Artist’s Thoughts on Art

UNIVERSAL THINKING: A NEW CONTEXTUAL FRAMEWORK FOR ART & FREEDOM

            
I aim at creating my art in the context of a universal idea of freedom. I believe in evolution and I respect man and life. I am against all physical or ideological manifestations of tyranny, oppression and imprisonment. I want to spread good news and I can’t imagine a better time to realign our hearts and spirits around a liberating idea of art and bring more people to the table.

America is a contextual idea for liberty and equality. There are however systems of interpretation that tend to oppress and suppress man and ones that aim at freeing him from all forms of bondage and oppression. A context which does not respect life is to me a “fear based” context that deep down believes “man is alone in the universe, helpless, hopeless and stuck in a vicious cycle of birth, youth, short-lived health, illnesses, accidents, decay and the inevitability of death and oblivion.” We as Americans are taking a “lot of none-sense” from the new and improved versions of the “prophets of gloom and doom."

First art work age 4. ©1960 Philippe Benichou

A harmonious painting to me is one in which fear has not penetrated; it is stable, clear and non-gaming. Universal thinking as a framework is a context, which considers self as a fearless, transparent being in a constant state of graceful and playful creativity.

I believe that man’s spirit deserves to be acknowledged, honored and celebrated. Perhaps our great cave artists understood the need for beautiful and hopeful thinking in action. Perhaps we could start imagining that the Gods never really got angry with us; perhaps the underworld we thought they came from was just the fearful projections of our own inability, at the time, to stand for something better. This particular body of work represents my humble and patient dedication to what I believe to be the highest form of free creative thought: our free spirit in action.

Philippe Benichou

Theme for artist’s premiere solo exhibit in Los Angeles, CA June 2003

See Painter's Key Art Quotes by Philippe Benichou



The Age of the Individual. An essay in intuitive awareness & hope by Philippe Benichou.

Context and Premise: Consciousness is an emerging and mutating self-reflective process not an on or off static logical condition. Consciousness or pure awareness has no agenda; it is one of the most extraordinarily difficult aspects to recognize within our experience. A condition is primarily an agenda-driven fixed experience with only the illusion of progress and evolution; circumstances change but the possibility of awakening is held in place by fixed empirical notions, beliefs and various systems of interpretation. For example, the thought or feeling of loneliness begins with sensations in the body that the mind will interpret based on random analysis and comparisons to render an agenda-driven scenario of loneliness with inevitably yourself as the main character.

We are only limited in our capacity to understand the totality of existence. However, we are not repressed or reduced by it in any way. As long as we can find a daily path to stay alert and away from agenda-driven existence, our emerging appreciation of existence will blossom and expand naturally; simply because life is always spontaneous and more playful than we will ever know. Awareness within each and every one of us is alive and multi-dimensional; it is the highest evolving and growth producing currency without agenda on this plane.

Driven by ancestral survival fears, we tend to exploit rather than observe alertly what is happening within our experience. The quasi totality of our fears is past memory-based mental fantasies, which the mind loves. We now have finally reached the age of the liberation of the individual. The true potential for awakening from mental illness or mind-driven living has always been dependent on the individual. It is a gentle yet giant revolution! Self-realization is here at last reaching critical mass through the individual not the family, nor the collective. It is fascinating to note that society has no capacity to awaken as a whole; it is always individuals who start revolutions and evolutions. Without the individual there would be no progress.

The potential of the individual has other implications. Traditions have been slowly dying for a reason and it is not so that we can suffer and mourn their departure. They simply can no longer be the social and family conditioning gluing fabric it once was. Survival will no longer be the immediate and primary context for man nor the only one. Traditional relationships will no longer be valid either as we slowly begin to recognize individuality as the basis for healthy relating. Put simply, it is the evolutionary breakthrough of the century going un-noticed right in front of our eyes. We have arrived at the individual age. Each individual is building and learning to navigate his or her own planet. Each individual is self-contained and in relationship to the whole through individuation not a merging with. Each sophisticated planet possesses specific individual governing rules and inner command head quarters to surf this beautiful plane with grace and power. Saturn, Pluto, the Moon, the Sun and possibly the entire Universe operate identically.

We have arrived at the confident age of the individual. Aliveness and purpose are about individual connection and validation; it is a very elaborate yet clear validation as it deals with being an individual not a member of a tribe, group or society. Each individual is now emerging in all his or her splendor, attractiveness and personal destiny based on individual choice not on societal conditioning from the past.

This is the most silent revolution in the history of mankind. It is a process and will be met with a great deal of resistance by the collective consciousness and our ancestral conditioning. I assert it is an immutable evolution and one whose time has finally come.

©2021Philippe Benichou



Art and Awareness

At the heart of a human life is being or a being-ness. Could all the answers reside in being-ness. The other side of man is cellular memory, instincts and, as a consequence, habitual ancestral unconscious behavior.

The gift of awareness seems at the root of many problems facing man. After all, the body is not aware of itself or is it? I am aware of my body but is my body aware of me? The question has always been who is aware and who created the I that I believe to be me. Who created the earth, the planets, the air we breathe, things around us and of course other beings.

Awareness itself must have preceded the subject or object. Am I possibly awareness itself and not what it is I am aware of. Subject, object and phenomenon are possibly one and the same. They are not separate.

Art in my humble view is the gap or space between human and being. Man is not totally human but not totally being. Art offers a bridge, a platform, a space of rest so we can investigate, realize, discover and understand.

Art is free as Kandinsky proclaimed. Yes, free indeed and perhaps as a potential freedom from conditioning. Hence, the birth of modern art or is it conditioning which keeps man stuck in repetition and away from his creativity. Art is free from the past and free from cellular memory. (I paint what I see.) I now paint what I am (Pollock)

I paint abstract because I am before I think (Being versus human experience.) I know that I am. I feel that I am. I am therefore I am.

Philippe Benichou


Making Something out of Nothing by Philippe Benichou

As I travel this “time consciousness” we call life, there always seems to be a flow of energy coming and going, expanding and contracting as I go through my day. The more focused my daily activities are, the more contraction there seems to be. I also notice how interconnected this back and forth flow of energy is. “Time and space are but the physiological colors which the eye maketh,” said Ralph Waldo Emerson in his essay “Self-Reliance.”

I admit it is rather difficult at times to be aware of time and space as a phenomenon rather than being caught up in life as usual. Yet, I persist to be fascinated by one of my favorite recurring themes: the phenomenon of appearance and disappearance, thought and being, consciousness and awareness…If I can create but one instant where time and space collapse and disappear from my personal consciousness and gives way to a radiant rainbow of timeless contemplation, then I am in total recall of existence beyond body and mind.

Philippe Benichou © 2021