"I like when art is easy to read, when it brings question more than answers." -Benjamin Begin
Updated: Feb 21
Benjamin was born on 20.05.1985, Strasbourg, France, has lived in Madeira for more than 10 years. He is an autodidact who likes to try everything. Whether in his professional life with marketing, and later the web, or in art with painting then photography, he does not like to be placed in boxes. His first love was painting and graffiti. It is by coming to Madeira that his taste for photography has been growing. Anxious to always come out of the boxes and his comfort zone, he has begun to exhibit his photographs in the form of serigraphs printed on wood. His inspiration range from Banksy to Dali, to Steve McCurry for photography. He likes to say that he is a child of pop art, of pop culture. Rather inscribed in a modern movement, he clicks with art questions or denounces, but which wants to be resolutely decorative at the same time.
Your history in this field, when and how did you discovered your talent? Who are you? Tell us more about yourself ? Benjamin: I grew up surrounded by architects, including my dad and all his friends. As far I remember, I always saw him drawing for his clients. He was working from home, and doing his plan for clients by hand at the time. My parents were a bit old school and strict on some point. I was often bored, so I had time to draw, paint, create with what I found. I liked a lot to paint, but I felt I was not talented enough to continue. I was never "mad" about one thing in particular. I'm more someone that wants to try everything. I've done graffiti, painting, drawing all my teenager time. It's only once I was in Madeira that I get unconsciously attracted by photography. I found an old camera in my parents home one day I was back in France for Xmas, and that was it. I first started for my pleasure and as a hobby, but I quickly get nice feedback about my work. It's in this context that I decided to jump into photography on a professional level.
What is the message through your art? Benjamin: I wish that Art is not for any elite. I like when art is easy to read, when it brings question more than answers. Art is what makes us, humans, different from the rest of the species living on earth. It' a big responsibility to be part of such a movement. I feel we are here to bright up the world, educate, question our society. For me, being an artist is assuming this as a "mission".
What do you think about art on Madeira? Benjamin: Madeira is crazy good for art and artists. The concentration of talented artists in Madeira is disturbing. It is a real "growing fast" ART community on Madeira island .I believe we can explain it easily. Lifestyle here is so nice that it gives you all the free mind to create.
Your collaboration with Christian GOLD, how that happened, and how satisfied you are? Benjamin: When I first meet Christian, I saw myself few years back. He really moves me, his talent was here, and I deeply wanted to help him. I saw a brother in him. I first help him to get his first exhibition here in Madeira at Art Center Caravel, and then he was already on fire. It's only after a few time, and sawing a clip on YouTube that comes the idea of him drawing on my photos.Also, it was starting to be a trend on Instagram that's why I feel it was the good moment for us to do our version of this art.
Is there someone you admire/ idols or people you influenced your art? Benjamin: I'm a big fan of Banksy. I had the chance to see one exhibition of him and made me cried. Literally. His art really moves me. It doesn't mean he influences me in my work. But I'm just fan of all what he is and do. I also appreciate a lot the work of Shepard Fairey (obey), and in love for Dali too.
Where do you see yourself in the future?
Benjamin: In a box made of wood, under the ground... Veronika Zhezhovska 19.01.2021