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Art Attack:

April 28, 2013

Color Crush!  Meet Atlanta Artist Sally King Benedict

She’s precocious, has never met a hue she doesn’t love, and has two art shows this May in Atlanta

By Nancy Staab

Charleston transplant, Benedict, swathes her abstract canvases in luscious colors and expressive shapes. Recently, she’s also experimented with portraits and more figurative works. Meet the prolific and tremendously talented artist in person at Morgan Kylee boutique, Buckhead, on Thursday, May 2.

Her décor-friendly works have been published in Elle Décor, Southern Accents and Garden & Gun magazine. And now, with a recent move from Charleston, South Carolina, artist Sally King Benedict should soon become a household name in her new/old hometown of Atlanta, where she grew up. This 20-something artist is as gorgeous as she is talented, and prolific to boot. She works primarily in abstract canvasses drenched in pinks, peaches, greens, yellows, lavenders, whites, grays and watercolor blues. Her sophisticated compositions of color and shape are equal parts soothing and expressive. Her moody, color-centric paintings are like the love child of Cy Twombly and Helen Frankenthaler. Recently she’s also experimented with more figurative works. including Picasso-esque portraits that hover the line between the realistic and the abstract. Either way, her paintings are lush, layered, compelling and spontaneous. Benedict has been offered study at the prestigious School of the Art Institute of Chicago, but right now she is focused on motherhood (she has an adorable baby boy), marriage, and steady work in her Atlanta home/studio. Much of Benedict’s talent is instinctual—though an arts-loving mother, training at the College of Charleston, travel through Europe and South America, and a brief stint in New York City--have all honed her abundant natural skills. This self-professed “art history geek” may embrace Renaissance masters like Da Vinci, Botticelli and Fra Angelico, but her own work is both timeless and contemporary. And she may soon delve into textiles and sculpture, as well. In the meantime, you can see her lyrical paintings and works on paper at two current Atlanta events. Read on for more information about this arresting artist. 

Meet artist Sally King Benedict and see her work at Morgan Kylee Boutique, Buckhead, 3273 Roswell Road, on Thursday, May 2, at 7PM. Benedict’s works based on Rick Owen’s new spring collection, as well as some other new pieces, will be on exhibit. http://www.morgankylee.com/

You can also see and buy her work at a Spring Bazaar, featuring the art, jewelry and accessories of Benedict and eight other designers and artists, May 7-8, at 3180 Rilman Road NW, Atlanta. The bazaar hours are noon-7PM on Tues. May 7 and 1-5PM on Wed. May 8.

  

Q&A WITH ARTIST SALLY KING BENEDICT

 

Is it true you began painting before you could write?

Yes! Now that I have a baby, I can see how that's probably the case for everyone. He already likes to finger paint.

 

Describe your artistic upbringing, I read your mother was a “gallerina” in Atlanta.
I don't think she would call herself a "gallerina," but she loved contemporary art and became very good friends with a gallery owner and began selling for him in the 90's.The gallery was Doug Macon and Co.

 


You are obviously obsessed with color. Do you have any favorite hues, and where do you get your color inspirations?
I love tone-on-tone, and colors with high contrasting qualities. Color inspirations come from absolutely everything in everyday life. My list would take up pages!



Are your combos of colors, line and shapes just intuitive or is there a method to your madness?
It is mostly pure intuition. All in the act of doing, but I certainly can be methodical at times.

 

The artist in Garden & Gun magazine The artist in Garden & Gun magazine


How do you work?

Sometimes quickly, sometimes slowly.I tend to work on a couple of pieces at once. I let something dry and switch gears to another. Switching back-and-forth keeps me from frustration and boredom. I work at home for now--on an easel, drafting table, wall, or floor.

 


What kinds of materials do you use?
All paint mediums, inks, charcoal, pastels, canvas, linen, and paper.

 

How would you describe your own artwork… any signature qualities to your art?

It changes all the time, so not really. I do feel like my faces are the most signature pieces stylistically.

 

Has motherhood changed your art in any perceptible way?

All for the better. Everything comes from a happier, more complete soul.


You are a self-professed art history geek. What are some of the artists or artworks that you admire? Any that would surprise us?
The Renaissance is by far my favorite period. I have always loved "Annunciation" by Leonardo da Vinci as well as Fra Angelico’s "The Annunciation". Seeing Botticelli’s "Primavera" at the Uffizi took my breath away. Donatello’s "David" at the Bargello in Florence is another favorite. I love any “Madonna and Child” work.There are too many to name.


You have traveled throughout Europe for inspiration: Any big take-aways from that experience?
Berlin was an eye opener as far as the modern art scene. My best friend and I loved it so much, we ended up staying much longer than anticipated. Driving through Provence was also an incredibly beautiful, calming experience. It felt like another time.

 

Where would you like to travel next?
I've traveled to most of the big European cities and surrounding areas as well as the same in South America. I'm dying to get to Stockholm and Morocco.


A colorblock work on paper available via Serena & Lily A colorblock work on paper available via Serena & Lily


Let’s do some word associations with a few famous artists.

Rothko:
hue saturation

Frankenthaler:fluid

Twombly:notes

Pollock:gestural

Picasso:linear

Matisse:opaque

O’Keefe:close up



Any important artists that I left out that are significant to you, whether in your style of painting or another style or medium?
Richard Diebenkorn and David Hockney




I read that you left the College of Charleston and spent 6 months in NYC, but you were pulled back to South Carolina. How is South Carolina, or more specifically the Low Country, essential to your work?

It was more essential to my [personal] happiness, which then led to being happy in my work. Charleston is where I started my career and the support I received from that city has made me forever grateful. I will always call it home.



What did you learn at art school that stuck with you?
That not all criticism is constructive.

 

A nude work on paper by Benedict. A nude work on paper by Benedict.



You seem to be pushing yourself with your art: not only abstracts, but also figurative works….portraiture…What are you most excited about trying out now or in the future?
Sculpture and textiles. I would love to get into 3-D sculptural pieces: plaster, clay, wood, acrylic...



If you weren’t a painter what would you do?

Full-time momma.



What else inspires you?

Good food.



What do you like to do in your free time when not painting?

Cook



Favorite places in Charleston if you were giving a tourist advice on where to go to shop, eat, see, etc.?
Sullivan's Island, Battery Park, King Street, Fast & French, Novel, ESD, Mac&Murphy, Sugar Bakeshop, Candy Shop Vintage, Hampden Clothing, Bull Street Gourmet, Poe's, Indigo&Cotton, Redux Contemporary Art Center, Dock Street Theater, Folly Beach, Bowens Island, Ann Long Fine Art, Janet Porcher Gregg, Skoogies, Husk, FIG, Trattoria Luca, Goat.Sheep.Cow.

 

What are some of your favorite haunts in Atlanta?

Jalisco’s, Georgia Grille, Carver’s Country Kitchen, Taxco Mexican Restaurant.



Seen any recent art shows or is there any contemporary artist that you are obsessed with?
[NYC-based artist] Mary Nelson Sinclair’s new indigo works on paper are phenom: www.marynelsonsinclair.com

 

Benedict's Atlanta exhibit at Morgan Kylee on May 2 is inspired, in part, by Rick Owen's Spring runway Benedict's Atlanta exhibit at Morgan Kylee on May 2 is inspired, in part, by Rick Owen's Spring runway


How about movies or photography. Have either of those mediums influenced you?

Movies, yes. Photography, yes. I love going to Jackson Fine Art in Atlanta for a good photo fix. http://www.jacksonfineart.com/



What is up next for you professionally?

I'm doing a exclusive collection for Serena & Lily launching in May. www.serenaandlily.com/

 

 

Meet artist Sally King Benedict and see her work at Morgan Kylee Boutique, Buckhead, 3273 Roswell Road, on Thursday, May 2, at 7PM. Benedict’s works based on Rick Owen’s new spring collection, as well as some other new pieces, will be on exhibit. www.morgankylee.com/

You can also see and buy her work at a Spring Bazaar, featuring the art, jewelry and accessories of Benedict and eight other designers and artists, May 7-8, at 3180 Rilman Road NW, Atlanta. The bazaar hours are noon-7PM on Tues. May 7 and 1-5PM on Wed. May 8.

 

Benedict’s art work is shown by appointment at her Atlanta studio; at Hidell Brooks Gallery in Charlotte, North Carolina; and on Benedict’s website www.sallybenedict.com 

 

CLICK ON THUMBNAILS TO LAUNCH SLIDESHOW OF MORE WORKS BY SALLY KING BENEDICT

 

A recent painting by Benedict A recent painting by Benedict

 

A recent portrait by Benedict A recent portrait by Benedict

 

An older painting by Benedict An older painting by Benedict

 

A recent work on paper by Benedict A recent work on paper by Benedict