A glimpse of the ethereal here as we focus on Los Angeles based artist Roberto Benavidez and his glorious Hieronymus Bosch inspired Piñatas.
A wondrous weave of both Mexican and Medieval European influences, It’s not often one stumbles across work as fabulously genre-bending.
Intrigued, I contacted Roberto to find out more…
You have a wonderfully enchanting style, can you give an insight into your background and route to becoming an artist/sculptor?
I grew up a closeted gay boy in rural South Texas. There wasn’t much available in terms of art education apart from the performing arts so that is the route I pursued initially. I had always been drawn to crafts like sewing, embroidery and collage but it wasn’t until my mid-20s that I began to entertain the idea of pursuing a career as a sculptor. It really coincided with my coming out fully as a gay man and embracing what my true passions were. Over time I’ve moved from clay to metal casting, to paper, mainly sticking to figurative forms.
I’d rank your Hieronymus Bosch Piñatas as some of freshest work I’ve seen for a long time, where did the initial idea spring from?
Thanks, that’s very kind of you to say. I’ve had this idea for some time now. I’ve always been a fan of Bosch. The idea of blending this traditional Mexican craft with Bosch’s imagery was quite exciting to me, something a bit outside the typical piñata imagery. There is also the context behind each being rooted in sin so I thought it to be the perfect pairing. I also felt like this bleeding of cultural artistic forms was in a way representative of me as mixed-race.
A strangely skewed 18th-century rendering of the “The Tower of Babel” the famous mega-structure from antiquity designed to be as tall as to touch heaven itself. Note the top of image and the falling bricks and hod carrier, according to the accompanying article a day of mourning was declared whenever a brick fell from the top of the tower, this of course due to the immense effort and time span in ferrying it up there… alas no mention of remorse for the hapless builder!
Not sure of the Artist, exact date or origin of the painting, please let me know if you do…
Image is scanned from the 70’s publication Man, Myth & Magic more about that here at Wikipedia.
The Werewolf mythology depicted here in three Old World Etching/Woodcuts. These scans are taken from a lengthy essay featured in Man Myth and Magic Issue #107 ( from around 1971?).
Article synopsis: “Stories of men having the power to change themselves into ravening beasts have gained currency in almost every part of the world; a universality which suggests that the underlying idea emanates from deep within man’s own mind”
Mention Werewolf and it’s impossible not to think of scenes from John Landis’s 1981 Horror / Black Comedy An American Werewolf in London particularly the stunning metamorphosis sequence and the immortal lines “Stay on the road. Keep clear of the moors – Beware the moon, lads”. This article predates that film by 10 years or so, and references material back to antiquity. What’s interesting is discussion on the mental illness known as Lycanthropy a kind of insanity in which the patient believes himself to be a beast, especially a wolf. Although this condition was diagnosed as far back as the 16th Century it had little effect on the superstition, the articles surmise is
I’ve been running a little bit low on original Blog resource material until yesterday when a trip to my local antique centre yielded a selection of this obscure magazine publication ‘Man Myth & Magic’ with its tagline’s: ‘An Illustrated Encyclopedia of the Supernatural’ & ‘The most Unusual Magazine ever Published’
Man Myth & Magic was a UK based publication that ran for 112 weekly issue’s starting in 1970 – as mentioned the magazine feature’s many Illustration’s ranging from quirky woodcut’s of Ye-olde spooky folklore; Werewolf’s, Witches’s, Demon’s through to double page spread reprint’s and analysis of the work of master Artist’s/Illustrator’s such as Albrecht Dürer, Matthias Grunewald, Aubrey Beardsley and many more…
The cover art used here is Teutonic Mythology ‘Siegfried Killing The Dragon’ taken from a 19th-century German edition of nibelungenlied.
* * *
* * *
Apologies for the lack of activity as of late… Here’s an expansion on Netherlandish Renaissance painter Pieter Bruegel the Elder (c. 1525 – September 9, 1569)
The top image is a scan of an Occult/Supernatural charity-shop-book-special; by special I mean that is seems there’s always a surplus of these type of books, be it ufo’s, unsolved mysteries or archaeological anomalies. The cover featured here dates from 1974 and is the GB edition of “Encylopedia of Superstitions” a hardback which chronicles fabled British superstions from Adder’s Tounge’s & Apples to YellowHammer’s & Yew Tree’s (no Z’s are listed)…
The jacket design by Ralph Mabey is a coloured reworking of a Sixteenth Century engraving composed by Flemish painter Pieter Brueghel the Elder entitled “The Sabbath” depicting Saint James the Elder combating the diabolical enchantments of a sorcerer. Pieter Brueghel was a printmaker and painter, best known for his landscapes and particularly for his depictions of Dutch / Flemish Peasant scenes. In fact