We all make mistakes. Corn Benjamin Jose knew he had screwed up when he heard the phrase “from hell to breakfast”.
“Every time we messed up in the workshop, my friend’s dad said you messed up the hell out of breakfast,” Jose said.
Jose uses this phrase to describe the title of his exhibition “From Hell to Breakfast” and how it honors his friends and loved ones. The exhibition begins Friday, October 15 and will run through Thursday, March 3, 2022 at the Alice R. Rogers and Target Galleries at Saint John’s University Art Center.
The exhibition opens with an artist reception from 5 to 7 p.m. on October 15, with the artist talk beginning at 6 p.m. providing an opportunity for the CSB/SJU community to interact with Jose.
The show was originally scheduled for spring 2020 but had to be rescheduled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The exhibit has a more personal appeal and people will interact with it differently.
“It’s more introspective, because of the climate of everything that’s happened,” he said.
Jose explained how the pandemic, the political landscape and the lack of interaction between people prompted him to make changes to his originally planned exhibition.
“I will be installing a host of new works (both two- and three-dimensional) for this exhibition. The new works will be presented alongside a few pieces completed over the past five years. There are also a handful of older pieces that establish contextual dialogue for the show,” Jose said.
A unique aspect of Jose’s art is the way he uses stitching to bring together pieces that may not seem to have a connection.
Jose said “97% of art is viewed online rather than in person. Sewing is clinical because drawing lines together to make an overall idea gives a more open experience. In a life of metaphors, it’s different from what people expect.
Artist Carl Van Brunt praises Jose for the way he uses sewing in his work.
“Many of his works are segmented by sewing lines, a reference to the art of sewing he learned from his mother as a child. Sewing can be seen as a leitmotif in his work, embodying the process of bringing together seemingly disparate images, emotions and thoughts into a rich yet open experience,” Van Brunt said on Jose’s website.
Jose’s art features various motorcycle burnouts, classic American muscle cars, and apple products.
“It shows how we are evolving in our culture. Through innovation, we move on to the next one, so it’s kind of old technology versus new technology. said Jose.
Combining this concept with tailoring creates the open experience that Jose tries to emulate and provides the audience with a full course experience.
Jose has been involved in the CSB/SJU community for several years.
In 2006 he was awarded the Jerome Foundation Emerging Artist Residency at Saint John’s Pottery. Jose worked on the statue of Saint Benedict in the plaza in front of the Stephen B. Humphrey Theater and frequently visited SJU Art Galleries with friends. David Paul Lange, OSB, and Richard Bresnahan, Pottery Studio Artist-in-Residence.
Lange, who worked with José on the statue of Saint Benedict, speaks highly of his work.
“The quality and integrity of Ben’s craftsmanship is truly exceptional. His craftsmanship of the Saint Benedict sculpture was flawless,” Lange said. “He was the one who cast my original clay form into 24 separate bronze pieces, welded all the pieces together, and weathered the final sculpture to give it the color and sheen it has. It’s truly a wizard when it comes to metal fabrication.
“You won’t find better examples of cast metal anywhere else, so I highly recommend visiting his upcoming exhibit,” Lange said.
This activity is made possible in part by the constituents of Minnesota through an operating support grant from the Minnesota State Council of the Arts, through a legislative appropriation of the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.
The Alice R. Rogers and Target Galleries at Saint John’s University Art Center are open 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Friday (FAE is available 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday) and 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday. The galleries are closed on Saturday and Monday.