Artist Statement

Half-breed, South Texan, queer, figurative sculptor specializing in the piñata form; playing on themes of race, sexuality, art, sin, humor and beauty.


Roberto Benavidez was drawn to art at an early age but was raised in rural South Texas, where there was little access to a visual arts education. He pursued his secondary interest in acting and earned his BFA from Texas State University. After a few years of moderate acting success in the Texas market, Benavidez found himself returning to his original passion for the visual arts and headed west to California. He reorientated himself with classes at Pasadena City College in sculpting, drawing and painting. He expanded his training into bronze casting, where he initially worked in an abstract, figurative style and exhibited in group shows. He changed his primary medium to paper and now specializes in fantastical and whimsical piñata-based sculpture. His most notable series, Piñatas of Earthly Delights, is based on the fanciful creatures that roam Hieronymus Bosch’s epic painting, Garden of Earthly Delights, and was featured at the Art, Design and Architecture Museum on the campus of the University of California in Santa Barbara. Benavidez’s sculptures have been featured in national, international and on-line publications, including Artsy, Atlas Obscura,, Hyperallergic, Politiken, and This Is Colossal. Benavidez has exhibited his work in numerous group and solo shows.

Solo Exhibitions

2019 Medieval Piñata, Mesa Contemporary Arts Museum, Mesa, AZ

2019 Piñatas of Earthly Delights, AD&A Museum, Santa Barbara, CA

2018 Illuminated Piñata, CuratorLove, Los Angeles, CA

2018 Illuminated Piñata, Conduit Gallery, Dallas, TX

2015 Serrate, LA County Store, Los Angeles, CA

2015 Serrate, Salvage Vanguard Gallery, Austin, TX

2009 Sugar Skull Piñatas, Art For Empty Walls, Los Angeles, CA

Group Exhibitions

2020 TBD, Peninsula Fine Arts Center, Newport News, VA

2019 Ancestral Lights, Self Help Graphics, Los Angeles, CA

2019 Seattle Weed Pot Invitational, Orcas Paley, Seattle, WA

2019 Encounters: Honoring the Animal In Ourselves, Palo Alto Art Center, Palo Alto, CA

2019 Tooth and Claw, Terminal 136, San Antonio, TX

2019 Beast, Riverside Art Museum, Riverside, CA

2019 Common Bonds: Artists & Architects on Community, AD&A Museum, UCSB, Santa Barbara, CA

2018 3-D! Pop-up, Schoolhouse Gallery, Provincetown, MA

2018 Pialli, CuratorLove, Los Angeles, CA

2018 Per Diem, Conduit Gallery, Dallas, TX

2018 Et Tu, Art Brute?, Andrew Edlin Gallery, New York, NY

2017 Crossing Boundaries: Engendering LGBTQ Identities,  Avenue 50 Studio, Los Angeles, CA

2016 Blue Star Red Dot, Blue Star Contemporary, San Antonio, TX

2016 Laluzapalooza, La Luz De Jesus, Los Angeles, CA

2014 Frogtown Art, Cactus Gallery, Los Angeles, CA

The Song of the Birds, Cactus Gallery, Los Angeles, CA

2006 Rob & Ted’s Left Brain, Hangar1018, Los Angeles, CA

Annual Juried Student Exhibition, curated by Julie Joyce, Pasadena City College (PCC), Pasadena, CA

2005 All Hallow’s Eve, Hangar1018, Los Angeles, CA

Student Scholarship Show, PCC, Pasadena, CA

Juried Student Exhibition, curated by Russell Ferguson, PCC, Pasadena, CA