Many events have influenced me as an artist, growing up in Brooklyn, having a father who was an Italian anarchist, a mother who worked; being a cheerleader in the 1950's, a history major at college, a writer of advertising copy, a designer of department store window displays, a mother, a corporate wife; living fifteen years in Europe, becoming a grandmother - now many times over. All of these experiences have left their mark and occasioned reflection.
The result of my introspection and insights are in my art. I hope this work speaks to some of its viewers.
A long-term resident of Westport, Connecticut, Nina Bentley was born in Brooklyn and raised in Great Neck, New York. In 1962 she graduated from the University of Wisconsin with a degree in English, later studying art at the Brooklyn Museum Art School and Chelsea Art School, London. Married young, she moved around the world with her husband, then an international banker, living in Bologna, Frankfurt, London, Zurich, Santiago, and Caracas. A mother of three, her view of life has been molded by ”a lifetime of changing roles-wife, mother, copy writer, window designer, art center director.”
Bentley began exhibiting in 1965 and has enjoyed sixteen solo exhibitions, here and abroad, since 1978.
The executive director of the Rye Arts Center in the 1980s, she is now a board member of the Westport Arts Center and a member and trustee of the Silvermine Guild of Artists and has curated numerous exhibitions.
An inveterate collector of ”stuff,” Bentley makes art from anything and everything. She deliberately juxtaposes objects whose scale, textures, or categories of use combine to make statements, at once biting and humorous, about the human condition.
Nina Bentley states ”My work tends to be conceptual in nature and concerned with social issues. From early childhood I have been moved both by aesthetics and the human condition, not only matters affecting me personally but those evident on a broader social scale. I create art in order to gain some perspective on the world around me while trying to retain a sense of humor. In short, my work can be seen as multi-dimensional social commentary.”