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Joseph Benevenia, MD

As a self-taught welder, Dr. Joseph Benevenia, uses discarded surgical instruments including old chisels to bring to life the sculptures that grace his backyard. Creating them helps him process the emotions he stores up caring for patients in New Jersey, including those at the East Orange campus of the V.A. New Jersey Health Care System who have lost bones and joints to cancer. Dr. Benevenia says caring for injured troops has given him a new appreciation of the privileges Americans enjoy. He says it’s also impressed upon him “the courage these individuals display when faced with the supreme challenge to guard their lives and the lives of others.”

The Bone Garden

12 x 12 x 2 in.

Steel


Fabricated from found objects, The Bone Garden is one of a series of steel sculptures that capture the impact of World War II on East Berlin. The material of the piece and its structure speak to the cold separation and oppression war can bring. It also captures the relics of souls who fought for freedom. In the middle is a lifelike skeleton that projects a glimmer of hope and the inner joy that defines the human spirit.