Artist Statement

I was led to becoming an artist through a spiritual quest that began when I was a child and crystallized in the mid to 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. I find keen similarities between the vastness of the expanding cosmos, freedom of mind and being. After all, we are travelers in space.

Strange as it seems, I feel like my spirit is in a constant state of creative meditation, free to roam through many other planes and dimensions. My paintings are proofs and accounts of my travels and spiritual reflections. I paint from inner visions and intense emotions, impossible to organize in words, which I let go of instead on canvas. I seem to follow an inner guide and a wisdom resembling an internal muse. It supplies me with tremendous joy and a wonderful feeling of long forgotten peace.

Artist at Work

My work is an extension and a clarification of my strongest creative reflections. I am convinced that what I manifest in physical form as an artist is but a dim reflection of what my spirit is capable of creating. With a clear risk of sounding naively utopian, I believe we are here to manifest the magnificence of life and help one another discover and actualize our intrinsic and individual freedom. I trust that we all play a specific role in the great scheme and mystery of life. I see myself as a mystic and understand art as the channeling of the creative realm I no longer wish to resist. I see the physical realm as a communication platform for higher consciousness.

I am deeply grateful to artists who have exposed their thoughts on life as it relates to art; writing is an integral aspect of my journey as an artist. I believe the artist has the divine duty to keep one foot in the mysteries of creation, thus preventing man to be completed engulfed in the illusion of civilization. My late mother, Arlette Oger, was an artist with strength and foresight. She exposed her process to me and will always remain an inspiring example.

My work is for the most part expressive: contemporary abstract and abstract expressionist with an intense and free use of color. As an abstract artist I externalize on canvas what I am experiencing within but cannot express in words or symbolically. The forms, shapes, lines and colors that come out are no longer recognizable objects from my projected self-images, that is what I think I know about myself and the world around me. Life, from this viewpoint becomes a continual dance of appearing and disappearing forms creating inner connections that appeal to the senses not to the mind.

Abstract art is my awakening from self-image and mind-based reality. When I no longer recognize something in a work of art I begin to know myself as pure experience. I become transparent to the ideas of myself—who I think I am. I reach beyond mind into pure abstract feelings. You could call such abstraction intuitive awareness, surrender, path of least resistance, spirit or freedom.

Tatooed Illusion

My art aims at the liberation from self-image based living toward a more integrated living where I recognize the totality of who I am and begin to experience it as a self-aware and no longer self-conscious individual.

Without color I am lost. I see things as they are through the energy field of awareness produced by correct abstract forms through color. Only the absence of this understanding or intuitive feeling brings momentary pain and suffering. Color and specifically color compositions are healing because they are orgasmic at the level of the self; they effortlessly propel me toward my true nature. Abstract art as well as abstract feelings help me get in touch with vastness and universal belonging to life as a whole.

Abstraction is in a very real sense the actual context of our existence, as society and language itself are abstract in nature. From this viewpoint, the true purpose of art can be seen as the empowerment of the individual, and consequently, the elevation of the consciousness of the collective. All my paintings aim at intuitive awakening, which is the blissful certitude of our existence in various forms and modalities.

I use various media to produce unusual textures, shapes, compositions and color coordination. I believe color has a primitive healing effect provided it contains and aims at harmony. I am interested in surprising dynamics, rhythms and relationships. I create series spontaneously based on techniques and ideas I have been subconsciously developing and refining over the years. Ideas seem to occur naturally as part of the process. I do not paint from thought projections or left-brain imagery, as I prefer to leave my conscious self as removed from the process as possible. Color and line engender shapes that eventually lead me to a harmony of composition, which I reckon is the ultimate plastic purpose.

I do not typically lean toward representational work as I view the world as a dance of mirage-like manifestations and appearances caught in a dualistic dance. Self-based versus mind-based art is where my truth lies. When I no longer see an object that I recognize in a work of art I am expressing more than I am representing.

My spirit has ways of seeing that my eyes cannot comprehend. I find soothing peace when I escape the world of accepted forms and favor expressing myself freely and openly. Creative imagination and spiritual reflection through the act of painting is the closest I get to formlessness without limits. To work with the un-interpreted, and yet engender clarity, freedom and consequently a slow but present sense of evolution through intuitive awareness. Painting to me IS thinking in action, profound and on all levels but it is also an honoring and celebration of existence in all its forms and colors.

Living in a political, delicate and sensitive world, I must participate in the process of completely consuming the atmospheres around me in order to process them artistically. My paintings are like books and maps. I write so much in them. I journey like a guided vessel through rich internal experiences removed from the psychological babbling of the “real” homogenized world. It is essential to share where I stand regarding the place of the artist in society. I intuitively see that we have arrived at the confident age of the individual. Each individual is meant to emerge in all his or her attractiveness and personal destiny based on individual choice not on societal conditioning from the past. I see a silent revolution and an immutable evolution in progress. It is a process and has always been met with a great deal of resistance by our ancestral conditioning.

Artists, to me are farmers of love and beauty, which are contained within life itself, and artists are not limited to works of art in the traditional sense as means of expression. Love and beauty are also cultivated through presence, intuition and awareness, which are just as valid as any plastic expression.

It took several decades to find the strength and courage to begin expressing myself fully in this medium. I first began doing pastel and tempera works and then began experimenting with digital art, which was extraordinarily revealing to me. Later, I began using oil, watercolor, inks and various other media. I call my body of work Quantum Creations. Much of my progress happened as a result of working with well-known art educator and artist Francis Coelho in Mill Valley, California. The work I expressed as an actor and theatre director has influenced me greatly, so did the atmospheres surrounding my childhood experiences.

Philippe Benichou

Topanga, California ©2000-2013

Mixed Media on Paper

Art Quotes by
Philippe Benichou

I'm an editable image!!

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