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I MADE a faux pas when I first spotted Benny’s pieces, asking if they were sculptural pieces or found objects. It turns out they’re both. To fully appreciate the artist’s work, though, one needs to pick up the tree roots, branches or bark and examine them carefully. For on these wood pieces are carved images that Benny alone discerned, enhanced by strokes of a knife or whatever tool he had in hand, including a screwdriver.Benny found his calling when, handling some driftwood and pieces of dead uprooted trees, he “saw” images in the whorls and knots, rings and patterns and decided to outline them, adding features like eyes, feathers or limbs when necessary.To experience Benny’s artworks, then, is to engage in an intimate, almost archeological, viewing. Holding the pieces up close, one needs to search for the images “emerging” from the surrounding wood, an experience full of surprise and discovery, and sometimes, even the thrill of exploration.He may be working with “dead” wood, but Benny proves that with the mind’s eye fully opened to possibilities, it is possible to give new life even to pieces we would otherwise discard and dismiss as mere junk, waste material.