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Artist Name: Benjamin Lavender
Title of Piece: Knotted
Media: oak, steel, geode, glass, copper
Dimensions: 10'H x 2'W x 3'D
Retail Price: $3,800 + tax
Artist’s Statement: When a path is severed, the strength of mutation prevails.
Artist Bio: Benjamin Lavender’s art reflects his lifelong fascination with the growth and erosion of nature. His signature style involves shaping metal and industrial objects into organic forms reminiscent of plant life. His latest sculptures are constructed primarily out of metal straps (from reclaimed whiskey and wine barrels) that have been cut, shaped, and twisted into the shapes of various types of forms, from roots to figures, enhancing his ability to mimic nature.
In his own words, “Abstract Naturism is an appropriate way to describe my work, as well as industrially-organic. Both define the outcome of mimicking nature through intense hours of manipulating metal, concrete, paint, and found or reclaimed objects into organically formed art.”
Lavender was born and raised in Austin, Texas, an artistic and musical city. When he moved to Nashville, Tennessee, he earned his Associates of Fine Art from Watkins College of Art and Design, with first place in ceramics and second in sculpture during his exiting student show. He then moved to San Diego and received his BA in sculpture from San Diego State University in 2003. He quickly established himself in local group and solo shows in the surrounding area.
This will be Benjamin's fourth appearance at “Sculpture in the Garden” at the San Diego Botanic Garden, displaying his latest large-scaled sculpture “Knotted,” along with a permanent piece “Ocotillo” that was purchased and donated to the Garden. Lavender recently was a guest featured artist at the San Diego Sculptors Guild, displaying a variety of recent and older work. He also showed at “H20, The art of conservation,” at Cuyamaca College, where his “Drop” was purchased, and now a permanent piece at the Water Conservation Garden. Lavender also displayed his “Roots,” a solo exhibition at the Oceanside Museum of Art. He exhibited his largest sculpture to date, “Kite of Paradise,” in the annual “Kites Over Vista,” in Vista, CA, with an appearance in Vista Magazine as a featured artist. Lavender has participated in several other juried group shows including the annual “Sculptures in the Street” in Mesa, AZ; “Art and Science” at 2nd City Council Gallery, Long Beach, CA; “San Diego Art Prize: New Contemporaries” at Simay Space, San Diego, CA; and the Port Of San Diego Sculpture Show (now named Artwalk on the Bay) at the Embarcadero Marina Park North, San Diego. He has shown at Planet Rooth, San Diego, CA multiple times over the past four years during “Ray at Night,” San Diego’s longest running art-walk located in North Park. Other benefit shows Lavender has participated in include, Jeans For Justice Benefit Auction; Mozart Foundation Benefit Auction; and Party With A Purpose, a New Orleans Benefit. Benjamin Lavender has claimed San Diego as home, but continues to spread his artwork throughout surrounding areas.
Photo: Heather Main, SDBG Staff