Benny Bing: From Advertising Executive to Abstract Artist

Quit Your Job And Follow Your Passion!

Benny Bing  From Advertising Executive to Abstract Artist

Benny Bing explains the discovery of his hidden talent and doors he has opened since.

Ex-Montrealer, Gbenga Alaga, better known as Benny Bing, has been challenging the status of quo of traditional portraiture. His portraits of celebrities, public figures and artists, stand in a league of their own, given their signature vibrant multi-colored theme.

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Currently located in Toronto, Bing has been gaining local and worldwide popularity with art connaisseurs and galleries alike. He has showcased and exhibited in galleries located in Montreal, Toronto, San Francisco, Paris and Lagos. If that isn’t fascinating enough, he’s only been painting for 2 years. So naturally my first question was:

What led you to pick up a paint brush?

I received paint brushes and acrylic paint as a Christmas gift in 2014. I decided to explore painting and see where it led. As time went on, I kept getting better and better. It was after my 3rd or 4th piece that I realized that I was actually pretty good. The compliments started coming in and I decided to run with it. Persistence and curiosity are important to my creative process. My curiosity stems from what I do not know and what I cannot tangibly grasp. The paintings are an endeavor to capture the forgotten beauty in all of us.

What was your first piece (portrait)?

My very first piece was a portrait I did with a palette knife and multiple colors. I don’t believe I even titled the piece.

Why only portraits?

Expressions are very powerful and faces speak volumes. Eyes are an integral part of my paintings. My goal is to captivate the audience with an intense electric feeling when their eyes meet the eyes in my paintings.

frank

Which is your favorite portrait thus far?

All. I really don’t have a favorite. I love them all. Each piece has its own identity that it’s really hard to select one as a favorite.

Talk to me about having your work exhibited at Blank Canvas? How did it all come together?

The curator, Just John, is a pretty well-known individual on the Toronto Art scene and he had been familiar with my work through Instagram. I was invited to the opening of Blank Canvas and we discuss the possibility of putting together a show to exhibit my work.

What was it like being asked to commission a portrait for the Weeknd?

It was quite humbling. At first I didn’t know the painting was for him because collectors and clients frequently commission pieces of celebs. A client hit me up and said they had a project they were working on with Maple Leafs Sports & Entertainment (MSLE) and they needed me to do a Weeknd portrait. I completed the piece and delivered it to their downtown office. It was upon delivery, that I was told it was going to be a gifted to him, for selling out the Air Canada Centre for the first 2 nights of his tour… Mind blown.

weeknd

Which is your favorite portrait thus far?

All. I really don’t have a favorite. I love them all. Each piece has its own identity that it’s really hard to select one as a favorite.

Talk to me about having your work exhibited at Blank Canvas? How did it all come together?

The curator, Just John, is a pretty well-known individual on the Toronto Art scene and he had been familiar with my work through Instagram. I was invited to the opening of Blank Canvas and we discuss the possibility of putting together a show to exhibit my work.

What was it like being asked to commission a portrait for the Weeknd?

It was quite humbling. At first I didn’t know the painting was for him because collectors and clients frequently commission pieces of celebs. A client hit me up and said they had a project they were working on with Maple Leafs Sports & Entertainment (MSLE) and they needed me to do a Weeknd portrait. I completed the piece and delivered it to their downtown office. It was upon delivery, that I was told it was going to be a gifted to him, for selling out the Air Canada Centre for the first 2 nights of his tour… Mind blown.

rihanna

What’s next?

To be honest, I have No idea. Only God knows. He has been the one guiding me through this journey. I’m hoping to do at least 1 solo exhibition this year at the gallery in Toronto where I currently have some of my work displayed. I have 3 upcoming art fairs this summer; Kingston Road Art Walk, Liberty Village Art Crawl, Kensington Market Art Fair.

Where/How can we buy existing art or commission a piece?

I currently have my work displayed at Struck Contemporary on Adelaide/Parliament in Toronto. You can also visit my website www.bennybing.com to see more of my work and contact me for any commissions.

Are prints available for the budget- conscious art lover?

Absolutely. My limited edition prints are affordable and all under $100. I also have canvas prints available for sale through my website www.bennybing.com.

Click here to watch Benny Bing in action with his latest portrait

Question of the day

If there is one thing that really resonated with us during this interview with Benny Bing is the fact that he dropped everything to pursue is dream. Do you think you would find that same courage if your true calling was at the door? Or, Do you think Benny Bing should’ve just stayed in his secure job?

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