(Exhibition at Radeski Gallery - 2011)

(Cette interview est également disponible en français ici)

Hi Ben, could you introduce yourself for our readers and tell us how it all started for you?

I am a drawer, photographer and painter. I was quicly drawn to many kind of arts: music, poetry, drawing and theatre. But for several reasons, I started high studies in a very different field: journalism.

Hopefully, even during these studies, I continued to pursue my passion for drawing and graphic arts. After I quickly worked into journalism, and as a professor, this passion came back and took me...

You are famous as an artist mixing several arts: photography, illustration, painting; What pushed you to mix all these different techniques ?

I started with drawing, then painting. Photography really took my attention when I was studying journalism. I don't have a formal artistic background. So I always liked crazy projects, out of the ordinary. I am fascinated about illusion and magic. I practiced several artistic medium and I did not want to let one or another, I thought it would be great to mix several techniques to create something new. Some people call that "mixed media".

Is there one art that you like the most?

Until now, drawing was the track I followed during my evolution, but I think man can reach a level of quality and blooming in any kind of art. Most important is to give the maximum into what you are doing. There is different kind of potential in every kind of art, I don't see any creativity barrier.

"Pencil Vs Camera", "Digital Circlism", "Flesh and Acrylic"... You work very often by creating a series of images, why? What is the creative process for these series?

I also have a production of photos and drawings that are not really in series. But, in fact, during the years, I realized that it was very rewarding to spend time on a set and dig deeper into all possible variations. It's nice to see how we can develop a concept from different angles. The important thing in a series is not to become redundant and always find new ideas by searching as far as possible in your imagination.

Do you take commission? Who did you work with? What is your ideal client?

Although this is not what I prefer, I realized several commissioned works in recent years, for individuals and businesses. For example, I recently conducted a mini-series of 10 Pencil Vs Camera pictures for a gallery in "Cape Verde" (Start Stuff&Art) and I also recently made one creation for "Diesel". Unfortunately, I must refuse many requests because I prefer to be guided by my own creative instincts and follow my personal inspiration.

Do you travel often for your art projects? Is there a place you love especially ?

I try to travel as much as possible. It is somehow a vital need. To recharge my batteries, I particularly like wandering around the great outdoors. This represents for me a real mental therapy. I return to such a journey through northern Spain in which I walked nearly 700 km in the pilgrimage of "Saint Jacques de Compostelle" (I also had the opportunity to take thousands of photos I'll be able to use soon). When I travel, I have the time to think about my future and take many stock pictures especially during periods when the pressure is intense. My studio is located in Braives, in the countryside, one hour from Brussels, it is a bucolic town where I make most of my traditional creations while I make my digital work in Brussels.

Which are your recent expos?

I just finished an exhibition at the "Gallery Garden" (in Brussels near the European institutions). Several other events are planned in London, Berlin and Brussels in the coming months.

Any new projects?

A lot. I want to finish my first main series ("Pencil Vs Camera", "Digital Circlism", "Flesh and Acrylic"). For the future projects, it's still top secret ... And from a more personal perspective, I also want to start a family.

What do you think of Cosmepix.com concept?

The site is beautiful with a nice and bright interface, the overall look is very professional. It's a good idea to mix passion for art and business. I think it's a company that has a good future.

(*) Cosmepix is a French site offering photo editing services.
(Random sketches - 2010)