Ben Vautier

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ITALY, 1935

Ben is an internationally renowned artist. A member of the «School of Nice» and a founding member of the French branch of the Fluxus movement, as early as the 1960’s, his artwork has developed around the convergence, or even the confusion between life and art, art and life. He is close to the Lettrism movement, New Realism, Figuration Libre, different generations of artists follow each other around him, and he remains one of the contemporary artistic references. His artworks are included in the most prestigious public art collections in France.
«From the late 1950’s until today, Ben organizes and stages himself at the heart of a world of which he never stops saying what frightens and amuses him. Ben vents and rants. He writes, and he calls out.You have to watch him trying to construct his language. “I was drawing forms that I threw out if I found their source of influence”, he writes about his first works. You have to hear him searching for “a beginning of a personality” when appears in 1957, the shape of the Banana […].»

Text extract, Bernard Blistène