The paintings are meditations on the topics of spirituality, shifting identity, and transformative experiences. To this end, Benz and Chang utilize the image vocabulary of photography from the early 20th Century.
Says Benz, “I see myself as a channel and believe that my job is to align myself with a larger creative impulse and also with the painting itself. I must add that I rarely do this perfectly. During the various steps of making a painting, I will ‘see’ something that belongs in the painting, and I do my best to add it. At times where the decision-making process breaks down, I consult a Magic 8-Ball for direction. The resulting paintings are dreamlike.”
Chang is a fictional photography studio partner to Mr. Benz. He is a stuffed cat of the stuffed animal variety (not the taxidermy variety). In other words, Chang was sewn from plush fabric and stuffed with a soft batting material by a toy manufacturer. Plush is a fabric whose pile is longer and less dense than velvet pile. Plastic eyes were added along with some other details out of thread, mostly.
Last Updated January 2017