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Francisco Benitez-flower girl encaustic.jpg



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Award winning artist Francisco Benítez (b.1967 Taos) lives and works between Provence, France and Santa Fe, New Mexico. Benítez studied at the University of New Mexico, Albuquerque; Facultad de Bellas Artes, University of Granada, Spain; St.John’s College, Santa Fe; Department of Art History, New York University; and The Art Students League of New York.


Benítez was raised in New Mexico, New York, and Spain by his mother, a famous flamenco dancer and choreographer, and his father, a Spanish set designer. The family’s southern European heritage fostered his interest in the Baroque Masters, particularly the tenebrism of Caravaggio, a technique which in Benítez’s work has parallels with the way narrative is woven around the subject like a veil or shroud to reveal the shape and complexities of the human psyche.     

In his painting practice, Benítez excavates historic, lost or forgotten styles of painting, a process he describes as “atemporal archaeology”. In more recent work, the idea of unveiling or revealing the subject through the use of light and narrative is approached via Greco-Roman art, notably the Fayum Mummy portraits where wax is used both to embalm the body and simultaneously resurrect the subject via their likeness executed in encaustic. Benítez employs these ancient techniques to fuse the psychology of his subject with the history of art and representation. During 2023 he was invited by Harvard University to discuss and teach these techniques at Harvard Art Museums and due to its great success, has subsequently been invited to run further workshops. 


Francisco Benitez - profile photo from screeshot _edited.jpg

He has participated in many solo and group exhibitions internationally since 1993, including: High and Dry Jen Tough Gallery, Santa Fe, New Mexico (2023); Ut Pictura Poesis (solo), Salle des Editions, Gordes, France (2022); Visages, (solo) Maestri Gallery, Dallas, Texas (2021); Wax Applications, University Gallery, Texas A&M University (2021); Mostra dell 'estate Galleria Koart, Catania and Noto, Italy (2019); Dona Inés Perdio su Zapatilla, Royal Botanical Gardens, Madrid, Spain (2018); Le Portrait Refiguré (solo) Musée Arts et Histoire, Bormes-les-Mimosas, France (2017); Entre Culturas, Chapelle des Pénitents Blancs, Gordes, France (2017); Aristocrats Among Industrial Ruins (solo) PhilSpace, Santa Fe, New Mexico (2016); Effimera Palazzo Rau, Noto, Italy (2016); RI/SCATTI Palazzo Nicolaci Noto, Italy (2015). 

Benitez's work is held in public collections including the New Mexico State Legislature Public Art Collection, Santa Fe; National Hispanic Culture Center, Albuquerque; and the Conseil Général de l’Aveyron, Rodez, France. His work is included in many private collections throughout the United States, Italy, Australia, Mexico, Canada, Sweden and France, including the Jean Paul Gaultier collection, Paris. 

Honours and awards include the Mayor's Award for Excellence in the Arts (Javier Gonzalez); La Vendéenne Award for excellence in encaustic painting; and workshops at Harvard University Art Museums for encaustic painting.

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