Drawing on inspiration from American traditional-style tattoos and experiences with mental health, Elk Grove High School senior Benny Galicia’s art is filled with complexity and meaning.
In April, the senior art student snagged first place in a Daily Herald student art competition for their piece titled “Always Forever.”
“I don’t usually enter into art competitions,” Galicia said in an email. “I submitted this piece because it was one of few I actually liked because I felt like it showed the most of what my work consists of.”
“Always Forever,” as Galicia says, is based on the extreme highs in mental health where self-obsession can overcome life and faults that may exist in a person, with mirrors that encapsulate the border to symbolize realization.
“In certain situations, I feel above others so I kind of just tone them out because I feel like they aren’t worth my time,” Galicia said. “The mirrors are what bring me back. The pageant banner says ‘I am not you,’ but the mirrors say otherwise.”
When it comes to identity and self-expression in their art, Galicia credits AP Japanese teacher Ryan Christie and AP studio art teacher Jennifer Aguilar with always being there for Galicia in times of uncertainty.
“They’ve always supported me whenever I needed it,” Galicia said.
Apart from the Daily Herald Arts show, Galicia has also nabbed third place in the Harper Art Show that took place March 4. Their work has also been featured in the IHSAE Senior Exhibition and the 2021 Anthology with their creative art pieces.
After graduation, Galicia said they plan to continue in the art field by getting a tattoo apprenticeship.
More of Galicia’s art can be found at bennysbarrio.weebly.com.