Philippe Benichou
consuming the atmospheres around me in order to process them artistically
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salle peinture
France (France) 

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 nineteen nineties. 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 and freedom of mind. 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 or an internal muse that supplies me with tremendous joy, and a wonderful feeling of long forgotten peace.
My work is an extension and a clarification of my strongest, clearest and most intimate thinking. 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 good and help each other discover our intrinsic freedom. I trust that we all play a role in the “great scheme” of life. I see myself as a mystic and understand art as the channeling of a creative realm I now begin to allow. 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 and art. 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 civilization. My late mother Arlette Oger was an artist with that kind of strength and foresight. She shared her process with me and will always remain an inspiring example.
My work is for the most part expressive: abstract and abstract expressionist with an intense and free use of color. I use various media to produce unusual textures, shapes, compositions and color coordination. I too 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. Color and line engender shapes that eventually lead me to a harmony of composition, which I reckon is the ultimate purpose. I don’t lean toward representational work as I view the world as a dance of mirage like manifestations and appearances. 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 dim but present sense of evolution. Painting to me IS thinking in action, profound and on all levels. 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” world.
It took several decades to find the strength and courage to begin expressing myself fully in this medium. I first began doing pastels and then experimented with digital art, later I started to use oils and various other media. 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.

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