About The Artist
In the late 60’s, Linda Benenati studied art at San Jose State but ended up with a degree in English. After college, she pursued a career in graphics and writing in the tech industry. Consequently, Benenati loves the interplay of images, words, and titles. Over the years, Benenati has worked in many different media: oil and acrylic painting, found object and papier mâché sculpture, and mixed media collage. Ten years ago, Linda Benenati ventured into encaustic painting, which just might be her all-time favorite medium with its vibrancy and versatility. Benenati now considers herself almost exclusively an encaustic artist. Narrative and voice are crucial to her work. The stories she creates might take root in a cultural reference, a favorite phrase, or even a single word. Benenati’s work remixes, assembles, and puns on these through the use of original characters and timeless fictional settings. Among Benenati’s favorite artists are Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Marc Chagall, Claude Monet, René Magritte, David Hockney, David Cornell, Wayne Thiebaud, Maira Kalman, Joan Brown and Inez Storer.
About The Artwork
Linda Benenati’s encaustic process is one of assemblage and improvisation. After inspiration strikes, she develops her story by gathering images from many sources including fashion magazines, the web, and photographing objects and scenery. Benenati often draws from her personal collection of vintage hats, tin toys, travel and carnival souvenirs, and old photographs. She then draws and modifies these images with colored pencils and markers, cuts, rearranges, and develops a narrative by composing these into new characters and scenes. The fluid quality of encaustic wax enables her process and also inspires it. Benenati can quickly go from hot molten wax to cooled solidified color. She fuses each layer with a butane torch, hot air gun or crafting iron depending on her desired effect, and then re-works it with her personal assortment of metal tools such as styluses, picks, and scrapers. Benenati adds layers of color and line work and then excavates, incises and scratches into these layers. She discovers and shapes the narrative throughout each creative and often magical voyage. Once a painting is complete, Linda Benenati invites viewers to have a similar experience of discovery by examining the visual and title clues each painting provides. Her hope is for viewers to ask and answer the question “What is going on here?” and come up with their own personal narrative.