“Carpool to Calvary”, Egg Tempera Emulsion on Canvas, 2019

This May, Benson’s Petshop presents Legionaire, paintings by Eric Ondina of Tampa, Florida. Ondina’s egg tempera paintings, spanning 2019 through 2021, are described by the gallery, as “observ(ing) the American Myth as it experiences the American Crisis.”

Artist and teacher Ondina cites the biblical account of Jesus’ meeting and subsequent exorcism of the daemons at Gerasene. From his Artist’s Statement: “These demons have always existed, and they can often appear ascendant over our better angels. But as in Gerasene their multitude has been exposed and cast into a doomed vessel.”

Ondina’s style has also been greatly influenced by Cuban art and culture. “The primacy of emotion over intellect, the power of less, and the importance of nuance are just some of the traits Cuban art has impressed upon me,” he writes in a 2017 guest post for University of Southern Florida’s Museum of Contemporary Art.

The opening reception for Legionnaire is Friday, May 7th, from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. The reception coincides with other First Friday events in the area. The show runs from May 7th through June 25th. Petshop is located at 2725 North 62nd Street, in the Benson commercial district. Further information is available on their website at bffomaha.org/petshop.html

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