Benjamin Bertocci could, should he choose, draw his artistic lineage from early Surrealist collage artists, Hannah Hoch, Kurt Schwitters and Man Ray, to such notables as Robert Rauschenberg and then to artists of the late 20th century such as Nancy Spero, Annegret Soltau or Viennese Actionist Hermann Nitsch. Reared on the twin philosophies of Nick Cave’s The Birthday Party and Celtic Frost’s; both of which share a similar dissociative, religious carnage, Benjamin is fixated on lips, teeth and eyes. His layered collages of recycled materials and mass production printed matter combined with realistic oil paintings of mouths or eyes have most notably garnered praise from The Village Voice and Vice Magazine. Several examples of Benjamin’s collage can be found at the St. Louis Museum of Contemporary Art. He currently resides and works in New York City.
My recent paintings explore behaviors that lead to environmental and societal collapse, and the effect of dysfunctional environments on the individual. I utilize current mass production printing technology alongside recycled material and traditional oil painting, often with found aluminum and plastic as a base. The controlled disorder of the works references a struggle for meaning amid the accelerating confusion of mass media and cultural trends.