Benoît PingeotBenoît Pingeot
Since its inception at the dawn of the new millennium, Benoît Pingeot’s work has focused on painting and drawing, but is also embodied in the spoken and written word. The artist stitches together an intensely enigmatic universe, fostering its mystery. He invents a new language and crafts symbols that recur and resurface from one painting to another. Two sources deeply permeate his work: texts from Scripture and Christian symbolism on one hand, with the figure of Mary playing a predominant role; and the history of painting on the other, ranging from Watteau’s Pierrot (Gilles) to the shamanic performances of Joseph Beuys.
If Benoît Pingeot’s artistic pantheon had to include just one name, it would undoubtedly be Victor Brauner, the indisputable master of international surrealism and a leading artist at the MASC, where his testamentary series Mythologie et la fête des mères (Mythology and Mother’s Day), created in 1965, is on permanent display. Both of these artists, though a century apart, share a common interest in what is hidden, and like to approach the world from behind, seeking what lies beyond. They like the fusion or friction of opposites. And they strive to reveal infinity in every corner of the universe. The highly spiritual encounter has given rise to a series of portraits in which Benoît Pingeot pays tribute to Brauner. Yet, in fact, his entire work bears his stigmata. Not in terms of style, as Benoît Pingeot goes well beyond the surrealist legacy to appeal to all ways of making and breaking images in his painting, which is adept at both elision and retraction. But through the fundamental belief in a form of art that carries a magical and therapeutic role. Artistic creation, experienced as a life-giving need, occurring, in an echo to a title by Brauner with a hint of alchemy, at the end and the beginning of all things.