Vaughn Bénéteau - Body Mechanic

Painter Vaughn Bénéteau will be exhibiting his series “Body Mechanic” at Gallery Nomad in Berlin. The artist was born in 1968 in the small French hamlet of River Canard in Ontario, Canada. He found his predisposition as a Graphic Designer, instructing himself in all manners artistic. His 35 years of experience have led him to experiment with a multitude of different media: Oil, Bic pen, acrylic, charcoal, Posca. He stricktly paints from emotions.

Nomad: Why did you decide to become a graphic designer?

Vaughn Béneteau: I made the decision to become a graphic designer because it gives me great freedom of creation in my drawing and painting. What is important for me is to be sincere in my work. The fact of having a career as a graphic designer permits me to have financial stability. 

Nomad: You are a self-taught artist. What freedoms or limitations does this place on your work?

Vaughn Béneteau: Being self-taught, allows me to create for myself and not for any other reason. The limitation is that I have a limited time frame to actually produce the work.

Nomad: Your work includes a diverse range of subjects, what draws you to a particular subject? What are the unifying themes in your diverse portfolio of work?

Vaughn Béneteau: In regards to the diversity of the works there are two consistent ideas I explore. The first, is all that is a reality in the human body that is affected by life itself. For example, the accidents, traumas, and joys that life brings. The second is the spiritual expression of human beings. For example, how love or pain can change the form of the face. These two qualities are what links my work (my life connection) with the viewer. They are the unifying connection.

Nomad: The use of the colors in your work is mostly reduced to the primary ones. What do these colors allow you to express?

Vaughn Béneteau: Primary colours are used in my work because they can never be changed, they are the base. This contrasts with the facts shown in my drawings of the human body that are continually changing in order to adapt. This is the tension of an imperfection which unfolds and becomes beautiful.

Nomad: Your work often incorporates an unsettling exaggeration or slight alteration of a subject’s face – what does this technique allow you to communicate to your audience? is this a lingering connection with the traumatic illness you experienced as a child?

Vaughn Béneteau: Yes, the fact of my traumatic illness as a child is actually, the starting point of my work. Drawing is a need in my life. It balances the spiritual and real worlds that I have to face on a daily basis. It brings harmony to me physically and mentally. The alterations seen in the faces or bodies are the reactions to real life experiences and finally the beauty of the human soul which empowers a sense of survival at both an intellectual and subconscious level.

Nomad: I saw that your latest works are collaborations with your girlfriend Nadine Marais. I really love those ones too. What else are you working on at the moment and which future projects do you want to realize?

Vaughn Béneteau: We, as a collaboration between Nadine and myself, revolve around one thing, the link between human beings. Whether it be father and daughter or lovers. We express this link with the attempt at connecting with the experience of the viewer. Inviting our audience to participate on an emotional level.  I recently finished a series called The Madonnas, which depicts the most powerful women in my life. I am working towards a show in Hamilton, Ontario in the near future.

Nomad: On March 31 your first solo show  in Berlin "Body Mechanic" will open, what are your expectations for the reception of your work?

Vaughn Béneteau: I expect some to find the work a little hard or dark, but after to find a deeper sense and connection to the beauty and spiritual connections we all share as human beings. The title, Body Mechanic, implies when something is broken it can be fixed, this is my interpretation on this theme.


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