Christian Benoist

Whether a horizon towards distant promises, albeit often hindered; whether a cloud, as dark as it is threatening – ready to burst; whether a mirror with bitter as much as putrid reflections, water plays an essential role in the works of Christian Benoist. Whether clear or murky, whether free or constrained, pleasant or cunning, sometimes embracing, sometimes dizzying, it nevertheless never holds the first place - a second-rate actor as they say at the theater – never in the front stage. But it performs its role; and performs it well in the incomparable dramaturgy of the painter.
What strikes me in the work of Christian, and today more than ever, is that it is a very delicate art that leads whoever that wants to be led to the “other stage.” As Dante held the hand of Virgil, Christian leads the spectator towards the unstable boards of his intimate theater – unstable but solid; and in this sublime mano a mano, he invites us towards a completely different but intimate and unique stage: that of ours. By surprise and by rupture.
Each time I have the chance to lose myself in the contemplation of one his canvases, I am captured by the blurred impression of a strange familiarity; I confusedly feel that it plays my part; the canvas becomes my own little theatre; nostalgic and secret; a scene in which the folds and the layers of my own mythology unfurl. I know nothing of what looking at Christian gives us, but nevertheless I find myself in it. I recognize myself in it. A strange reunion. Delicious as well as overwhelming. Worrisome too. This « worrisome strangeness. »
All the talent of Christian – he knows it as well – comes from this rare ability to highlight this other scene – part of it shady with our dark desires, the one that makes us what we are. He tirelessly brings us to our secret gardens hitherto neglected; he rekindles our renounced dreams, our muzzled or muted fantasies, to never completely forget ourselves.
We can believe, a bit hastily, that Christian Benoist is the painter of decay, of melancholy, event of death- there was a life here… I believe that he is none of them. Christian is the painter of our dreams never irremediably sacrificed, of our fantasies never completely suppressed: when all seem lost, there always remains one ultimate hope, one ultimate chance of life. And it is probably there, in that place, where the water plays its hand, its role, in total discretion. With this stubborn presence, the artist makes a promise: the promise that, despite of vicissitudes, all is still possible; our marvelous gardens will not desperately dry out.
With his work, Christian proves us something: that he did not renounce those that are in dreams, in fantasies, in marvelous gardens…

Jean François Capp,
Author and stage director.

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What strikes me in the work of Christian, and today more than ever, is that it is a very delicate art that leads whoever that wants to be led to the “other stage.” As Dante held the hand of Virgil, Christian leads the spectator towards the unstable boards of his intimate theater – unstable but solid; and in this sublime mano a mano, he invites us towards a completely different but intimate and unique stage: that of ours. By surprise and by rupture.
Each time I have the chance to lose myself in the contemplation of one his canvases, I am captured by the blurred impression of a strange familiarity; I confusedly feel that it plays my part; the canvas becomes my own little theatre; nostalgic and secret; a scene in which the folds and the layers of my own mythology unfurl. I know nothing of what looking at Christian gives us, but nevertheless I find myself in it. I recognize myself in it. A strange reunion. Delicious as well as overwhelming. Worrisome too. This « worrisome strangeness. »
All the talent of Christian – he knows it as well – comes from this rare ability to highlight this other scene – part of it shady with our dark desires, the one that makes us what we are. He tirelessly brings us to our secret gardens hitherto neglected; he rekindles our renounced dreams, our muzzled or muted fantasies, to never completely forget ourselves.
We can believe, a bit hastily, that Christian Benoist is the painter of decay, of melancholy, event of death- there was a life here… I believe that he is none of them. Christian is the painter of our dreams never irremediably sacrificed, of our fantasies never completely suppressed: when all seem lost, there always remains one ultimate hope, one ultimate chance of life. And it is probably there, in that place, where the water plays its hand, its role, in total discretion. With this stubborn presence, the artist makes a promise: the promise that, despite of vicissitudes, all is still possible; our marvelous gardens will not desperately dry out.
With his work, Christian proves us something: that he did not renounce those that are in dreams, in fantasies, in marvelous gardens…

Jean François Capp,
Author and stage director.

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Le ravin - huile sur toile - 24x41 cm
Le ravin - huile sur toile - 24x41 cm
Dos à dos - 2018 - 65x92 cm - huile sur toile
Dos à dos - 2018 - 65x92 cm - huile sur toile
Le chêne - huile sur toile - 81x60 cm
Le chêne - huile sur toile - 81x60 cm
Demeure - 2017 - 65x65 cm - huile sur toile
Demeure - 2017 - 65x65 cm - huile sur toile
La trouée- huile sur toile - 73x92 cm
La trouée- huile sur toile - 73x92 cm
La promesse - 2018 - 114x195 cm - huile sur toile
La promesse - 2018 - 114x195 cm - huile sur toile
La tourbière - huile sur toile - 33x46 cm
La tourbière - huile sur toile - 33x46 cm
Pavillon ocre rouge - 2019 - 80x80 cm - huile sur toile
Pavillon ocre rouge - 2019 - 80x80 cm - huile sur toile
Epicéa II - huile sur toile - 55x33 cm
Epicéa II - huile sur toile - 55x33 cm
Curiosité - 2018 - 46x38 cm - huile sur toile
Curiosité - 2018 - 46x38 cm - huile sur toile
Epicéa I - huile sur toile- 55x33 cm
Epicéa I - huile sur toile- 55x33 cm
Errance - 2018 - 40x40 cm - huile sur toile
Errance - 2018 - 40x40 cm - huile sur toile
Chemin vert - huile sur toile - 60x60 cm
Chemin vert - huile sur toile - 60x60 cm
Vertigo - 2016 - 146x97 cm - huile sur toile
Vertigo - 2016 - 146x97 cm - huile sur toile
Cerisier - huile sur toile - 55x46 cm
Cerisier - huile sur toile - 55x46 cm
Dérive - 2019 - 73x92 cm - huile sur toile
Dérive - 2019 - 73x92 cm - huile sur toile
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