Ben Cardoso Artist


Ben Cardoso is an International, Cuban-American artist who cannot remember a time when art was not an important part of his life. Recently retired from an executive position at The Coca-Cola Company, he is currently pursuing his passion, painting, on a full-time basis in Safety Harbor, Florida where he currently resides.

In 1961, shortly after the Bay of Pigs invasion at the age of ten, Ben and his parents moved to the United States from Habana, Cuba leaving behind family and their life style to start fresh in their new home. They landed at the Miami airport with one suitcase each and began their assimilation in a new culture and language. Shortly after arriving, Ben was given a metal box which contained a starter painting kit. He didn’t know then that the contents of the metal box would become a means to express the turmoil and confusion he was experiencing and would influence the rest of his life.

Ben began his college career as an Art Major in Connecticut where he and his family had settled. During this time, he produced and sold commissioned paintings and portraits to help pay for college. In his junior year he married his high school sweetheart and changed his major earning a Bachelor’s degree in Education and Linguistics. A few years later he completed a Master’s degree in Marriage and Family Counseling.

Although Ben started working in the Education sector, in 1980 he joined the corporate world. As a result of the international assignments he accepted, Ben and his family lived in Greece, Kenya, Venezuela and Mexico. Over the years, his work responsibilities extended throughout Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Central and South America. Even though Ben’s global career was challenging and demanding of his time, it helped enrich and stimulate his creativity. He managed to always remain connected with art and the community of artists in these foreign locations actively creating, exhibiting and selling paintings.

It is evident in Ben’s work that the environments and cultures which surrounded him strongly influence the vibrancy of his paintings and subject matter. His body of work encapsulates his Cuban heritage, the Tribal villages and majestic beauty of Africa, the vivacious colors, flavors and textures of Mexico and South America, contrasting with the tranquility and beauty of the Blue Ridge Mountains, where he owns a summer home and natural beauty of the Tampa Bay area.

His paintings are described as colorful and daring often playfully flirting with modestly risqué subject matters. A fellow artist reflecting on his paintings commented that they all tell a story. This captures the interest of the viewers which allures them to keep coming back.

While Ben’s preferred media is acrylics on canvas, he has experimented with a variety of techniques and textures. His use of color is consistently warm yet lively showing a unique bond with the subject matter. Ben emphasizes that he wants his art to connect and communicate with the observer. Art should bring enjoyment by capturing a moment, a mood which is reflected in colors, textures and shapes that make each distinctive composition come alive.

Ben is a member of the following organizations: The Exhibiting Society of Artists (TESA), International Society of Acrylic Painters (ISAP), The Tampa Bay Plein Air Artist Group and Art Circuits Association of South Florida.

Ben is now showing his artwork at
STPete  ArtWorks
635 Central Ave St Petersburg, Florida

Artist Summary:

  • Artist with International experience who maintained an active participation and contribution to art while holding executive positions globally
  • Exhibited and sold paintings in Greece, Kenya, Venezuela, Mexico and the United States
  • Retired in 2011 to pursue painting on a full time basis
  • Currently accepting contracts on commissioned paintings and portraits of people and pets

Work History :

Maintained an active painting portfolio while holding executive positions in the following companies;

  • CIGNA Corporation (1980-1992 ) Hartford, Connecticut; Athens, Greece; Nairobi, Kenya - Director of HR Middle East and Africa
  • Sara Lee Corporation (1992- 1994) Winston-Salem, North Carolina - Director of HR Central America, Caribbean and Canada
  • The Quaker Oaks Co.–Gatorade Division (1994 -1995) Caracas, Venezuela - Director of HR Central and South America and the Caribbean
  • The Coca-Cola Company (1995 -2011) Atlanta, Georgia; Mexico City, Mexico - Vice President of HRCentral and South America and the Caribbean

Exhibits:

  • Gilmer Arts and Heritage Association -Ellijay, GA
  • The Coca-Cola Company –Hispanic Heritage Exhibit -Atlanta, GA
  • Mexico City Newcomer’s Association - Mexico City, Mexico
  • American Embassy Mexico City Art and Craft Show - Mexico City
  • Private Artist Coop Exhibitions/Sales -Mexico City, Mexico
  • The Stirling Art Studios and Gallery,  Dunedin,  FL
  • Taste Café, Main Street, Safety Harbor, FL. 
  • Brighthouse Network Headquarters exhibit
  • Safety Harbor Resort  and Spa   Art from the Heart Exhibition
Media:
  • Acrylic on canvas
  • Varied use of textures such as stones, sand, gesso, resin
  • Multiple sizes

Memberships:

  • Exhibiting Society of Artists (TESA)
  • International Society of Acrylic Painters
  • Tampa Bay Plein Air Painters
  • Art Circuits Association of South Florida