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Fabric, beads, leather, semi-precious stones, string… oh my word. This is the painstakingly meticulous work of New York based artist Leonardo Benzant. His artist statement is equally as powerful, so I’ll hand it over to him:
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“My practice is driven by my connection to the trans African-Atlantic diaspora. I recognize both my ties and disjunction from an ancestral past by considering the possibilities of genetic imprints, cultural identification, innate and intuitive beliefs and a conscious seeking of links that reveal continuities that are hidden or largely unsuspected by the mainstream. I imagine myself as an Urban Shaman exploring both my familiar visible world and the hidden dimensions of other realms that lurk beneath the surface of daily life. The sense of personal cosmology in my practice grows from both experiencing and observing the details of everyday life and ritual. Artworks emerge out of the crossroads of life, history, memory, and imagination, a place between that suggest multiple layers of meaning. Inspiration is derived, in part, from the various modes of communication that I have studied and encountered in African-derived rituals.”