Do you have a formal art education or are you a self taught artist:
I have a Master of Fine Art from the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art and a Bachelor of Fine Art in Painting and Printmaking from Virginia Commonwealth University.
What is the style of your pieces:
They are interdisciplinary pieces that often have methods/imagery that are sentimental to the past, but the pieces exist in a contemporary realm.
What is the medium in which you work:
Encaustic, Oil, Wood, Paper, Metal
What started you on your path as an artist:
Pencil and paper, non-stop sketching as a child.
What is one of the most important things that art has brought to your life:
An uncontrollable and blind faith in creating.
What is your favorite genre of art besides the one you work in:
Recently, I am really fascinated with Turner's paintings of ships at sea and the transition to more impressionistic scapes. So I suppose right now my favorite would be work towards the end of romanticism.
Do you have art showings, and if so what are they typically like:
Visually, my works are usually paintings onto found and/or manipulated wood and metal. They do not often conform to the typical rectilinear painting support. I am very interested in the painting becoming an object or sculpture. While I have shown my work in many 58" eye level lines around the room, when showing them I often enjoy arranging their unique shapes into compositions on the wall in non-traditional ways. Somewhere along the lines of an installation.
Do you have a certain set of clothes you make art in:
No, but I'm usually not wearing anything I don't want to get paint and wax on.
What has been the most frustrating part of being an artist?
Often it is the creative process itself. I really want to challenge myself in my works and the pieces might drive me nuts for a week or two, but I keep coming back to them.
Has this year brought about any changes in your work, and if so what are they:
I just made a major move from Philadelphia to Austin, Texas and in between I couldn't easily paint, so I have taken up woodcut printmaking. Now that I am settling into my studio I still want to keep making woodcuts! I also just started a business Benthic Art Studios, which will cover everything from private instruction to custom art fabrication and woodworking.
Who is your favorite artist alive or dead:
Right now its back in time to Albert Pinkham Ryder and Turner, but has in the past been more contemporary artists such as Warren Muller, Huang Yong Ping, Eduardo Kac and William Kentridge.
What is the most moving piece of artwork that you have seen in person:
When I was in undergrad I visited Washington, DC and stumbled onto William Kentridge's Retrospect at the Hirshhorn. I remember a roomful of beautiful bold charcoal drawings on full sheets of paper, much of the drawings erased away. Then I could feel the resounding music from his procession videos and stop motion animations. The pieces had great power and I was immediately drawn to his interdisciplinary methods and need to show all of the steps. It was one of the most powerful shows I have ever been to. Drawing on sight, sound, feeling, time, and socially/politically intense subject matter. I thought about his work for a long time.
Do you have any animals, and what do they think of your work: My wife and I have two cats and a dog, they give me lots of encouragement. Who do you think taught me how to paint? Seriously though, I have to keep them out of the studio to many loose hairs around all that molten encaustic.
Do you have any upcoming exhibitions you would like to share with us:
I am just closing a show on October 10th which I was curated into at the DC Art Center called Elements: State of Matter, which I had 5 pieces in.