top of page

The joy of painting

Samy, Matilde and José Benmayor

Curator: Irene Gelfman

15.07.23 - 23.09.23

"When you enter the workshop, many people enter with you.
(the history of art, the past, the future, friends, enemies and your own ideas)
but little by little they are all leaving one by one
and if you're lucky you'll disappear too".
Philip Guston by Samy Benmayor.

Upon entering the room, and from a winding path that prohibits the direct observation of the works, the viewer must walk through the exhibition to see the works. The Benmayors, two generations of artists united by the continuity of a passion. Each of the pathspresent in the tour exhibits, without hierarchies, the iconographic lineage of a family, where the strokes, the gestures, the fractures and the uses of color are subtle points of union that perhaps would go unnoticed if they were not all together in one space.

Without appealing to the chronological resource, the journey manages to unite three lives dedicated to art in a diverse visual discourse, which presents us with three ways of conceiving painting as evocative of memories, as a creator of knowledge and universes. The iconographic proposals go from absolute abstraction to a totally hyperrealist figuration. The possibility of the distance with Chile allowed the artists to give themselves the pleasure of making a joint exhibition, where the common thread is the joy doing and the joy of the encounter.

The father, Samy Benmayor, defines himself as a wall painter, who moves away from techinical rules and creates from errorfinding in the primary forms that circus he saw daily during his childhood.His daughter, Matilde Benmayor, is the most academic of the family. At the beginning she was inclined towards abstraction because of the infinite possibilities it offered her. However, in recent years, she entered the path of figuration, giving priority to feet and hair in her iconography. For the artist we are all trees, and these fragments of the human body are the points that allow the connection with the ground and the sky, between the earthly and the celestial.

José Benmayor's painting is the result of searching for elements in everyday life that evoke memories. The artist looks for characters of his generation, objects of his childhood where time did not advance at the speed at the speed of our days. He uses the model of the box, which takes on different functions: TV, fruit crate, toy machine, to generate a registry of objects that call his attention and immortalize them as in a temple of memories and longing. If we understand that an image is more than the product of perception, we can say that the Benmayor's works are the result of a personal and at the same time collective symbolization.

Everything that passes or passed through his gaze has the power to become an image. In each creative act, the Benmayors' search for treasures. In this exhibition they show us their family treasures, memories, desires and their own yearnings.

Irene Gelfman

Buenos Aires, July 2023

bottom of page