Artist Statement

I was led to becoming an artist through a spiritual quest that began when I was a child and crystallized in the late 1990’s. I never consciously intended to paint. I have always been intensely fascinated by the innermost workings of the universe, both physical and spiritual. Finding keen similarities between the vastness of the expanding cosmos, freedom of mind and consciousness, I often imagine myself as a space traveler.

Being an artist propelled me onto a new path of self-discovery, gratitude and self-love. I have learned to value the “individual within myself” here to serve and empower others.

I see myself as an emotional spirit in constant motion and mutation.

I create artworks using several media. Oils & acrylics on canvas or paper. Pencil, watercolour & pastels on paper. Thirdly, I use photography & digital art to create works combining all these medias at my disposal. I call this process Aquadigigraphy. I create compositions in both abstract and figurative perspectives.

I typically work from a photo which is scanned and then printed on paper. I start drawing and using materials such as watercolour and Japanese inks on the paper and then rescan. It takes approximately 3 to 5 hours to arrive at a successful and finished artwork. They are all made to order. Not all photos work for this kind of process. I paint from inner visions and intense emotions.

Magic and virtuosity

Any work of art is an optical illusion that aims at accurately reflecting the emotional and psychological state of the viewer. Naturally, the artist is also included in this process. This is a secret, because a work of art only exists when it is seen. It is the same for the spectator; he himself only exists when he appears in front of the art piece. In any case, when he examines and discovers this magic, the individual becomes "potentially" more conscious of who he is and what he feels deep inside.

Conversely, he can also stay on the surface and see very little. He can remain comfortable inside his own mental assessments. Little does he know that he's appraising himself as much as the work he's witnessing. We change every single second of the day...

Art is an astonishing mirror — skilfully articulated by the artist — so that the viewer can observe himself as he is and draw his own conclusions with his own observations. He needs the safe illusion of thinking he's looking at a work of art, when in fact, he's beginning to be interested in himself at a level, unfamiliar or unknown to him prior. He or she can thus explore his own psyche in complete privacy, without realising it or be embarrassed at what he discovers or sees. Eventually, it becomes clear.

Consequently, to me, art is an occult science, and anonymity or invisibility, a great skill. Well disguised and sheltered from human prejudice and ignorance, the artist is concretely the skilful and talented psychiatrist of this world. All without having to intervene in person or for people to know about it. The narrative has been conquered by politics, morals and religion for so long, seers are slowly disappearing. It's nobody's fault, only ignorance could be blamed.

This is the real magic of my art and why I exist. The aim is to heal and liberate each individual who witnesses it. Too few human beings come into contact with the "need" to be free, partly because need is visceral, and partly because it is so incredibly easy to confuse "conceptual reality" with actual experience. It is for this reason that art, like nature, is being threatened to deteriorate and potentially disappear.

To me, medium and technique are subordinate to idea. The art is only a means of transport so the ideas can be seen in a new language, regardless of the medium. It thus becomes the differentiated language of the unique expression of the artist. Without the pursuit of autonomy and uniqueness, there can only be more or less well-executed homogenized, systematic, life-less and unoriginal duplications of already established ideas and already existing works.

When I am no longer preoccupied with thriving and surviving, I am free to express my true potential.

Philippe Benichou