You could spend an entire day getting lost in on Kitt Bennett’s artworks. Each whimsical and impossibly elaborate illustration drags you into a completely different world.
They can be confronting, humorous or thought-provoking – but all of them are endlessly fascinating.
Melbourne locals would have seen his art in group shows around the city, or on Smith Street, where his solo exhibition captured the imagination of the city (we’ll find out more about that a bit later).
He describes his work as being “conceptually driven – exploring topics of individuality, existence and the mysterious phenomena that surrounds us” and we were lucky enough to talk with him about his craft.
There’s so much detail in your drawings. How on Earth do you know when it’s done?
“I heard somewhere that there are a certain amount of lines to every drawing. One less and it’s not finished, one too many and it looks overdone.
“I think it comes naturally when to stop working on something. When the message is clear and it looks finished then it usually is.
“Once I finish a piece I’ll hang it on my wall and look it over with fresh eyes another day to make sure I’m happy with how it looks.”
You held a solo exhibition in a public toilet on Smith Street in 2015. How/why did this come about, and any funny stories to share about it?
“I was doing a lot of bacteria inspired drawings around that time and wanted somewhere fitting to exhibit them. So public toilet seemed appropriate…it was also 100% cheaper than hiring a space.
“I had to stake it out and figure out when it performed its self-washing ritual, as I didn’t want the artworks to get sprayed. In the end I just laminated all the drawings.
“It was amusing and easy as far as an exhibition goes. I’m going to have another one early next year.”
Tell us about your first solo exhibition, Onwards & Inwards, which opens at Juddy Roller Studio this Friday (2/12/2016).
“Onwards & Inwards is my first major solo exhibition. It’s a series of large and small comic style illustrations expressing a number of concepts I’m interested in.
“The show should raises questions about our reality: Are we living in a simulation? Is technology a part of us? Where did it come from?
“Through subtle jokes and by painting the gallery pink, I have tried to maintain a playful balance with humour and the unnerving themes present in this show.”
Who are the illustrators that have most inspired you over the years?
“I was introduced to French artist/cartoonist Jean Giraud (Moebius) while I was studying. His style and sheer skill had a fairly big impact on what drawing meant to me.
“A more recent artist I follow is Korean artist Kim Jung Gi and his massive live drawing sessions without reference imagery.
“Any artists that can distort and invent surreal imagery while somehow maintaining anatomical accuracy inspire me to always practice, improve and draw from life.”
KITT’s first solo exhibition Onwards & Inwards opens at Juddy Roller Studio – 6pm, Friday 2nd December.
“The aim of this exhibition is to provoke ideas about our reality without trepidation” – KITT.