International Artist and Gallery Owner
Architect and Painter, John Benzel lived a life full of richness, compassion, and adventure. His paintings exude his respect and love for the every day man, the underprivileged, and his friends who enriched his life. Technically his paintings are masterful, combining a sense of color, composition, and style that allows each work to sing in harmony. Much of his work imbued a strong view of social justice and political overtone. Many of these views molded from his time in South America, primarily Chile, during his time in the Peace Corps.
John Caputo began his formal study of art 50 years ago in American universities, earning his Master of Fine Arts Degree in 1976 from the University of Florida. Initially trained in Printmaking/Graphics, his love of immediacy transformed him into a committed Painter by 1987. As a dedicated Academician he has taught at nine institutions of higher learning, most notably the esteemed Skidmore College in upstate New York, ranked as the top Studio Art Program in the country based in a Liberal Arts University.
Mr. Caputo’s Exhibition Record is extensive, being included in 72 shows internationally and nationally in the Unites States. These include Solo, Juried, Group, and Regional venues including the Phoenix Gallery in Chelsea, New York, the South Carolina State Museum, the Greenville Museum of Art, the Munson-Proctor Institute, and The Academy of Art in Lodz, Poland. In addition the artist has received 17 Grants related to his creative work, and has lectured on art panels with luminous artists such as Leon Golub. His personal interactions with other artists of note include David True, Toshiko Takaezu, Eric Fischl, and April Gornik; the latter three own his artwork. Like Hokusai, he continues to believe that his best work is ahead of him.
My 30-year career as an artist has developed through differing forms of sculpture, painting, printmaking, drawing and photography. I was brought up in Southend-on-Sea, Essex during the 70’s and 80’s within a culture, which was a melting pot of aspirational suburban DIY, service industries, eclectic seaside architecture, alongside the emerging technologies of computer games, and synthesiser music.
All of this has deeply influenced the way I approach my work and the materials I use. I like materials that are not caught up in a fine art context, that don’t subliminally lead the viewer through the whole history of art whilst viewing my work. I am therefore more at home on the bargain shelf of the hardware store, or the recycling bin than the art store for inspiration. My process starts with the properties of materials used to make, build, sustain or decorate a home, but have become surplus. These materials have inherent colour, shape, surface and form influencing the making process, yet they also have inherent contradictions too. Materials that are destined to make permanent partitions or contain produce for the home are made from temporary often-fragile materials, which through a series of manufacturing processes and applied surfaces, give an impression of permanence and then nostalgia.
Seemingly abstract, my work is abstracted and increasingly about iteration, repeating a similar process or conditions to create new identities and relationships. In all my work there is a process of dividing cutting and placing together. Through this process I’ve become aware that I’m both breaking and making a visual language. Ultimately there is directness by using regular shapes and combination that hopefully point towards new identities and an underlying utilitarian abstract visual language.
8th Ave. Gallery is excited to announce the representation of German artist Sabrina Pohl.
In her abstract work, she draws on an intuitive use of form in order to dissolve the visible and the preconditioned. By doing so she opens up a new perspective which creates an openness for a new space of viewing. Those catched glimpses of her surroundings, as for example seen in her abstract landscape works, become simplified, fragile beings by using reduced forms and contours. In doing so, she deals with the emphasis of space and light.
Chicago-born artist, Ezra Siegel, comes from an artistic family. His father, Arthur Siegel, a world-renowned photographer and his mother, Irene Siegel, is a multi-media artist. At an early age, Ezra took an interest in architecture. He attended Francis Parker High School in Chicago, and graduated from Vassar College, majoring in Art History and Architecture. To copy the great master drawings in the Uffizi, he moved to Italy. He then lived in Portugal and Canada before returning to the Chicago area. As a self-trained artist, Ezra has spent many hours visiting museums and perusing art books. These various influences have informed Ezra's art.
He has shown in New York, in one-man and in group exhibitions. He has also shown Internationally, both in group shows, such as Mae D'Agua, and in gallery representation. Ezra has won Best of show: Bayou City Art Festival Downtown 2016, Art and Big Fork 2014, Lubeznik 2013/2019, Northbrook 2013, and has received recognition from numerous juries such as Illinois Arts Council and Art Loop Open. Ezra currently has Gallery representation in Michigan, Massachusetts, Florida, Texas, Oklahoma, Utah,Minnesota, and Illinois. He had a one-man show at the Lubeznik Center of the Arts, Michigan City, in 2016. He showed in SOFA Chicago 2019 . He is notably in the collection of Roger and Pam Weston, Rod Lubeznik, and J. Scarpa, among others.
The Cliff Series, produces by Edith Wiles, represents an investigation in natural rock formations, inspired by the artist’s travels, then transformed into a complex but soothing body of geometric abstractions. Perfect in painting quality, arrange in linear and kaleidoscopic patterns, Edith Wiles opens the door to how natural elements can inspire the senses. These pieces also soar in originality as they are interchangeable and can be displayed in a multitude or arrangements. Wiles perfected a symmetry and design, within her astute painting technique, that opens up endless possibilities within the context of each piece. This combination of quality, inspiration, and design...make owning a Wiles’ painting an unlimited joy and powerful connection to the beauty all around us.
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1531 NE 8th Ave. Ocala, FL 34774 US
8th Ave. Gallery is looking forward to your next visit! Please contact us to set up a private tour through the gallery’s current collection and studio works in progress.