From futbol players to Latino artists, Mauricio Benítez is becoming the go-to for luxury art. More specifically, for his portraits created with crystals.
Though his art now carries a high price tag because of the care and work he puts behind it, this wasn’t his starting point.
Born in Medellín, Colombia, Benítez worked in the textile industry for over ten years. However, while working trade fairs, he decided he wanted to stand out and started using crystals in his work. People went crazy almost immediately.
He started to see success in his style, but he knew he needed more recognition. So, he decided to create a portrait of Argentine famed soccer player, Lionel Messi. He wanted to give one of his art pieces to him and didn’t rest until it happened.
“I knew that he was not going to pay me anything, that it was a gift, but my intention was for it to be unique and that after that people would know my work. That’s how it was, that photo with Messi and his painting was the one that ended up going around the world and helped put my name on the map of sports stars”, he told “Forbes Colombia.”
Thanks to Messi sharing his work, now Shakira, Daddy Yankee, Jennifer Lopez, Maluma, and many others are after his craft.
Mr. Bling brings the bling-bling to life
Benítez’s company goes by the name of “Mr. Bling,” and it is in Medellín. According to “Forbes Colombia,” he has been commercializing crystals for 20 years. He’s used his technique to design sculptures, different objects, and participate in the creative direction of programs.
You may be familiar with him already though.
During the 2020 Superbowl, he was behind the creation of the football’s special edition. Shakira also tapped into his unique vision to decorate her microphone for one of the United States’ most important sporting events of the year.
The Colombian artist is currently on a mission to manufacture his own crystal. For the time being he’s using crystals from Austria and China, but his goal is to have his crystals be recognized as much as Swarovski. Being that he has a wide range of clients, from businesspeople to global millionaires, he wants to make sure he has something fit for everyone.