Contemporary Artist Michael Benisty grew up in Antwerp Belgium, and has always been a dreamer with a story to tell.
His self-taught creative process first began with Photography throughout Europe and New York. After shooting several editorials for various publications such as Arte, Architectural Digest, and Whitewall Magazine Michael began exploring more in depth photo-editing techniques.
Michael’s discovery lead him to creating Mixed Media Art with messages from his experiences from traveling throughout all over the world. His first Mixed Media Collection was titled ‘if it disturbs you.. then it’s art’ and was presented in 2007 at the Xerxes Gallery in London. The collection focused upon Michael’s growing feelings of helplessness of social and political issues while seeing extreme poverty, hunger, and the impacts of environmental concerns.
Settling in Shanghai for a period of time gave Michael insight of a new curiosity. In between Photography assignments Michael began to study at a local foundry the art form of metallurgy. The unique process of working with metals, and the artisan techniques of Asian sculpture making. Not an entirely foreign concept though, with growing up working in his family business in the diamond industry in Belgium. Michael developed a love passion for working with his hands early on, but wanted to explore other forms of self-expression.
Michael added a second destination to his Mixed Media installation with the Pearl Lam Gallery of Shanghai. Having the opportunity to work with Pearl Lam, gave Michael a better understanding of contemporary Asian Art and influenced his large-scale sculpture vision. While on location shooting Nadja Swarovski in London for Whitewall Magazine, Michael began to share with her sculpture ideas that inspired him. From there his first large scale creation was brought to life with the help of Nadja and in collaboration with Swarovski.
In 2012 Michael’s ‘Die to Live’ Skull Sculpture was presented during Art Basel Miami, standing at eight feet tall made from mirror-polished stainless steel. The sculpture was adorned with just under 350,000 golden-black Swarovski Elements, in a delicate fleur de lis crystal pattern that added a soft contrast to the design. The contrast of the piece represented the celebration of life with showing the transcendence between one finding himself having to die metaphorically, in order to be reborn again to live.
Michael followed with another installation during Art Basel Miami in 2014, and presented a twelve-foot gold leaf aluminum ‘Dragon’ sculpture at the Delano Hotel garden. The ‘Dragon’ grasped a hand blown glass ball, which represented China’s responsibility in today’s world by holding America by the palm of its hand.
A significant change occurred in Michael’s life when he first attended Burning Man and was awakened by the authentic energy that only happens on the Playa, with combining human kindness and art. In that time he also had a period of reflection with being a Father to his Daughter Gia, who became his greatest inspiration. The strong political based artwork started to melt away and his new vision was formed. Michael started to adapt his design and art into forms that touched upon messages of love and peace
During Art Basel Miami 2016, Michael’s installation was presented into the Faena hotel Art Collection. “Love Buddha” a six-foot gold leaf aluminum sculpture, reflected on his time spent visiting temples in Shanghai, and represented a symbol of love and empathy as Buddha’s original message of enlightenment of the self and to others.
In 2017 Michael was able to share his artwork with the Playa and give back the magic that he had previously found in Black Rock City. ‘Mirage’ was debuted at Burning Man 2017 in the desert, and was made from 47 layers of mirror-polished stainless steel, and was inspired by the natural occurrence of light rays bending through air. This sculpture was Michael’s largest sculpture to date at nearly fifteen feet tall.
Over the years Michael has evolved as an Artist and has seen his work transcend while going through this retrospective period. He appreciates all of the experiences and special people he has met along the way that have supported him throughout his career.
2017 Burning Man Playa Installation ‘Mirage’ Sculpture
Online Collection with Contempop Gallery New York, Tel Aviv
2016 Art Basel Miami, ‘Love Buddha’ Sculpture Installation, Faena Hotel
2014 Art Basel Miami, ‘Dragon’ Sculpture Installation, Delano Hotel
2012 Art Basel Miami, ‘Die to Live’ Sculpture Installation In Collaboration With Swarovski, Delano Hotel
2010 Exhibition Ricart Gallery Miami, Mixed Media Installation
2009 Kuntz Gallery Brussels, ‘The Attendance’
2008 Contrast Gallery / Pearl Lam Gallery of Shanghai, ‘if it disturbs you.. it’s art’ Mixed Media Installation
2007 Xerxes Gallery London, ‘if it disturbs you.. it’s art’ Mixed Media Installation