Benaiah Cusack’s “Landscape Beyond”
“I paint to document my inner life, impressions, and attempt to capture the fragments of beauty and melancholy from nature,” Benaiah Cusack explained, “When I start painting, I escape into another world. I don’t usually know where the destination will be.”
Throughout the month of February, artist Benaiah Cusack cordially invites you into his world of landscapes. As a contemporary landscape painter in Indianapolis, Cusack emerged on Indy’s art scene in 2012 with a painting style characterized and embodied by dramatic color, texture, and mixed media elements. Through his unique style, he presents this month in the Harrison Gallery, his unique view of nature, fantasy, and the mystical.
In the black velvet night, hope glimmers, acrylic on canvas
Tracing his artistic heritage back to his childhood in southeastern Ohio, it was Cusack’s grandmother who first noticed his creative inclinations. “When I was very young, my grandmother noticed I was artistic, and she always encouraged me to dream and develop this gift,” he explained, “Over the years, that memory has stayed with me.” As an adult, Cusack found himself working various office jobs while occasionally finding time for drawing, painting, and a bit of photography on the side. But it was in 2003 while living in Florida that he decided the Midwest was calling him back home. Cusack made his way to Indianapolis where he began designing handmade jewelry in Broad Ripple while taking painting classes at the Indianapolis Arts Center from artist Susan Hodgin.
Divining Rod, acrylic on canvas
Throughout the following year, Cusack continued to hone his affinity for painting, and in early 2013 he turned his attention to the body of work that hangs in the Harrison Gallery this month. “The process for ‘Landscape Beyond’ began in 2013,” he said, “While being inspired by the beautiful fragments of nature, fantasy, and the mystical, I wanted to create dramatic and colorfully surreal environments where metaphors could be created. In some of this work, I have been exploring bonfires after last year’s frigid winter.” These colorful bonfires sparked Cusack’s imagination, as they became beacons of hope and rebirth, while also holding the tension of destruction.
Metamorphosis, acrylic/mixed media
“I want to transport the viewer into a surreal landscape,” he said, “Where the mundane world disappears, lifting a veil and revealing a dramatic visual story. I hope that my paintings can open a window into a new environment that creates metaphors for life, and sparks the imagination. I hope to create colorful atmospheres that can transport the viewer beyond the norm, fusing glimpses of nature, fantasy, and the mystery of the universe all in one.”
Benaiah Cusack’s show “Landscape Beyond” hangs in the Harrison Gallery throughout the month of February.