Roberto Benavidez – Hieronymus Bosch Piñatas & Interview

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…

Roberto Benavidez - Bosch Bird no3

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.

Roberto Benavidez – Hieronymus Bosch Piñatas

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.

Roberto Benavidez Bosch bird no2

Obviously no need to reveal all, but can you possibly reveal some of the processes involved in rendering your creations, and an idea in the timescales involved?

I use traditional piñata making methods to create my piñata sculptures: a paper mache form covered in crepe paper fringe. Since everything is done by hand it takes many hours to create one piece. The 6 foot Bosch giraffe took a good week to sculpt and about 2 – 3 weeks of fringing. I work alone and can be quite obsessive, so over time I’ve come to where I place each individual piece of serrated fringe separately, which is a crazy thought but the results can be spectacular. Even the creation of the fringe alone is very time-consuming, sometimes combining multiple layers in many steps to achieve a desired color or texture – all before even applying to the paper mache form.

Roberto Benavidez – Hieronymus Bosch Piñatas

Roberto Benavidez – Hieronymus Bosch Piñatas

In addition to your 3d work your obviously equally accomplished as a 2d Artist, do you have a preference for one or the other or are they intrinsically linked?

I much prefer sculpting to 2-d work. It is something that I have learned comes quite naturally to me and I trust my instincts more in the 3-d form. Most 2-d projects I approach more as studies.

Roberto Benavidez – Hieronymus Bosch Piñatas

Is there a particular piece your particularly pleased with, and why so?

My last piece is always my favorite. It sometimes feels like my connection to a piece wanes the further time moves me away from the creation of it. I find I am always excited for the next piece – thankfully this does not carry over to my personal life. 😉

Roberto Benavidez – Hieronymus Bosch Piñatas

Do you work with any digital aids or are the processes entirely analogue?

Well, I am able to print very small details from The Garden of Earthly Delights because there is now a large file available online – does that count? I usually use printouts and comps of images to use as reference for most of my sculptural work. But there is no 3-d scaling work or anything like that.

Roberto Benavidez – Hieronymus Bosch Piñatas

Could you give us a clue to future projects you have lined up or wish to try?

It’s hard to say what project I’ll be working on next. I have many concepts in mind and will see what project pulls me.

Finally, do you have any upcoming Shows / Exhibitions coming up? (and if so where)

Not at this time but I hope to have news about that relatively soon?

Many Thanks, Roberto!

Roberto Benavidez – Hieronymus Bosch Piñatas

**

As a footnote to the feature and a testament to the supreme craftsmanship Roberto deploys, here are some of the painted creatures taken some of Hieronymus Bosch’s original nightmarish masterpiece ‘The Garden of Earthly Delights’.

Hieronymus Bosch - The Garden of Earthly Delights

 

 

Hieronymus Bosch - The Garden of Earthly Delights

Hieronymus Bosch - The Garden of Earthly Delights

Hieronymus Bosch - The Garden of Earthly Delights

Hieronymus Bosch - The Garden of Earthly Delights

Finally to see more of Roberto’s breathtaking creations and check his latest work visit his portfolio site at robertobenavidez.com or follow via instagram.com/roberto_benavidez

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Adam Makarenko – Exoplanets & Interview

Sci-Fi-O-Rama resurrects with a very special feature on Canadian miniature Photographer and Film Maker Adam Makarenko.

An award winning multi talented Artist Adam’s obviously involved with a plethora of supremely interesting visual projects, but it’s his outrageously ambitious ‘exoplanets’ mission we focus in on.

Adam Makarenko Exoplanet

Exoplanets of course are rarely out of the news these and the science to hunt them has come along way since the first definitive detection back in 1995 (Michel Mayor and Didier Queloz of the University of Geneva). Fast forward 22 years and as of the start of April 2017 confirmed exoplanets number over 3,500 and range from huge gas giants right down to worlds a similar size to our own precious Earth.

Just how earth like are these worlds, and are they suitable for life ? These are the tantalising questions cosmologists and biologists face today. To answer is a mammoth technical challenge, not unlike Adam’s endeavour to experiment and construct his vision of these far flung worlds in miniature.

The Model Shop Part 2: Norman Conquest 2066 sculpture by Grant Louden + interview

Norman Conquest 2066 - Grant Louden

After an exceptionally long gap between posts Sci-Fi-O-Rama finally returns with new material. Apologies for the extended state of dormancy, life gets in the way sometimes.

Let’s then not dwell on the forlorn and instead nuke 2015 with another flyby of master craftsman and styrene alchemist Grant Louden AKA Betelgeuse.

A quick recap then on what the Betelgeuse workshop is all about. Well in a nutshell Grant takes the finest Two Dimensional 70’s Sci-Fi cover art and literally breathes 3-Dimensional life over them.

We featured Grant’s first mind-blowing evolution of Colin Hay’s this time last year. This time it’s science fiction artisan illustrator Chris Foss is in the crosshairs.

Grant kindly took some time out to tell us more about his latest creation, here’s the feature:

The Model Shop Part 1: Star Dwellers sculpture by Grant Louden + interview (with Dan McPharlin)

Grant Louden 'The Star_Dwellers' Interviewed By Dan McPharlin

Welcome to Sci-Fi-O-Rama 2014.

Here we begin with a totally exclusive feature courtesy of both Grant Louden & Dan McPharlin.

So without ado lets hand over the controls to Dan…

Guest post by Dan McPharlin

And now for something a little bit different. Sci-Fi-O-Rama doesn’t normally feature 3D work, but Kieran has kindly handed me the keys and let me loose on his blog to write this guest post on a subject that is very dear to my heart; Sci-Fi model making.

Ever since I first saw that monolithic Star Destroyer swoop majestically into frame in the opening minutes of Star Wars it’s a subject I’ve been fascinated by. While CGI has unfortunately all but rendered the model-maker’s craft obsolete in the movies, there are still a handful of talented artists out there burning the torch for this fantastic art form…