Santa Cruz Good Times

Thursday
Jan 29th
Text size
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

Ben Hecht waxes the Octagon

benhecht1The wax artist takes over the walls of Lulu's

Pretentious he’s not. Ask 35-year-old artist Ben Hecht what his artist statement is, or what’s the point of his work, or some other abstract artist question, and he might just shrug his shoulders, smile, and say, “I don’t know.” And that is incredibly refreshing. He’s not caught up in the overly analyzed and thoroughly confusing verbiage that some artists use to explain their work, and hence, one can relate to him—and understand him. Hecht brings new light and a fresh perspective to a generation of young artists. “I make it (art) intentionally ambiguous,” Hecht says.

benhecht2Hecht’s work is currently on display at Lulu Carpenter’s at the Octagon, the always-busy coffee shop and spin-off of the original Lulu’s, located at the corner of Front and Cooper streets. Curated by staff from the Museum of Art & History, Hecht was contacted a year ago regarding hanging his work there—and the show is, by far, quite a sight.

Two collections of his work hang on Lulu’s walls. One section features ocean waves and the other section is the opposite—a group of people-based artwork called “The Messengers.” The series features images of things like a man walking on a tightrope, or a person playing a drum—yet these images aren’t simple, they’re layered and complex, created from found images that are put together and scanned, then printed on a large scale format, and then encaustic (bees) wax is layered over it, often with color. It’s a complicated process that can take months to create a single piece, but the results are highly original.

Hecht admits that working in encaustic wax is a much more rare medium than, say, watercolor. “It’s from 800 B.C.,” he says. “It’s the oldest form of painting besides petroglyphs.”

One example of his work is the 44-inch by 44-inch piece, “Cosmic Dancer,” featuring the image of a delicate woman dancing through the sky, skimming the ocean, with dragonflies buzzing around her.

And while Hecht might say, “Like it or  hate it; it’s not colorful, and it’s missing some things—no flowers or anything like that,” his work possesses a mysterious and ambiguous quality, where the interpretation is left up to the viewer.

benhecht3In addition to Hecht’s work as a visual artist, he also runs a children’s after-school art program in the Sash Mill area of downtown Santa Cruz. The Seven Directions Institute of Art and Science (Hecht’s art school for kids) has been open for seven years and offers myriad lessons for children to learn various artistic mediums. The school is home to 80 different animals—birds, reptiles, fish—that, of course, are all caged, and it provides inspiration to children when they create art. And on top of that, Hecht offers a series of workshops and even art birthday parties through Seven Directions.

As for those ‘seven directions,’ the final one will leave you guessing—to start with, there’s  north, south, east, west, above and below. But the final direction? Within. “In artwork, you have this opportunity to find a path to yourself,” Hecht says.


Ben Hecht’s artwork will be on display until Feb. 22 at Lulu Carpenter’s at the Octagon, at the corner of Front and Cooper streets in downtown Santa Cruz. To learn more about Hecht, visit benhecht.com, waxwaves.com, or sevendirections.org.

Comments (0)Add Comment

Write comment
smaller | bigger

busy
 

Share this on your social networks

Bookmark and Share

Share this

Bookmark and Share

 

Throwing It All Away

Everybody’s for recycling, right? So why are we all doing it wrong? Our reporter gets down and dirty to uncover 10 secrets that will finally make the recycling process make sense

 

Aquarius Calling, Humanity Rising

Aquarius (11th sign after Aries) is the sign of service—serving one another, building community. Aquarius is fixed air, stabilizing new ideas in the world. When new ideas reach the masses the ideas become ideals within the hearts and minds of humanity. Air signs (Gemini, Libra and Aquarius) are mental. They think, ponder, study, research, gather and distribute information. For air signs, education and learning, communicating, writing, being social, tending to money, participating in groups and creating sustainable communities are most important. One of the present messages Aquarius is putting forth to the New Group of World Servers is the creation of the New Education (thus thinking) for humanity—one based not on commodities (banking/corporate values) but on virtues. Humanity and Aquarius Aquarius is the sign of humanity itself. We are now at the beginnings of the Age of Aquarius, the Age of Humanity (rising). The “rising” is the Aquarian vision of equality, unity, the distribution and sharing of all resources and of individual (Leo) creative gifts for the purpose of humanity’s (Aquarius) uplifting. This is the message in the Solar Festival of Aquarius (at the full moon) on Tuesday, Feb. 3. We join in these visions by reciting the World Prayer of Direction, the Great Invocation.Tuesday’s solar festival follows Monday’s Groundhog Day, or Imbolc (ancient Celtic fire festival) the halfway mark between winter solstice and spring Equinox). The New Group of World Servers (NGWS) during these two days are preparing for the upcoming Three Spring Solar Festivals: 1. Aries Resurrection/Easter Festival (April); 2. Taurus Buddha/Wesak Festival (May); and 3. Gemini’s Festival of Humanity (June). Aquarius and the new and full moons together are the primary astrological influences behind all of humanity’s endeavors. The NGWS are to teach these things, calling and uplifting humanity. Join us everyone. (301)

 

The New Tech Nexus

Community leaders in science and technology unite to form web-based networking program

 

Job Insecurity

Woman fights for her job in thoughtful, life-sized ‘Two Days One Night’
Sign up for Good Times weekly newsletter
Get the latest news, events

RSS Feed Burner

 Subscribe in a reader

Latest Comments

 

Jeffrey’s Restaurant

Why quick and friendly service matters at a local diner.

 

If you didn't live in Santa Cruz, where would you be living?

I would live in Kauai because the water is warmer, and I just love it there. Maureen Niehaus, Santa Cruz, Dental Assistant

 

Clos LaChance Wines

Pinot Noir 2012

 

Striking Gold

A taste of Soquel Vineyards’ five gold medal-winning Pinots