“My artistic and intellectual pursuits are grounded in a simple sense of purpose: to be fully alive.”
Jana Benitez, born in New York to a Filipino family, had her first solo exhibition at age 12.
At the recent opening reception of INCARNET by Jana Benitez at Galerie Steph. I had the pleasure to meet the talented young artist and asked her a few questions.
Wei Teck: “Being exposed to both the West and the East, how does that play out in your arts?”
Jana: “I mainly paint on Canvas, hence more Western (styled) based. It’s hard to juggle both Western and Eastern elements. As an Artist, I have to unlearn some approaches sometime. Inspirations were drawn from Family roots and Schooling years. I am happy to be exposed to both worlds. Personally (I) would like to express my arts as “No Race”. We are universally human.”
Wei Teck: “What do you think of the Old Masters of Philippines Arts, with Spanish influences? How about Asian Arts in general, now?”
With a bright smile, Jana replied “It is different times, and Asia has so much more to say now.”
Benitez’s paintings showed us how abstract paintings can be so powerfully beautiful and provocative. Masterfully expressed using vivid colours and energetic lines converge on sweeping compositions. Reflective of the Abstract Expressionist style which dominated post-war art, her paintings demonstrate a confident display of composition, form, colour and space. Her work evinces the deconstruction of facial features, allowing eyes, ears, mouths and necks to become interchangeable parts.
Opening hours: Tues – Sat, 12 – 7 pm
Read more about the artist and see more works at Jana Benitez, “Incarnate”: Examining the Relevance of Painting in Contemporary Art, also writen by Bing Hao