Inside Marc Bennett's new show, opening Tuesday
Marc is a New Yorker. Cut from the streets of Brooklyn eight years ago, he came to Aspen to pursue his art career.
The first part of Marc’s show features paintings, prints and photography that feature many symbols of Jewish faith and history.
On one side of the gallery hang eight portraits of Michelangelo’s sculpture of Moses. On a trip to Italy, Bennett was struck by the detail of the sculpture.
His moment of inspiration led him to take a picture of the work, print it and then paint brightly-colored squares and rectangles on it. He explains why he was so affected by the sculpture.
“You know, he was a leader, he was determined," says Bennett. "He represented strength and determination and all of these qualities that are also a part of all of us.”
Eight of these portraits are hung on the wall in rows of four. Flashes of red, green, yellow and pink highlight the statue in the frame.
On the other side of the room is a massive arrangement of aluminum prints. Thin pieces of aluminum have images printed on them in colors in every part of the spectrum.
The piece, called “The History of the Star of David” is seven feet tall and ten feet wide. Eighteen individual prints are joined together in three rows of six. It was originally unveiled when the JCC opened, but now it will be part of Marc’s exhibit.
“It basically depicts this icon/symbol that has been around for thousands of years and is one of the most recognizable symbols on the planet. But very few people know its history or its origin or the history that it’s - the history and the journey that it’s taken over thousands of years, both at the high points and the low points.
The piece shows ancient carvings of the Star of David, advertisements featuring the symbol and images of the star sewn onto the clothing of Jews during the Holocaust.
Marc also has pictures of Aspen trees on display throughout the gallery. He shoots the tree from up close, and then prints them on large canvases so that the ink blurs some edges. The trees have a soft visual appearance. Marc says he is fascinated by the idea that a grove of Aspen trees is actually one large, living organism.
In addition to the softening of the edges, he sometimes adds blocks and squares on top of his art, an idea he says was inspired by cubism.
Marc’s exhibit opens on Tuesday at 5 p.m.