The Idea of the Multiple, Bascom Artist Grant Benoit

When Grant Benoit, The Bascom’s current Artist-in-Residence, was in high school he covered 2-D surfaces with graphite, markers, paint, etc. But it wasn’t until he gouged linoleum…and himself, drawing blood …that he truly connected with the medium that would define his future career: printmaking.

There was something about the physicality of digging into a surface as opposed to laying color atop it that felt primal and important. And it was the first time, romantically speaking, that he bled for his art.

Today Grant uses his printmaking to create sculpture, installations and artist books. His work is based on narrative, place, and memory. He says, “I’m interested in explaining memory mechanics in a way that acknowledges human experience. I’m using the domestic space, home, as a metaphor for specific functions and mechanics of memory. Closets are an example of how we separate and store belongings but also how images are broken down and stored.”

While his work is abstract, he tries to keep something that brings the viewer back to the domestic space, such as molding or electrical switches. But he rarely repurposes. “I start with fresh construction grade materials and build the patina. Sometimes I’ll sand a roll of commercial wallpaper down with a fine grit and print on top of it so the two patterns intermingle, but mostly it’s fresh material. I’ll silkscreen directly on drywall and build up layers of colored plaster and patterns and sand through exposing the strata and then break that up and recombine it through stitching or gold leafed liquid nail.”  

After receiving his Masters in Printmaking from Southern Illinois University Grant stepped into a residency at Arrowmont then another at The Bascom. Both facilities currently exhibit his work.

What’s next? He hopes to move to a professorship in Fine Art.

Visit his website at Inquire about commissions. His current work can be seen at The Bascom. Call William Love for more information at (828) 526-4949.