Ori Bengal was born on December 16, 1976 in Israel. His parents moved the family to the USA on Ori’s 9th birthday. It was in South Florida that he grew up. He learned English by watching cartoons (which might explain a lot).
Ori took to his father’s passion of technology — by 6th grade, he was building computers from scratch.
He was always doodling, but no one told him that he can be an artist, or have a career in art. In 2001, he was told to do an art show… But since nothing sold, he stopped making art for a many years. He did all sorts of other creative pursuits: photography, videography, graphic design, and more.
In 2006, Ori gave away his belongings, and went couchsurfing for 6 years – traveling around completely based on who’s couch he is crashing on. He got to stay with hundreds of people (from the CEO of Zappos.com, UFC cage fighters, everyone in between, and of course their pets) while discovering a lot about himself and humanity in the process.
During that 6 year journey, a friend took Ori to some galleries in Lahaina, Maui, and Ori’s heart broke — seeing all that art, and knowing he isn’t making it.
Since that heartbreak, Ori has been working on art every single day (Since April 22, 2012), and while he has tried just about every form of art: painting, 3D, carving, welding, and many more… Painting is what really spoke to Ori.
As for subject matter, while Ori painted Sci-Fi and Fantasy, Nudes, Landscapes, and so much…. Animals however have always been a huge part of Ori’s life, and they match his core values: beauty, playfulness, passion, and freedom.
“I was put on this earth to brighten the place up… Heck, my name even means ‘My Light’ in Hebrew…. My art is a great way to make the world more beautiful… And my animal art helps me bring more smile and beauty to the world.”
Ori has used his animal art to raise thousands of dollars for numerous charities, make people smile, and memorialize many families’ pets forever.