Born in Houston, Texas in 1981; he lives and works in Los Angeles.
© Devendra Banhart
spent his childhood in Caracas, Venezuela. In the nineties, moved to California where he began to study music.
He attended the San Francisco Art Institute and following this, his passion for music led him to perform concerts on tour through Europe and the United States.
Michael Gira of the Swans produced his first album “Oh Me Oh My…” along with some of his following albums with the label
Young God Records which he founded. In 2004, Banhart recorded the albums “Nino Rojo” and “Rejoicing in the Hands” with Young God Records; 2005 was the year
of “Cripple Crow” and his collaboration with Antony and the Johnsons on the album “I Am a Bird Now”.
Parallel to his career as a musician he began a very personal journey as a visual artist. In 2006, Gallery Mazzoli in Modena presented Devendra Banhart’s
first solo show. The exhibition, whose curator was Diego Cortez, includes several unpublished works, mixed media drawings on paper, some of wich used as cover for his albums.
Both drawings and music works are fundamental to the artist's creation process. His work propose enigmatic tracks of line and
colors, patterns and shapes, symbols and words, driven by an uncommon vision and brilliant mind and featuring fantastic representations.
In 2007, his album “Smokey Rolls Down Thunder Canyon” was released and his song “Lover” was part of the sound track for the film “Nick and Norah”
(2008) by Peter Sollett which includes a cameo by the artist. In 2009, he released the album “What Will Be”, lauded by Rolling Stone as «the best
thing he ever did». Devendra wrote the foreward to a book of photography by Lauren Dukoff and the introduction to a collection of poetry by Kenneth Patchen.
In 2014, Gallery Mazzoli presented “Sphinx Interiors & Other Works”, the artist’s second solo exhibition in Italy. The exhibition was comprised
of several series of new works involving various techniques and materials, showing the evolution if his recent artistic research.
A significant part of the show will feature the “sphinx” series, where the recurrent motive is indeed the mythological figure with the human head
and the lion body. All of Devendra's monochromatic “sphinxes” are created with Indian ink on vintage paper,
providing the drawings with a nostalgic flavor, and appear like enclosed spaces which contain
refined tales or nexuses of repeating lines, shapes and figures that sometimes become fantastic
and visionary representations, some of whose traits recall petroglyphic engravings.
The repetition of some of the motives almost appear as the graphical representations of
the tunes that we also find in his music, therefore underlining the close link between the artist's
musical and visual expression.
In 2016, his most recent album “Ape in Pink Marble” was released. An all-round artist, musician, singer-songwriter, and visual artist, Banhart’s enigmatic and meticulously
executed drawings have been exhibited in galleries, museums, and art fairs throughout the world including Art Basel Miami, the San Francisco
Museum of Modern Art, the Palais des Beaux Arts of Brussels, the Los Angeles Contemporary Art Museum, the Astrup Fearnley Museum of Modern
Art in Oslo, ARCO Madrid, the Andrew Roth Gallery in New York, and the Jack Hanley Gallery in San Francisco.