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69th Annual Student Independent Exhibition
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September 11, 2013
Rob Benigno '14 earns a rare exhibition opportunity
By Julie Mason
A solo show can be one of the crowning achievements of an artist’s career. But CIA senior Robert Benigno reached this hallmark early. Last month, the illustration major’s work took center stage during a weeklong exhibition titled Catalyst at 464 Gallery in Buffalo, NY, Benigno’s hometown.
At the suggestion of an artist friend who maintains a studio there, Benigno initially approached the gallery owner to request a one-night space rental for a self-hosted show. Instead, he was thrilled when the owner was impressed enough with his work to offer him a full exhibition in the main gallery.
Catalyst featured a recent series of Benigno’s paintings and drawings that explore juxtapositions of representational and abstract imagery. The majority of the pieces were new work created specifically for the show.
“These paintings really formed on their own,” said Benigno. “I let them fall onto the paper, and they took on their own meaning. I liked seeing how different people at the show made up their own stories.”
Benigno’s first successful exhibition has helped solidify his career goals to establish his own body of artwork in addition to commissioned work. With support from the CIA illustration faculty, including instructor George Vlosich ’02, he’s already done freelance designs for clients including Barrio Tacos and the Cleveland Foundation.
Portfolio work and sketches can be viewed online at robbenigno.com.
Image of “Suburbs” courtesy Robert Benigno
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