Antonio Benjamin (b. 1981) is known for rendering nudes. Working in traditional media such as colored pencils, acrylic, and ink appeals to Benjamin because he likes to have a large array of colors available when creating his iconic groups of flavored nude people. Benjamin remarks, “My work is about a group of people. Chocolate, strawberry, and vanilla people. They all think different. The chocolate people, they are really black, but I just call them chocolate.”
In both digital and traditional media, Benjamin often depicted African American people, houses and churches, reflecting his community and culture. Flashing his trademark bright smile, he said this subject matter is important and inspiring to him “because of our history.” Benjamin passed away in April 2019 but his critical and intriguing artwork will be celebrated at CE for many years to come.