French artist, Ben Arpea lives and works in Paris. Born into a family of art lovers and collectors, Ben Arpea has been immersed in a rich artistic universe since childhood, where he began to create, draw and paint.
Ben Arpea gained recognition in 2020 with a series of paintings in which he developed a singular artistic language made of geometric abstraction evolving towards the semi- figurative, using flat areas of color and texture. He pays homage to the figures of modern and contemporary art that he admires – Tom Wesselmann, David Hockney, Jonas Wood, André Breton – and is fully part of a new generation of creators from art, design and fashion, celebrating color and material in a simple and immediate relationship with the times.
Anchored in a dreamlike dimension oscillating between semi-figurative and abstract expressionism, Ben Arpea’s work questions the century-old motifs and canons of classical landscape and still life, reinterpreted through a contemporary artistic language. Between the real and the unreal, Ben Arpea paints frozen and perfect images, proposing a moving interpretation of pop art and surrealism.
Ben Arpea always draws his inspiration from suspended moments, gleaned from his travels. The Mediterranean, in particular, through its culture and aesthetics, is a continuous source of inspiration, and becomes an element of reference in a fundamental research around color and matter. Color is central in Ben Arpea’s painting. Vivid flat tints, finely textured, offer a dream-like vision, ideal, inviting us to reflect on our relationship with our environment, notably through the prism of social networks.
Ben Arpea creates and paints in a singular atmosphere where the manual and sensory approach is of essential importance. Ben Arpea chooses the fabric – jute or linen canvas, which allows for a better distribution of the material – and stretches the canvas on the frame himself. From sketches, he works the material and the color, mixes the paint with mineral elements, sand, pebbles, then deploys his pictorial language on a large scale, the minimalism of the motifs confronting the large format of the canvas. Beyond their pictorial immediacy, the works of Ben Arpea are imbued with mystery: from minimal geometric forms, the artist lets us glimpse the trace of a human passage, and shows moments inhabited by the man who has now disappeared, suggested but never present.
Distancing himself from any analytical approach, Ben Arpea creates simple forms – natural motifs, references to architecture and Mediterranean interiors, arches, windows, tables, tiles, everyday environments – to invite everyone to a dreamlike and personal journey. Ben Arpea invites the viewer to enter into synesthesia with his paintings, each one being invited to project his or her own memories in an intimate and familiar dialogue. Omnipresent in his creations, the dream becomes a poetic experience that translates on the canvas by singular forms and a meticulous work on colors and textures, infusing his work with a melancholic and unreal softness.