Head, c. 1960
Marble, limestone, and granite mounted on a wood base
11 3/4 H. x 5 1/2 W. x 6 1/2 D. inches.
Scrap Assemblage, c. 1960
Steel and Paint
24 H. x 8 1/2 W. x 7 D. inches.
Benedict Michael Tatti was born in New York City on May l, l917. At an early age, he demonstrated a marked talent for art. While attending Haaren High School, he studied stone and wood carving under Louis Slobodkin at the Roerich Museum. He later attended the Leonardo da Vinci School of Art studying under Attillio Piccirelli. In l939 he taught adult classes with the Teachers Project of the W.P.A. and attended the Art Students League for three and a half years on full scholarship. He studied under William Zorach and Ossip Zadkin and became Zorach’s assistant.
He began to exhibit his early works at the ACA Gallery, Puma Gallery, Weyhe Gallery and at the Metropolitan Museum of Art under the Artists for Victory Show in 1942. During the early years of World War II, he worked at the Brooklyn Navy yard as a welder until he was drafted in 1943 into the US Army Air Force where he spent more than three years in a variety of assignments. He won first prize for his sculpture, “Soldier”, in the National Soldier Art Competition, which was exhibited at the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D. C. and the Chicago Art Institute. He continued to direct carve both wood and stone into the decade of the fifties. He also developed his watercolor techniques during summer visits to Monhegan Island, Maine, where many of his friends summered. In l970, he was awarded Artist-in-Residence with the National Center for Experiments in Television at KQED in San Francisco. This started a period of experimentation with video imaging that lasted some 10 years. After acquiring the technology, he became an associate member of the “Kitchen” at the Mercer Street Art Center exhibiting video sculpture along with other early innovators of this new art form.
He retired from teaching but continued to work and exhibit in the 1980’s. His work is in the permanent collections of the Smithsonian Institute, American Numismatic Society, USDAN Center for Performing Arts, Arts Students League, Monhegan Museum and Dunbarton Oaks.