Thursday, 29 January 2009

Manfredi Beninati

Manfredi Beninati. Born in Palermo, Italy, 1970. Lives and works in Palermo.

After his High Levels in Classic studies, he entered at the Palermo University at the Faculty of Law, following his parents footprints. In 1990 he started film courses at the “Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia” of Rome. He worked as an assistant director for important Italian movie directors as Tornatore and Damiani. In those years he divided his time between Great Britain, Spain and Italy.
Starting from 1992 he moved to London working as an artist in several studios - squats of the East End. In 2002 he moved to Rome. In 2006, returning from a long stay in Buenos Aires he moved back to his native town, Palermo. His work has been shown in a number of countries in Europe and America and is included in many prestigious public collections. In 2005 he was selected to represent his country at the Venice Biennale where he was awarded the audience prize for the italian pavilion.
In 2006 he received a prize from the American Academy in Rome.
Manfredi Beninati’s work explores the theme of life’s journey. He does this using the pictures of children and of adolescents at the edge of a forest, on a pathway, on a road, on a bicycle, by the sea. These images unlock in the mind of the viewer memories of the anxieties as well as the securities of childhood and the struggle of moving towards in life.
Often Beninati’s works have strong literary and artistic references. Sometimes the artist uses images of boats, horses, cycles and other means of transport as metaphors, again, of the journey of life.
In a number of his works a mother and a child image seems to refer to both the “time honoured” tradition of “Madonna and Bambino” as well as provoking a more modern and psychological interpretation of the genesis of life.
Beninati’s skills as a painter and draftsman are highly developed and, in combination with his cinematic eye, produce paintings of surprising emotional content.
Lorcan O’Neill

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