“I love it when people come to me and tell me they’ve seen something in my work that I had no idea was there, or that my work inspired them somehow.” With the growing demand for his work, his time on the surfboard is becoming increasingly limited says the artist however he’s not complaining. “I’m doing what I love in a place that I love and spending a lot of time close to my kids. How many people can say that?”

What started out as a surfing destination became a permanent home for Benega who became a permanent citizen in 2011. Mauricio’s quirky, individual style sets him apart from other artists. His work often features humour or irony, alongside images of New Zealand lifestyle and beach culture. Many of his works contain serious messages or themes but rather than spell them out, he prefers people to work it out for themselves.

Working from his studio based in Te Awanga, Hawke’s Bay, he opened a business called Studio Benega Ltd, a creative company dealing with creative art projects. Such as, exhibitions, murals, workshops, illustrations, design, signage, project management, commissions and of course paintings.

He has participated in more then 30 Art and Comic contests around the world.

  • 1 Award Story Board / Comic magazine selection – Heavy Metal Brazil – 1997.
  • 5 Art Awards – Brazil – 1998 – 2004
  • 2 Awards in design – 2012 – 2014
  • 12 solo exhibitions.
  • 17 group exhibitions contemporary art – 1998 – 2022
  • 18 Art shows in New Zealand – 2012 – 2022
  • 5 times back-to-back selected for the Contemporary New Zealand Art Calendar – 2018 – 2022
  • EAST Biennial Hastings City Gallery – 2016
  • Imago Mundi – Luciano Benetton Collection Contemporary Artists New Zealand Exhibition – Italy – 2017
  • The Big Hoot Auckland – 2018
  • Hawke’s Bay Wine Auction Artist – 2019
  • The Acorn Project 10 guitars art auction – 2020
  • EAST Biennial – Hastings City Art Gallery – 2020
  • The Path Exhibition – Hastings City Art Gallery – 2021 
  • The Big Apple Project – Hastings – 2022