checkmate30″ x 40″, Acrylic on canvas,2005      (Collection of the Artist)

Riel continues to ponder the relationship game in “Checkmate”. In this painting, The Best Man lounges in an easy chair, his gaze directed to a chessboard set up on a pedestal table. The chess pieces resemble members of a bridal party. Having opted out of the game himself, The Best Man is now free to watch the moves and countermoves of men and women on the board and still in the game, who presume to control their own destiny. On the gameboard of life, they are both players and pawns. Judging from the words written on the balloons The Best Man is holding, the prize package for the winners consists of jealousy, spousal abuse, adultery and divorce. This is one dark balloon bouquet. – ALLAN J. RYAN, Riel Benn’s “Best Man”: An Unlikely Successor to Iktomi’s Trickster Legacy, AMERICAN INDIAN ART MAGAZINE

“Bridal parties, drunk on lust or love, divorce, tears, broken families, drama, spousal abuse, arguments, Men wishing to be kings and women taking those kings. Personal beauty contests, physical comparisons, Lovers becoming enemies, High above I sit and watch their every move, You cannot beat me, because I don’t play the game.” – The Best Man