by Ariadna Zierold
Brooklyn-based artist Kajahl Benes was born and raised in Santa Cruz, CA. In 2008 he received a BFA from San Francisco State University and spent his final year studying at the Accademia di Belle Arti di Firenze, Italy. In 2012, he received an MFA from Hunter College in New York City.
His works vacillate between explorations of African femininity in light of contemporary mores, and the influences of the western world on African culture, as a whole. It’s all gorgeously complex, heady stuff mixed into deceptively simple silhouettes and geometric patterns. His technique and use of oils on canvas in his portraiture while he renders subjects – whether real or imagined – in a naturalistic, yet elegantly distorted manner makes them jump off the two dimensional plane, and enter into our own space.