Benjamin Dominguez Mexican, 1942-2016


Benjamín Domínguez's early introduction to painting came in his teens when he painted the cinema posters for his local theater, laying the foundation for the highly narrative, proto-cinematic style of his mature paintings. Domínguez has written of this time, “In a large format, I painted all of the great actors of that period, I learned to paint there, and learned the language of cinema.”


After studying painting at the legendary Academia de San Carlos in Mexico City, the very seat of the Mexican colonial artistic tradition, he took a job in the historic Museo del Virreinato, where he was further immersed in the great, too little ­known art tradition of México’s colonial, mestizo artistic legacy. Domínguez has said that in a larger sense his artistic formation took place between two great antagonistic Mexican art movements, the realism of the post-revolutionary period, and the abstraction of Mexican modernism. As he has ironically observed of his initiation as an artist, “My generation is the one known as the sandwich generation.” It is an elegantly surreal commingling of the real and the fantastic, of the colonial and contemporary and of the Old World/New World, Christian & Aztec symbols together.


Domínguez, influenced by the historical and social dimensions of art history and classical art, creates works that feature pious nuns, mystical angels, and majestic characters — a nod to past traditions. The product of the contemporary sensibilities met with past imaginations, the paintings of Domínguez reveal classical creations seen through a contemporary vision.


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