“So many details to see, if we linger and take the time to look”
(Extract from the book: “This is Now: A Geographical Guide to Cutting-Edge Contemporary Art”)
It is so difficult today to be a figurative artist and to be bold enough to pick up a paintbrush, stand before a canvas and try to paint something original, with more than 2000 years of art history, populated by unequalled masters and geniuses, behind us. Let us be clear: it is difficult, if one is conscious of the weight of the past. There are tens of thousands of painters who, without a second thought, paint portraits, landscapes and still life every single day. But if they are intelligent and sensitive they cannot fail to feel the weight and the responsibility to avoid falling into the obvious. The Italian artist, Manfredi Beninati, never falls into the obvious, even though he is essentially a figurative painter using such traditional techniques as oils. …CONTINUE READING
“To Think Of Something peers into another world”
(Christopher Brown, METRO London, 28 September 2008)
This year’s Biennial is at its best when you stumble across things you were not expecting. During the day, you could easily walk past Manfredi Beninati’s piece without even realising it’s there.
A small panel indicates its existence but, surrounded by posters, it doesn’t stand out. The crowds of people that gather around to peer inside are the only giveaway. Two small windows have been cut out of the plywood board covered in fly-posters, which stands on the corner of Renshaw Street and Leece Street.
Looking in and behind the facade of the abandoned building, you’ll see the living room of, what looks like, an affluent family’s apartment. Toys and painting materials lie around the carpet as if they’ve been recently abandoned and a door is slightly ajar at the back, showing a dining room.
It feels as if you’re peering into a different world and, though this could effectively be nosing around somebody else’s home, the unoccupied room is so homely that it doesn’t feel voyeuristic or uncomfortable.
The fashions used help to reinforce the impression of peering into somebody’s childhood. It’s a pleasant and rewarding experience during the day, when you have to work hard to see everything through the sun’s glare. …CONTINUE READING
(Giusi Diana on L’Epos, 27 July 2018)
Today – and today only – by visiting the 2nd floor at n. 25 of via Dante in Palermo, one had the opportunity to physically enter one of the most exquisitely decadent artistic imaginaries of our time, that of Manfredi Beninati. As in Huysmans’ À Rebours, the dream of reality replaces reality itself in a sort of hallucination in which we are made aware of the mental experiences of a Beninati-Des Esseintes. Referring to it simply as an “installation” would be misleading: it was one of the most gratifying aesthetic experiences in recent times. …CONTINUE READING