Benjamin Marquès is a great traveler, heir to the tradition of 16th century Portuguese navigators. But, he says, “the best trips I have made here in the studio.” His canvases are imaginary cartographies where mythical islands emerge, or constellations, planets – Mars the red, for example.
A whole series is devoted to the Galaxies: an interior journey as much as a visionary exploration of the infinitely large. The planets visited in a dream acquire on the canvas a real identity with their geography, their reliefs. Reverie will be born from the stain, a true optical provocateur, giving rise not only to planets, but also to disappeared continents, sunken islands, like these ebbing Hesperides rising from the depths of the seas. Marquès tries to go beyond representation in order, in his own words, “to move towards something bigger, more cosmic.” “
This colourist also practices black ink drawings, which are so many telluric reveries, suggestions of bodies born from the ground, which can be compared to the erotic drawings of André Masson. Close-up on a fold of flesh, a curve, an indentation. Sometimes pure graphics, sometimes clearly identifiable allusions. Dreamlike drawings or alchemical canvases, one is struck by the deep unity of a multifaceted work.
Text by Françoise Py, lecturer at the University of Paris 8 in History and Theory of Art