John Benigno, American

Artist's Statement:

My interest in photography dates back to the mid-1950's when my father brought home one of the first Polaroid Land cameras. I was laid up with the whooping cough and he thought the camera would cheer me up. Well, as much as it might hurt to admit it, Dad was right. I still have that camera, and, to make a long story short, I've been making photographs ever since.

It is, however, only in the past ten years that I've sought out opportunities to exhibit my work, including showings at the Philadelphia Museum of Art Sales and Rental Gallery, the Magidson Gallery in New York City, the Washington County Arts Council Gallery in Hagerstown, MD, and the Print Center in Philadelphia.

If you're in the Philadelphia area, you can see my work in the collections of the Philip and Muriel Berman Museum at Ursinus College, at Rosemont College, and the Woodmere Art Museum. Other collectors include the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia in Halifax, the Lancaster Museum of Art in Lancaster, PA, The Noyes Museum in Oceanville, NJ, the Palace of the Governors Photo Archive, Santa Fe, NM, the Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas in Austin, and the State Museum of Pennsylvania in Harrisburg. Also, my photographs have been published in "Camera Arts" magazine, "The Calumet Newsletter for Photographic Artists," and the "Antietam Review."

My photographs have been accepted into juried exhibits at the Berman Museum, Woodmere Art Museum, the University of Delaware, the Chatauqua Art Association in New York State, Villanova University, the Art Association of Harrisburg, and the Center for the Arts in Southern New Jersey, to name a few. And, my "Chappy Cabanas and Edgartown Light" photograph was on loan to the American Embassy in Kuwait, as part of the U.S. Department of State's Art in Embassies program.

Much of my work focuses on the landscape of Pennsylvania's Lancaster County, the New Jersey Shore, New Mexico, especially the many Adobe Churches to be found in the northern part of the state, Arizona and Nova Scotia. Recent travels have taken me to Sicily, the land of my grandparents. Also, I've returned to the studio -- the result is a series I call White Flowers. To my delight, this work has evolved into a newfound outlet for my emotions and creativity.

Perhaps, because much of my work tends towards realism, my photographs often are described as traditional. In fact, many of my primary influences come from the writings and works of Porter, Feininger, Steichen, and Strand, to name a few.While I welcome a comparison to the past, realism is merely a means to an end. Rather, I believe that my artistic vision is driven more by my background in the social sciences, especially anthropology and history, than by my great admiration for photography's early masters.

Artist's Gallery


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