What could possibly make piñatas even more fun? According to artist Roberto Benavidez, creating piñatas that reference art historical works.
Benavidez, a Los-Angeles-based artist, started work on his Piñatas of Earthly Delights series in 2013. Each piñata in the series references a creature found in 16th-century Dutch artist Hieronymus Bosch’s tour de force of weirdness, The Garden of Earthly Delights. Crafted from a mix of newspaper, crepe paper, glue, and wire like traditional piñatas, Benavidez’s creations render Bosch’s quirky hybrid creatures in near-life-size, making for quite the surreal series.
If you know anything about Bosch, or The Garden of Earthly Delights, you know that both are pretty unconventional. Art historically, the painting, created between 1505 and 1515, has much more in common with medieval works than its contemporaries. The odd, surreal-like subject matter has influenced artists throughout western art history—Benavidez included.
Of the strange creatures in The Garden of Earthly Delights, a two-legged doglike creature, a strange bird eating what looks to be a rodent, and an almost-anime-style giraffe are just a few of the creatures dotting Benavidez’s oeuvre. Each work is as fun to look at as it is to try and locate where in the Garden the creature appears. Some frolic in the first panel, while others dot the second*. (See the asterisk at the end of the article for hints on the location for each creature pictured in the above photo, or check out this article from MyModernMet.)
The art world seems to have taken to Benavidez as much as we have. Popular art sites like Hyperallergic and MyModernMet have covered the piñatas. In addition, several of the piñatas recently exhibited at the Riverside Art Museum, and another exhibition has just opened at the AD&A Museum at the University of California, Santa Barbara.
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Bosch Beast No. 1 2017 71x26x15″ …will be shown for the first time in the group show ‘Beast’ opening in February 2019 @riversideartmuseum. Artist reception and gallery talk on February 10th – link in profile. #hieronymousbosch #giraffe #piñatasofearthlydelights #gardenofearthlydelights #paperart #papermache #crepepaper #piñatafineart #piñata
We love how Benavidez seamlessly blends art historical references into his signature creations, and we can’t wait to see what he does next! What do you think of these clever piñatas? Share in the comments below!
Read more on the piñatas and their inspiration in The Garden of Earthly Delights at MyModernMet.
*The creature that inspired Piñatas of Earthly Delights: Bosch Bird No. 3 (pictured above) can be found at the bottom right of the first panel of The Garden of Earthly Delights, right above the gaping chasm. The doglike creature (pictured in the first shot above) can be found in the upper section of the first panel, in the middle right above the lake and fountain, next to the giraffe. The biped froglike creature and squirrel-like creature doing a handstand (both featured in the first shot above) can be found in the top left of the center panel, just to the left of the large pink fountain.