“Our need to create is driven by the desire to manifest our subconscious and to give our soul tangible form. Art is nothing but a means to explore and catch a glimpse of our inner space.”
Nevena Bentz was born in 1976, in Blagoevgrad, Bulgaria. She spent a year in a French school in Algeria at age ten, which proved to be a life-changing experience. After returning to Bulgaria, she studied at the local French-language high school. There, she was introduced to feminist writers like Simone De Beauvoir and fascinated with the lives of female artists, like Frida Kahlo and Camille Claudel. She read Rimbaud, Verlaine, and Jacques Prevert and copied Chagall, Klimt, and Modigliani.
Nevena went on to study law in both France and the United States. She practiced law in Texas and lectured at the American University’s campus in Bulgaria before reconnecting with her artistic side in 2012, when she launched a fine jewelry line while experimenting with mixed media art and ornamental sculpture. One creative pursuit led to another. In 2017, she published her first book of poetry: Vol Vers l’Inconnu, (Flight into the Unknown) – an anthology of older writings and newer texts that relayed more recent experiences.
Her artistic journey is an exploration of female identity. “It seems to me that women today, more than ever before, are defined by their physical appearance and relationship to products. Women have fallen into the trap of seeking an identity in the marketplace,” she explains. Nevena chooses female fragments and distortion as a means to expose women’s inner contradictions, struggles, and unease. In her prior body of work, she used torn pieces of magazine-perfect models, disrupting order and breaking the fragile illusion of perfection women strive to achieve. “Ordering the chaos of our fragmented selves is a starting point in our quest for purpose, yearning for wholeness, and our need to make sense of our isolated and seemingly unrelated experiences.” Nevena’s mixed-media portraits and compositions reconfigure women’s identities in unexpected ways by challenging conventional standards of beauty and rejecting the obvious. The broken parts coalesce into a whole that is beautifully imperfect and projects strength.
Nevena’s current series “One” continues the quest for understanding the human condition, but widens the aperture from the individual to the collective level. The series examines the unprecedented role of humanity today, as a geological force with planetary impact. Humans have assumed this role unconsciously, without mechanisms for global self-control, but the situation now compels us to awaken to the challenge and become a conscious creator of change. She continues to play with the notions of fragmentation and wholeness, oneness and duality, realism and abstraction. The denunciation of consumerism evolves into a call for conservation. The female presence remains strong, but becomes a symbol for humanity as a whole. It blends with nature to draw parallels of beauty, nurturing, resilience, and renewal.
Since her first solo exhibition during Boston Fashion Week 2012, Nevena has participated in numerous pop-up and gallery shows. Most recently, her series “Serendipity” debuted as a solo exhibit at Artworks Gallery in Austin. Nevena’s work is a tribute to freedom, strength, authenticity, and beauty.
Austin Galleries – Austin, Texas (www.austingalleries.com)
Context Art Gallery, Treviso, Italy
"One" - Ao5 Gallery, Austin (2021)
Featured AtxGals Artist - The Cathedral, Austin, Texas (2020)
“Serendipity” – solo exhibit, Artworks Gallery, Austin, Texas (2020)
EAST Art Tour – group exhibit, The Cathedral, Austin, Texas (2019)
“Mystique” – group exhibit, Mystique Salon, Austin, Texas (2019)
WEST Austin Art tour, Blue Genie Bazaar, Austin, Texas (2019)
The 3rd Annual Galentine’s Show, Fair Market, Austin, TX (2019)
International Women’s Day SXSW Kickoff Party, Austin, TX (2019)
Bloom Group Show, Austin, Texas (2018)
Discover Group Show, Austin Film Society (2017)
Abstract Absolutely, Art for the People Gallery (2017)
Flower Power, Art for the People Gallery (2017)
The Mighty Vignettes, Art for the People Gallery (2017)
Celebrate Her, Austin, Texas (2017)
Dripping Springs Art Studio Tour 2017
WEST tour, Art for the People Gallery, Austin, Texas (2017)
The Galantine’s Show, Austin, Texas 2009 – City Fine Art Gallery, Blagoevgrad, Bulgaria (2017)
Winter Market 2014 – Arena Terrace Studio, Concord, Massachusetts (2014)
“Beauty and the fashion beast” – a Boston Fashion Week event, Boston, Massachusetts (2013)
Atx Gals - Autin, Texas
Espace Artistes Femmes - Lucerne, Switzerland
Facebook: Nevena Bentz Art