Cory Benhatzel's Occult Animal KingdomIllustration // Thursday, 09 Aug 2012
'Much of the inspiration behind Cory Benhatzel’s paintings come from her childhood experiences and memories. The taxidermy she viewed at the local natural history museum, the deer skeletons she saw in her backyard, the flower gardens that her mother grew, the heavy metal music her father played, the wild birds Cory fed outside, and her beloved pet cats, all made an indelible mark on the artist. It was these early loves that created the painter and the pieces she makes.
Among the imagery that Cory paints are birds, human and animal skulls, Victorian era frames, and flowers, each of them symbolic with a specific meaning lending itself thematically to the painting. This language of flowers, or floriography, was a Victorian era means of communication which allowed people to send coded messages expressing their innermost desires which could not be spoken aloud. The artist has resurrected this practice into the imagery of her paintings to create subtle messages of her own.
Other inspiration for Cory’s work comes from the occult, natural history and Norse Paganism. The painstakingly created acrylic paintings deal with themes of the doppelganger, divination, victory, protection, the dance between life and death, triumph, and love.'