Meet the Artist: Benji Weinryb Grohsgal

Our Featured Artist: Benji Weinryb Grohsgal

Each year, the Provincetown Business Guild invites local and community-based artists to be involved with the creation of our seasonal guidebook, promotional posters, and more. For this year’s annual LGBTQ+ Guide to Good Times in Provincetown, we’re proud to share the whimsical, smile-inducing work of Provincetown community member Benjamin Weinryb Grohsgal.


Provincetown Business Guild (PBG): In 2022 you participated in the first Carnival Parade Artist Matchmaking Program, pairing sponsor businesses with local artists to create uniquely designed Carnival floats and folks are still talking about your award-winning octopus float. How was this creative process for you? 


Benjamin Weinryb Grohsgal (Benji): I mean it was great, it was a process of discovery and brainstorming sessions and if we realized something wouldn’t work, we tried something new. Our entire project was made with mostly found items like pool noodles, bed frames from the Methodist thrift shop, wooden pallets from the brewery, used tarps and chicken wire. We barely bought anything. It was a very appealing way to create. I feel like every minute invested in that project was worthwhile and then being able to show it off to the entire town was really special.


PBG: I understand you’re a Philly native, spent a great deal of time in New York, and have a Masters in Public Policy and a Masters in Urban Planning! What first brought you out to Provincetown? 


Benji: I came to Ptown for Bear Week once before officially moving full-time in 2019. At the time I was able to work at my job remotely and art was a passion I enjoyed on the side. I loved getting creative in my free time and handmade several f@g bash outfits for my roommates and friends.


PBG: Your art is often described as playful and humorous, bringing motifs of Provincetown and other nautical references, nature and playful nude figures to a brightly colored canvas. Where do you find your inspiration? 


Benji: That’s it. I’m very ad hoc, you get what you see. Provincetown, my surroundings at the time, life, whatever is happening around me is what I’m inspired by.

PBG: How did you decide on the subject matter for this year’s Guidebook cover art?


Benji: I wanted to do a dune shack. Rather than the Pilgrim Monument, which is huge and large and looming, I wanted to go in the opposite direction and do a tiny dune shack. But I also wanted to create my fantasy dune shack, with some ‘Benji monsters’, of course. 


PBG: This past summer you were diagnosed with terminal brain cancer and have noted that one of the most significant challenges you have faced was learning to navigate the world using your non-dominant hand. Over the last year, how would you say your art has evolved and how would you describe your most recent body of work?


Benji: With the introduction of brain cancer in my life, I became too tired to continue my day job. But it’s actually gone really well. Everyone is always really surprised. I’ve really gotten into creating art digitally with my left hand and I do use my whole hand rather than a stylus. It’s really fun actually, you get a greater degree of forgiveness. It’s really fast and I appreciate being able to quickly “undo” as compared to other forms of art. 


PBG: Where else can visitors find more of your work? 

Benji: I’m currently getting ready for two shows in Ptown. One will be at The Commons featuring 43 portraits from June 11th-22nd. The second show is focused more on plants and nature and will be on exhibit at the Studio Lacombe gallery from August 2nd-8th. I actually have several pieces all over town like the Provincetown Brewing Company and on the windows of Cafe Heaven during the winter months. It actually makes me feel really good to know that I’ll always have a presence here.


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