At first glance, the haunting paintings of Benz and Chang appear to be vintage sepia photographs. Upon closer examination, they reveal themselves to be walnut ink drawings rendered by hand on watercolor paper. The figurative paintings portray mysterious narratives that are largely left to the imagination of the viewer, and utilize the image vocabulary of early 20th Century photographs. They reward a second or third look with details that can be easy to miss. The figures with crowns, wings, ghost limbs, lights and shadows are meditations on the topics of spirituality, shifting identity, and transformative experiences. Says Benz, "I see myself as a channel and believe that my job is to align myself with a larger creative impulse and also with the painting itself. I must add that I rarely do this perfectly. During the various steps of making a painting, I will 'see' something that belongs in the painting, and I do my best to add it. The resulting paintings are dreamlike."
Knife Thrower's Assistant, 1924
Dear Lady Can You Hear the Wind Blow, 1922