Artist Statement

August 2023709

I was led to becoming an artist through a lifelong spiritual quest that crystallized in the late 1990’s. My work is an extension and a clarification of my strongest and most intimate creative reflections. I paint from inner visions and intense emotions. I see myself as an emotional spirit in constant motion and mutation.

Being an artist propelled me onto new paths of gratitude and self-discovery: to value the “unique individual within myself”.

A work of art only exists when it is seen, a reciprocal dance between the work and its beholder. Yet, beneath this apparent simplicity lies a profound truth: art is an optical illusion that strives to faithfully mirror the emotional and psychological landscapes of both the artist and, through a kind of osmosis, the observer. This is the hidden, mystical science of art.

In any case, when a person examines and discovers this magic, he or she becomes potentially aware of what story the artist is actually narrating and how deeply it resonates within their own experience. My work from 1997 to around 2008 encapsulates the intricate details of my journey from birth. It tells a tale of unfathomable, relentless emotional turmoil, too profound for words or screams to express. I yearned to tell my story without eliciting offense or pity.

Magic and virtuosity

I wanted to unveil the saga of being thrust into a colossal cauldron of inescapable and torturous conditioning—racial, national, societal, religious, moral, political, cultural, and more. Suddenly, I watched my soul seized by these extraordinary forces we call upbringing, education, or simply life. Gradually, my spirit was violently thrust into a terrifying abyss against my will. It took every ounce of my strength and courage to translate this experience onto canvas. I aptly name it "The Kidnapping of our Souls from Birth." Having said that, I have found tremendous humor in exposing my truth on canvas. I had no idea how much humor was concealed in the torment I went through. I hope the viewer will catch it. Perhaps see the humor in their own life's journey.

Under such normalcy, our personal narrative has been forcefully conquered by parents, siblings, teachers, politics, morals and religion for so long that it is impossible to detect these impostors.True seers are slowly disappearing. It's nobody's fault.

We change every single second of the day. Art is an astonishing mirror — skillfully articulated by the artist — so that the viewer can observe himself as he is and draw his own conclusions with his own perspectives. 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 not quite unfamiliar, and yet still unknown to him. He or she can thus explore his own heart and psyche in complete privacy, without being embarrassed at what he discovers.

Consequently, to me, art is an occult science, and the artist's skill lies in anonymity and invisibility, shielded from human prejudice and ignorance. In truth, the artist is the gifted psychiatrist of this world, impacting lives without direct intervention or acknowledgment. I create artworks using several media. Oils & acrylics on canvas or paper. Pencil, watercolor & pastels on paper. Thirdly, and since 2012, I discovered photography. I continue to explore digital art to create works combining all media at my disposal. I call this process Aquadigigraphy.

I have long inquired into the mediums of words, forms, behavior, color and patterns in all their frequencies and atmospheres. I feel that the true spirit of an artist lies and dwells in his ideas. They must be refined, probed and investigated personally. Ideas are the hidden cosmic fuel of our most mutative transformations and awakenings. The big bang may very well have been an idea. Ideas, whose timing has come, tear into the fabric of being and spread their new atmospheres. Ideas are free, freer than art. Art simply gives them a form and a voice.

From my perspective, medium and technique are subordinate to idea. Art becomes 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. I firmly believe that without striving for autonomy and embracing one's uniqueness, we risk creating art that's merely a repetition of existing ideas and techniques, lacking vitality and originality. It's when I no longer need to concern myself with the daily grind of life that I can truly tap into my artistic potential. That's when I can unleash my creativity and express myself authentically.

Philippe Benichou