Francisco Benítez is an American contemporary artist who currently divides his time between Santa Fe and Europe. He is inspired by classical art and Baroque painting, creating realist figurative portraits.
Benítez grew up in New York, New Mexico and Spain, and was exposed to a variety of cultures; his mother, a flamenco dancer, and his father, a Spanish set designer, influenced his interest in the arts. He pursued his studies at the Art Student’s League in New York City, studying anatomy and figurative drawing. The influence of this background can be seen in Benítez’s portrait painting, and his series “Doña Inés Lost Her Slipper”.
Benítez’s style reflects his interest in art history and Baroque painting, and he uses this to explore other concerns. Inspired by 18th century paintings he experienced at the Prado in Spain, his series “Doña Inés Lost Her Slipper” imagines a Spanish aristocrat and her maidservant who move to the New World. The subsequent narrative of colonialism, identity and race allows Benítez to explore these contemporary issues through his art.
Benítez has exhibited widely in the USA and Europe, such as at the Musée d’Art Moderne et d’Art Contemporain de Nice and the Real Jardín Botánico in Madrid. His work is held in numerous private collections, including the collection of Jean-Paul Gaultier, and publicly at the National Hispanic Culture Center in the USA.