Richmond Hill, New York
Leonardo Benzant is a Dominican-American artist, with Haitian heritage, born and raised in Brooklyn, who at times, metaphorically, refers to his practice as Urban Shamanism inspired by a character he created called Kamarioka, The Chameleon. His practice is informed by his studies of the Kongo and his spiritual beliefs shaped by research into Western, Eastern, African and Caribbean religion, art, history, culture and rituals. Benzant’s work was featured in a solo exhibition, Afrosupernatural, at Aljira, a Center for Contemporary Art, in Newark, NJ in 2016. He has also exhibited in group shows at The Third Line, Dubai, UAE; Rush Art Gallery, NY; 101 Exhibit Gallery, Los Angeles; G.R. N’namdi Center for Contemporary Art, Detroit; African American Museum, Philadelphia; among other venues. His work is held in numerous public and private collections in the U.S. and the Dominican Republic. In 2016-2017, he was a resident at the Galveston Artist Residency in Galveston, TX.
Painters & Sculptors Grant, 2017
My artworks draw from the uniquely shared history of code switching, double-consciousness, and multiple narratives that people of African descent have inherited and are compelled to adopt as a survival strategy for daily life. Like this common experience, my work straddles two worlds.”