Denne dybde af forbindelser finder sin vej ind til min kunst, tilføjer lag af autentisitet og resonere til mit kreative udtryk. Selvom det kan være indviklet at håndtere kravene, ved både moderskab og kunstnerskab, giver den kærlighed og inspiration som jeg henter fra min familie, mit arbejde en dyb følelse af formål.
What has been the most challenging aspect of being a female artist?
Balancing Responsibilities: Many female artists face the challenge of balancing their artistic careers with family responsibilities. I personally embrace this balancing act with a deep sense of fulfillment and joy, as I also love being a mother. While the expectation of being the primary caregiver can impact the time and energy available for creative work, I've found that motherhood enriches my artistic journey in ways I could have never anticipated.
Becoming a mother has enhanced my ability to connect with emotions, stories, and experiences that are universal yet uniquely personal. This depth of connection finds its way into my artwork, adding layers of authenticity and resonance to my creative expression. While managing the demands of both motherhood and artistry can be intricate, the love and inspiration I draw from my family infuses my work with a profound sense of purpose.
What would you like people to notice in your artwork?
Ultimately, I wish for my artwork to spark conversations and introspection. Whether it's the boldness of colors, the rhythm of lines, or the unexpected combinations in my sculptures, I hope my creations leave a lasting impression that lingers in the hearts and minds of those who encounter them. By capturing attention and evoking emotions, I aim to create a bridge between my inner artistic world and the diverse experiences of my audience. The interplay of vibrant colors and intricate forms is meant to prompt viewers to explore their own interpretations and connect with the stories I'm weaving through each piece. I hope that as people engage with my art, they find moments of reflection.