Saratoga Arts - Arts Center | Arts Council

 

In 30 years, we’ve brought the arts to over 800,000 people!

228,000+ have viewed art in The Arts Center Galleries

18,000+ students of all ages have taken classes

466,220+ people have attended an event funded by our grant program

78,000+ people have rung in the New Year with us

Saratoga Arts has paid artists over $2,290,000 in grant awards, teaching and performance fees, and art sales!

 

 

Saratoga Arts Presents

Seth Benzel's "Berlin Winter" on view at Pavilion Grand Hotel -

portion of sale proceeds to benefit Saratoga Arts!

Seth Benzel’s pursuit to deconstruct his own artistic sensibilities has produced a collection of one-of-a-kind work. By pairing acrylic and oil with charcoal, ink, and pastel, Seth Benzel’s elaborate compositions are hypnotically precise. Not to be mistaken for computer-programmed polygons, Benzel’s square canvases reveal a visceral strain on the part of his subjects. His jagged perspectives, while taking inspiration from the choreography of Abstract Expressionists, do not conform to a formulaic asymmetry. The harsh moves of his colors deliver a sporting mix of chaos and grim fun. Benzel’s paintings are intricate and bright constructions that both evoke a sense of colossal mythology and modern counter-culture.

Benzel’s professional life as a thoroughbred horse trainer runs parallel to his art practice, having majored in Equine Science and Fine Arts. The artist's close relationship with animals imbues his work with that extra sense of sincerity. A wild and instinctive thrill flows out from each painting. Viewers can’t help but feel their own aesthetic predilections crumbling alongside Benzel’s disarming brushstrokes.

"My work originates from the process, which I describe as deconstructionist in nature. I break down space, showing the multi-levels of experience...whether it be structural, emotional, or new world. The middle ground in everything intrigues me.... from a technical standpoint that means creating work that could be interpreted as finished or unfinished...done or undone. To me this is where art becomes provocative, challenging, ever changing, and timeless. From an aesthetic viewpoint I feel the search for truth, through art or life, is largely misguided and often in vain...so the middle ground often is where reality serves us best...It is in this middle-state that may reveal answers to love, loss, and perhaps peace in life. My paintings strive to make you more comfortable in this space...so that you may open yourself up...and perhaps make new discoveries in this uncharted territory."

See the work at Pavilion Grand Hotel, 30 Lake Avenue, Saratoga Springs. For more information, call Saratoga Arts: (518) 584-4132.

"Berlin Winter" was inspired by, and incorporates text from, Pablo Neruda's poem "Horses:"

Horses

From the window I saw the horses.

I was in Berlin, in winter. The light
was without light, the sky skyless.

The air white like a moistened loaf.

From my window, I could see a deserted arena,
a circle bitten out by the teeth of winter.

All at once, led out by a single man,
ten horses were stepping, stepping into the snow.

Scarcely had they rippled into existence
like flame, than they filled the whole world of my eyes,
empty till now. Faultless, flaming,
they stepped like ten gods on broad, clean hoofs,
their manes recalling a dream of salt spray.

Their rumps were globes, were oranges.

Their color was amber and honey, was on fire.

Their necks were towers
carved from the stone of pride,
and in their furious eyes, sheer energy
showed itself, a prisoner inside them.

And there, in the silence, at the mid-
point of the day, in a dirty, disgruntled winter,
the horses' intense presence was blood,
was rhythm, was the beckoning light of all being.

I saw, I saw, and seeing, I came to life.
There was the unwitting fountain, the dance of gold, the sky,
the fire that sprang to life in beautiful things.

I have obliterated that gloomy Berlin winter.

I shall not forget the light from these horses.

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