Je Survole le Monde, 2016. Oil on canvas. 48" x 60"
SANTA FE artist Francisco Benitez paints contemporary women in the garb of Greco-Roman goddesses or decadent rococo aristocrats, immersed in post-industrial environments or “mind- soups” with floating “thought bubbles” and factories with billowing smoke or women creating bombs and planes during WW2. Bridging the work of two series, the Metaphysical and Doña Inés Lost Her Slipper projects, Benitez highlights the disjuncture between our aspirations as a society embodied in female ideals of beauty, with its subsequent industrial and environmental aftermath.
Benitez’ women are contemporary, real, living women who are subjects of portraiture in a traditional sense, but all the while their identity flows into society’s identification with abstracted ideals, such as the Aphrodite Pandamos (Aphrodite of the People), or a decadent aristocrat who has a wall full of Leonardo drawings and billowing factories behind her.
Francisco Benitez is a recipient of this years Mayor’s Award for Excellence in the Arts.
Aphrodite Pandemos, 2010. Encaustic on canvas over panel. 83" x 49"
Doña Inés Among Strange Fruit, 2014, oil on canvas 71 x 81"
La Comtesse, 2016. Oil on canvas, 54" x 38"
Muse of Spheres, 2015. Oil on panel, 24" x 36"
Venus of Rains, 2016. Oil on canvas. 48" x 36"
The Countess (Face), 2016. Ceracolor and encaustic on panel. 44" x 62"
The Forest of My Thoughts, 2013. Oil on canvas, 48" x 30"
Flight in Winter, 2013. Oil on canvas. 74" x 48"
Child in Flight, 2009. Encaustic on panel. 60" x 48"