Piñatas and Muses at AD&A Museum
Fine Art

Piñatas and Muses at AD&A Museum

Benavidez, Heebner, and Shelton Have Summer Shows at UCSB Photo: Courtesy Please don’t take a swing at any of the piñatas by Roberto Benavidez (top left, lower right), and enjoy the work of Jeff Shelton and Mary Heebner (top right, lower left). No matter how many birthday parties you have attended, you have never seen a piñata like any of those included in Roberto Benavidez’s vibrant and provocative summer show at the UCSB Art, Design, & Architecture Museum. Hailing from Texas, where he handcrafts these subtly subversive works of art, Benavidez brings a light touch and a mischievous sense of humor to the clash of high and popular culture. He began the series on view at the AD&A in 2013, inspired by the 15th-century painter Hieronymus Bosch, and in particular by the fantastic figures in his masterpiece, “The Garden of Earthly Delights.” Using delicate materials in a traditional, balloon-based piñata-making process, Benavidez replicates specific aspects of the painting, including not only animals and fruits, but also some of the more bizarre, human-adjacent creatures of Bosch’s extravagant imagination. A large reproduction of the painting, complete with magnifying glass, allows visitors to play detective in an art historical identification game of […]

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