What’s there to know about Michael Benedetti? I’m 31 years old and a Capricorn. I was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and was supposed to be born on Christmas Day but I was three weeks late. My favorite foods are burritos, sandwiches, spaghetti, and avocado. I collect books, small antiquated cardboard boxes, and I watch way too many movies. I like cats.
Why did you choose printmaking as a medium?
I have always been drawn to two-dimensional work and I have been drawing, in some form or another since I was 4 or 5 years old. As I grew older, I became interested in architecture as well as functional objects such as furniture and machinery. Anything that was comprised of multiple components working together to create a larger object or action. So when I took my first printmaking class in 2006 I was attracted to the process-based form of 2D image creation. This way of creating an image provides me with a foundation, something to start with – a process or set of tools or, most importantly for printmaking, the matrix – and that makes it easy for me to work because as we all know, starting can be the most daunting part of the creation process. But most importantly, I have always seen printmaking as an art form that provides the most potential to create something unique, something awe- inspiring and fascinating. There is a lot of mystery in printmaking and no matter what process I use I am always surprised and intrigued by the outcome.
What is your work about thematically?
My work is about space, architecture, and design and how those subjects play a role in the systematic construction of an object, idea, or image. A system is simply a process with an input and an output. In most cases, the output is then fed back into the system as the input and the process repeats, constantly creating variations of the initial idea or image. This fascinates me and provides a very specific way of creating a work of art. I am also very interested in creating something that looks good, something attractive. I use my interest in systems to create an image that you are initially pulled to aesthetically but once you begin to interact with and experience that image you begin to see that there is a conceptual framework hidden underneath.
Can you tell us about your process? How do you work?
My process is rooted in challenge. Challenging myself physically as well as conceptually. With everything I create I am constantly trying to see how well I can create something. I treat my process like a job, I clock-in and clock-out every day. This helps me plan and compartmentalize what I want to do in the studio each day. I create lists of tasks for myself based on the logical deconstruction of what it would take to create something – a sculpture, carving a woodblock, preparing stencils for screen printing, etc. – whatever I want to do in the studio needs to be listed at the beginning of each day and crossed off the list by the end of the day. Even though each day the list keeps getting longer and less and less tasks get crossed off…Regardless of that, as long as I’m constantly moving, thinking, creating, and challenging myself then it’s a successful day in the studio.
What other artists are inspirations to you? And who would you recommend for this little interview?
I am influenced by a wide range of artists as well as architecture, design, and comic books. Sol Lewitt and Mel Bochner have been very influential on my work for the last two years. Their use of systems has informed my perspective on art making and how images and ideas can be dissected into smaller parts which have just as much potential as the sum of those parts, if not more so. Donald Judd’s prints are amazing. James Jean and Mike Mignola are great artists and represent my love of illustration and comic book art. Frank Lloyd Wright and Charles Rennie Mackintosh are two architects/designers that have had a profound influence on my aesthetic and are solely responsible for my love of geometry and Arts and Crafts objects and architecture.
I recommend two amazing individuals: Kaleena Stasiak and Katherine Miller. Both are fantastic artists and are doing some very interesting and great things with printmaking. If you can, email/interview both of them but if you can only choose one then that’s up to you… If you want to know more about them I would love to talk for hours and hours and hours about them.
Meer info over Michael Benedetti vind je hier.
De tentoonstelling in Kamer 108 loopt nog tot en met 20/12. De tentoonstelling wordt afgesloten met een lezing die Michael zal geven over zijn werk en een finissage om 19u in de Academie voor Beeldende Kunst DKO Gent, Offerlaan 3, 9000 Gent.