B. 1967, United States
Now based in New York, Charles Benefiel began making art when he was living in New Mexico and was overcome with obsessive compulsive tendencies. He learned to control his runaway mind by making pictures with stipple dots of ink repeated on paper while counting in repeated sequences. Some of the drawings became about his fear of numbers taking over identity. More recently Charles responded to having a heart attack, dying, and coming back with a group of pictures about mortality.
Despite their generally large scale, Benefiel does not conceive of an audience for his drawings. Once completed they are kept out of view even in his own home, for having worked out of a troubled psychic episode. As a result, at least once he has destroyed a body of work, but he is content to release pieces so that others might work through their layered hypnagogic narratives.
In January 2006, Benefiel's work was featured in an exhibition entitled Obsessive Drawings at the American Folk Art Museum, and also in a major touring show, Internal Guidance Systems, curated by Professor Colin Phodes and Anne Marie Grgich.