(Se muestra sólo una selección de Obra Gráfica Múltiple -Grabado Artístico- de algunas series producidas para ofrecer una visión global del trabajo)
Serial Graphic Artwork (Engraving) Academy Period (Art Student)
Multiple Graphic Works, 1986-1990 (Woodcut: Xylography)
Multiple Graphic Work (Artistic Engraving in the work of Ernesto Benítez)
We start here From that, the artistic engraving, the multiple or serialized graphic work, in many occasions have been considered as minor work in the context of the contemporary art. In fact, if we analyze prices in auctions, and even If we study the location iaccording to the museographic design or curatorship in certain mega exhibitions, we can also see that, the engraving and the multiple graphic work (in the proposal of a same artist) usually has less importance and prominence. This is a widespread prejudice in the contextt of contemporary art. However, when it comes to works produced with technological media -even if they are still serial or multiple graphic works- the question is no longer so. It seems that the break with history professed by modern neo-medieval thought has also invaded -with rare exceptions- to art institution.
In the beginning it was not the Verb, but the Engraving
Ernesto Benítez studied engraving and serialized graphic work at La Academia San Alejandro; in fact, he specialized in that artistic manifestation, so he knows first-hand the capacity for innovation and experimentation offered by artistic engraving: lithography, intaglio, woodcut, silk-screen printing, colography and even photography and digital printing. For this reason he has regularly explored these and other techniques either independently or by integrating serialized graphic reproduction elements in his unique works (on paper, in paintings or in his installative works). Benítez constantly assumes the new modes of art production in his aesthetics: video, net-art, digital photography, digital animation, 3D modeling, etc. and indistinctly mixes them – without the slightest prejudice – with the more traditional techniques, among which are engraving and serial graphic work.
Multiplicity and Seriality: The Modern Western Spirit
The rite of seriality, the hybrid character and the multiplicity constitute some of the paradigmatic axes on which these new and fragmented times are structured, the fractured societies and the fragmented pseudo-globalized post-culture. Therefore, it is curious and paradoxical that one of the artistic genres that could best fit the spirit of the post-industrial era (engraving and its various forms of producing multiple graphic works) is relegated, perhaps because it also carries the weight of history and traditions, two topics that contemporary art refuses to assume if not in the mere context of “vintage”.
But Ernesto knows that the principles of seriality and multiplicity are, in their own right, inscribed in the philosophy of engraving and multiple graphic works; that is why he incorporates them into the very core of his artistic discourse. Far from assuming a death of engraving and its varied techniques of serial printing, Ernesto (trained as an engraver), with a heterodox look, takes advantage of the levels of oxygenation that the alliances with new technologies have come to print in the traditional genres of artistic engraving and its diverse languages of expression. He is one of many contemporary artists who, without the slightest reservation, always returns to printmaking with respect for his autonomy, his capacity to reinvent himself and his vitality.