Finding Out The Truth Behind Paul Bennett
A London based painter who creates abstract-like depictions of nature and people. Relying on his memory, his works celebrate the surreal, placing greater importance on expression rather than documentation and capturing the subtle sense of recollection.
1. WHAT'S THE MOST IMPORTANT THING TO KNOW ABOUT YOU?
Regarding the professional me – I treat being an artist as every other job I’ve had. I work 9 -5 and if I’m sitting around doing nothing, then I better get on and do something. I also don’t believe in inspiration. I’ve never waited around for an idea to come to me. It has all come from the process of painting.
2. HOW DID YOU GET INTO ART?
Painting was something I fell into, while at art college, but it was a few years before I rediscovered it and for it to become my profession. After leaving art school I was a bit lost as to the next steps I should take. Uni had not really prepared me on how to make a living. I ended up working in graphic design for a few years and even though it’s not the worst job in the world, it still didn’t offer the freedom that comes with being an artist. After nearly 10 years of being in graphic design, I took the leap and rented a studio and began working with paint again. I have not looked back.
3. YOUR ART IN 3 WORDS?
Contemporary – Wild - Isolation
4. YOU'VE GOT A HUGE SOCIAL MEDIA PRESENCE. HOW HAS THE INTERNET AFFECTED YOU IN TERMS OF GAINING VISIBILITY FOR YOUR WORK?
It has helped a lot, but it is very time consuming. It seems to be an integral part of being an artist in today’s market. At the end of the day, the work has to be seen and it’s a great way to achieve this. I find it works well to have a good balance of online and physical galleries.
5. WHAT'S THE WEIRDEST RESPONSE YOU'VE EVER HAD TO A PIECE?
Having other artists copying or heavily reference it. Some people say you should be happy and that it’s a compliment, but it just pisses me off when it’s blatant.
6. YOUR PAINTINGS WERE DEEMED 'THE PERFECT BROODING LANDSCAPE' IN THE TIMES - HOW DO YOU ATTAIN DEPTH AND ATMOSPHERE IN YOUR WORK?
I think it comes down to the way the colour in the painting is layered, which then creates texture. It also comes from not directly referencing nature and having the freedom to create what you would wish to be there.
7. WHAT KIND OF ROOM DO YOU IMAGINE YOUR ART IN?
A happy room.
8. 3 MAIN INFLUENCES?
Francis Bacon – Frank Auerbach (Drawings) – Turner.
10. WHAT KIND OF WORLD ARE YOU TRYING TO DEPICT WITH YOUR ART?
One that is whatever you make it. My work is all about trying to capture a sense of something, rather than an actual place. I want people to bring their own ideas when they look at one of my paintings, thats what I like about abstract as a style. 10 people can look at one painting and say something different, its their own experiences and references that give it meaning and make it personal for each individual.
11. WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO SOMEONE COMING OUT OF ART SCHOOL?
Forget about art school. It’s all about what you do now.
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