Light Space & Time Online Art Gallery is extremely pleased to announce that Yuri Benitez has been named as the Gallery’s new featured artist and he will now be promoted by the gallery for the next 14 days in the gallery’s Artist Showcase.
Yuri Benitez is a professional figurative and model photographer based in Mexico. Yuri was selected as 1 of the top twelve finalists of the gallery’s recent Solo Art Exhibition Series #6. The placement in this competition qualified his art to be showcased in this feature. Below are Yuri’s Artist Biography, Artist Statement and 5 images that were submitted to this competition.
Yuri Benitez was born and raised in Mexico City, as an only child of a middle class conservative family. At an early age, in middle school, he discovered photography as his favorite pastime as a result of an artistic grade he had to choose for the seventh grade.
Back in the 70’s, he spent endless hours in the darkroom that his family had adapted in the attic of his house. He was his own teacher, having just some publications from Kodak as a reference to learn about the process of shooting and developing B&W films.
This entire pastime became a passion and he decided to become a professional photographer, not before he finished a major in Communications at Universidad Anahuac.
At the very beginning he questioned himself about pursuing a commercial career or an artistic one. At the end he decided to go after a commercial one, and with the profits, he would support his artistic projects.
Twenty-five years have passed by without noticing and, now finally, he is able to self-support his own production and have time for his ideas.
He has always loved the richness and texture that a monochromatic image can render, maybe because of those moments of great excitement of discovery in the darkroom. He considers one of the best ways to reflect that beauty of shades of gray is to photograph the human figure, specifically the female body.
He has been highly inspired by classics like Helmut Newton, Herb Rittz, Christian Vogt, and lately by colleagues like Rdoslaw Pujan and André Brito.
Yuri has been an early adopter of digital techniques, when they became available back in the late 90’s. Since then, he has been working comfortably with digital capture and has been surprised once again by the magic of the computers and the large format ink jet printers.
Although he keeps the use of Photoshop to a minimum (mostly retouching), he prefers to give more importance to the process of “image capture”. He believes in the “old school” of doing everything right in front of the camera, because “everything shows”.
The circumstances of working with beautiful models for his fashion clients and, the artistic expression that has always been present with him, led to the images he is working on his ongoing project.
Up to this day, he has been recognized for his artistic work by several international institutions, like the “Black and White Spiders Awards” (London), “Prix de la Photographie Paris” (France), Photoshoot Awards (Canada) , “Monochrome Awards” and the “Moscow International Foto Awards”, and his images had been published in full pictorials in “Dodho” magazine (Barcelona), and Digitalis Foto Magazin (Hungary).
You will probably find Yuri in his studio in Mexico City, setting the stage, experimenting with lights, creating atmospheres, or simply imagining new concepts for his new shooting.
Feminine figure has always captivated my imagination. It is capable of provoking an emotional journey that goes from fascination even to intimidation, but every single time with an inner beauty that shines by itself.
The artistic Nude has been a theme widely accepted and embraced by artists of all genres maybe, because it is our basic essence, maybe it is the curiosity, or maybe, it is by the natural beauty of lines and forms that our bodies are made of.
Feminine nude had been a taboo since my childhood, probably due to the times and society which were much more conservative, the “nude” was an unknown and censored horizon. Now with the times and a whole lot cultural changes, I can get close to that enigma, in a way that I can admire and acknowledge the wonders of woman’s body, and capture its essence in light and shadow. These images pay homage to a concept that was once a secret.
My basic tool is the light, like the chisel for the sculptor, is what allows me to reveal or hide, enhance or create. I can tell that in most of my images, the lighting setup comes first on my mind, and then after, the body figure that will shine under it.
In my images I show the figure with confidence and strength in different circumstances, in atmospheres that are not necessarily intimate but are away from the everyday life, in attitudes in which the presence of the camera is irrelevant.
I portray the beauty of the body in an elegant style, at some points sensually, and definitely sculptural, and adding to this, I keep the anonymity of my models as part of the attraction and mystery that surrounds the feminine physique.
Here is a website to see more of his works: http://www.yuribenitez.com