Shedding Abstract Light On The Darkness

An evolution of artwork was introduced to the Albert Shahinian Fine Art Gallery in Rhinebeck as the work of local artist Leslie Bender was installed on Saturday, Nov. 2.

“Involutions — Invocations” represented the seasoned artist whose work has been represented in the gallery for three major solo exhubitions.

Bender’s art is largely abstract, and she uses several different mediums to express her inspiration.

Bender said she enjoys painting people in action, inspired by their form and movement, as well as the mystery and mystical aspect that comes with a carnival or a circus.

To create her pieces, Bender said she uses “all the mediums: oil, acrylic, pastel, collage.”

Bender said her art is essential to her survival and her sanity.

“This is what I was born to do, and this is how I breathe,” she said.

Bender said her artwork expresses the idea that a person has darkness inside of them, and “in order to find the light, they must learn to live through the darkness, instead of simply getting rid of it.”

Bender also said she is trying to “reach people that relate to [her] work, [it] shows deep issues, and human issues.”

In a society fascinated by perfection Bender said, “it’s important to deal with your dark side.”

At the Albert Shahinian gallery, where the gallery’s owner and namesake is a dealer in fine arts, Bender’s art is a staple.

Shahinian, the owner, said he considers her in a “handful of five artists that are exceptional in what they do.”

The recent gallery opening on Saturday, Nov. 2 was “a very good opening,” Shahinian said. “It was busy, but not overwhelmingly so, and [it was] a wonderful show in terms of presentation.”

Bender agreed, and said that even a local politician, Joel Tyner, made an appearance.

Bender said her plans for the future include inviting art critics from New York City to view her work, traveling to Italy to be exposed to its art scene, opening her own exhibit in one of the New York City museums and doing more teaching.

“Involutions — Invocations” will be showing at the Albert Shahinian Fine Art Gallery until Dec. 31, 2013.