Benny Diar (AKA Benny Boggs) is a notable street artist that began life as a graffiti supremo; bombing walls and freight trains across the United States.
He started out writing DIAR at the tender age of 11 and went on to lord it up with DTC crew, among San Jose kings SAER, PUZLE, PIER and VEKS. However, Benny became the victim of a severe car crash that left him paralysed from the neck down, in 2008. Henceforth, his bombing and burning career was tragically over. During his recovery, though, DIAR “remained dedicated to art, exploring other mediums” as he learnt how to command the paintbrush regardless of disability. He has since “started to use acrylics [to] paint using my mouth” and specialises in pop–like portraiture that homages aerosol (or graffiti) art forms. Also, just the other day DIAR decided to return to painting railcars for the first time in years. Albeit model railcars (see below). INFX was lucky enough to be granted an audience with DIAR, and thus asked:
MTW: What are your earliest memories of bombing?
BD: I remember really starting to see graffiti and bombing when I was five or six years old When I started walking to school in the morning. I messed around with it ever since but didn‘t get serious with my own name until I was 11 years old.
MTW: How close do you feel you’ve been to death? Did you think you’d die after your accident?
BD: I‘ve been close to death hundreds of times. I never thought I would die after my accident but I was expected to die 10+ times at the hospital in the weeks following my accident.
MTW: What motivation do you find within your thoughts to create art?
BD: After my accident I was just happy to still find a way to create. Now my thoughts about my art are a lot deeper. Although I‘m just being the person I am, hearing from people about how I inspire them has become a cycle because it in turn inspires me to push myself more.
MTW: Will you ever hit up a freight train again?
BD: I doubt it unless they come up with some major medical advances, but even then I don’t know. I guess we‘ll just have to see.
Check DIAR in action last week:
“No Time For Regrets“