Artist Statement Submitted 2014Paul Stephen Benjamin is a conceptual artist. His work brings the past, present and future together through use of the color black. The color black becomes an entry point into discussions of identity, race and masculinity. Benjamin creates multi-layered pieces, which incorporate history, text and popular culture.
His work focuses on the complex nature of blackness - simultaneously static and dynamic - and raises questions that can only be answered through viewers’ personal experiences. Multiple layers of meaning and thought are a consistent element and signature of his work regardless of the medium.
Benjamin also investigates the concept of the “sound of black” by editing video of a performance of Nina Simone singing, “Black is the Color of My True Love’s Hair.” Only the refrain, "Black is the Color", is heard in Benjamin’s work and it is repeated over and over to create a rich, layered, haunting composition.