Kajahl Benes: Recent Work will be on view in the Art Gallery at the Cultural Arts Building from September 6 through October 5, 2012. The exhibition will be accompanied by an artist lecture on Thursday, September 6 from 4:30 – 5:30 p.m. immediately followed by a reception for the artist from 5:30 – 7 p.m. Both the lecture and opening reception are free and open to the public.
Recent Work, co-sponsored by the Upperman African American Cultural Center, is the first solo exhibition by recent Hunter College Master of Fine Arts graduate, Kajahl Benes. A California native, Benes’ oil paintings merge icons from parallel histories along with his own constructed mythology prodding the viewer to re-examine mainstream historical paradigms. Re-appropriating African tribal costumes, ancient Roman military attire, and science fiction iconography, Benes references traditional Western portraiture, contemporary technology, and questions both the legitimacy of past records and the direction of future cultures.
Kajahl Benes was born in Santa Cruz, California in 1985. His work has been featured in 30 Americans; The Next Generation at the Contemporary Wing, Washington, D.C.; The Black Portrait at Rush Arts Gallery, New York, curated by Hank Willis Thomas; and in a two-person exhibition, Superheroes and Antiheroes at SUNY College at Old Westbury, New York. Benes studied at the Accademia di Belle Arti Firenzi, Italy; received his BFA from San Francisco State University in 2008; and earned his MFA from Hunter College in 2012. Benes currently lives in Brooklyn and works in Manhattan, New York.
THE ART GALLERY at the CULTURAL ARTS BUILDING is located on the ground floor of the Cultural Arts Building, near the building’s main entrance on the corner of Randall Parkway and Reynolds Drive on the University of North Carolina Wilmington campus. To access either from South College Road or Racine Drive, take a left as you enter the campus area onto Randall Drive. There is visitor parking directly in front of the Box Office entrance to the building.