Barton Lidicé Beneš (1942-2012) was born in Westwood, New Jersey. He studied at Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, New Yorkand Beaux-Arts, Avignon, France.
Beneš came to prominence in the 1980s with his whimsical constructions of shredded currency and later with his signature “museums,” gridded arrangements of relics from Ancient Egypt to Hollywood. He transformed fragments of our throwaway culture into art that sometimes addressed taboo subjects and often used unconventional materials including cremation ashes, shells, bodily fluids, currency and shredded money, relics, celebrity artifacts and found objects. Beneš was a first-generation veteran of the AIDS crisis and chronicled his own HIV+ status in Lethal Weapons, a series of works created with his own blood.