Inside Studio with Kuki Benski

Interview with local artist from Buenos Aires, Argentina
Tell us where you were born and where you live now.

I was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina. I live and work with my artwork here in my home/workshop in Martinez.

How old were you when you first realized that you wanted to be an artist?

I was 13 years old when I first received a prize in a painting competition. At that time I was very excited and thought ‘I want to be an artist’. Back then my friends at school always asked me to do drawings for them, and I did this with pleasure, for me it was fun.

What were some of the things that inspired you to make art when you were young?

Amongst many other things I was motivated by my mother Nicolita Georgescu, actress, dancer, singer and a great admirer of art. My father as well, inventor and master chocolatier - he taught me to aesthetically appreciate all the brightly colored wrappers, labels, and packaging of the candies that surrounded him. My parents had a great influence on my artwork.

Which artists influenced your work the most in the beginning?

The artists that I most admired were, amongst others, Hartung, Gabriel Messil, Luis Felipe NoƩ, Leonora Carrington, Antonio Berni, Frida Kahlo, Lichtenstein and German collage artists.
What types of materials do you like to work with while making your creations?

I like working with many materials. Some remind me of my childhood for that magical aura that surrounds them - they take me back to a troubled past, and this triggers intense emotions that I then capture in my work. The materials that I use include photos, text, textiles, dolls, toys, embroidery, jewelry, plastic, etc…

What was the most popular art piece you have ever made?

My most popular piece of art was ‘La Chanchita’, which won first prize in the ArteBA (Art Buenos Aires) youth section in 2007 at Rosa Chancho Gallery. It was later purchased by a great collector.

Have you ever felt like giving up art for something else?

No, I never wanted to give art up for anything else, as it is part of my life.

Have you been able to support yourself throughout your life by being an artist?

I’ve always been able to support myself financially.

What sacrifices have you made in order to maintain an artistic lifestyle?

Actually for me it was never a sacrifice to keep my artistic lifestyle. I’ve always done what I wanted to do in this regard, and have greatly enjoyed it as it’s given me endless satisfaction.

Has your family always supported you and your creations?

Yes, my family has always supported and encouraged me in my artistic vocation.
What kinds of interesting people have you met in the art world?

In the art scene I’ve met plenty of interesting people artists, writers, musicians, philosophers, and friends who have taught me interesting and unforgettable lessons..

How long do you see yourself doing art?

I see myself doing art all my life, because art is my life and it inspires me.

If you had one dream for the world today what would it be?

My dream today is for all human beings to be happy and realize their full potential, lovingly respecting themselves and others, and in this way evolving to become better people with more awareness and a better quality of life. In this way we can save our only refuge, our planet Earth. I think that ART, through its healing powers, can help us all in this regard to find our way to happiness, peace, and love.