Roberto Benavidez’s first piñata forms were three-dimensional representations of the macabre creatures found in Hieronymus Bosch paintings. With Illuminated Piñata, his first exhibition of work in Dallas, Benavidez will present a body of beautifully crafted sculptural work based on creatures and characters that inhabit the illuminated texts of Medieval Psalms including The Luttrell Psalter (c. 1325-1335), the Medieval Bestiary (c. 1210-1220) and The Book of Hours (1410). His subject matter touches upon the religious background of piñatas and their use in Latin culture. Using the traditional method of creating piñatas, Benavidez is able to explore issues that surround race, sexuality, art, religion, humor and beauty.
Drawn to art at a young age, but raised in rural South Texas with very little access to any art education, Benavidez followed a secondary interest into a BFA in acting at Texas State University. After a few years of moderate acting success Benavidez found himself drawn back to sculpture and headed to California. He re-orientated himself with art classes at Pasadena City College in sculpting, drawing and painting, and bronze casting. Recent solo exhibitions include ‘Serrate’, LA County Store, Los Angeles, CA and Salvage Vanguard Gallery, Austin, TX (2015); ‘Sugar Skull Piñatas’, Art For Empty Walls, Los Angeles, CA (2009). Group shows: ‘Sugar Skull Piñatas’, Art For Empty Walls, Los Angeles, CA (2017); ‘Blue Star Red Dot’, Blue Star Contemporary, San Antonio, TX (2016); ‘Laluzapalooza - 30th Anniversary’, La Luz De Jesus, Los Angeles, CA (2016); “Frogtown Art”, Cactus Gallery, Los Angeles, CA (2016).