For Éric Benetto, born in 1972 in La Roche-sur-Yon, the discovery - at the age of 17 - of the mediumistic work of underground miner Augustin Lesage was a real epiphany. His meeting with Abbé Coutant, who became a painter himself thanks to his friend Gaston Chaissac, left his mark just as much on him. Deeply meditative, fundamentally fierce, Benetto understood then that his feeling of exile would find in art an unsuspected outcome.
Between two trips to India, he worked in a wide variety of jobs: roadmender, telephone pollster, chemical plant guard, and many others. He began to write down in travel diaries what would become his formal grammar. Like an uninterrupted prayer, a silent, vertiginous recitation, a haunting graphic mantra.
Soon, India ink, especially, and pencil, sometimes, would conquer larger surfaces. Kraft paper, first of all, before, thanks to a job in a hospital, he discovered the potential of radiographs and other MRI images: both transparency and darkness in search of light. His pen overcome by the trance would do the rest.
While the motifs are repeated ad libitum and the serial incantations unfold like the primordial om, the artist gives substance to what Romain Rolland called the "oceanic feeling", this formidable thirst for osmosis with the universe. In Benetto's case, it extends from limbo to men. Urbi et orbi. Especially when his assemblies of magnetic resonance images are studded with negatives of photographs of those who he refers to as his " terrestrial family ". Or when the peregrination of memory is coupled with a redemptive impetus. Not to mention these organs freed from their condition, reinvented, poetized, sublimated.
Éric Benetto has never stopped walking the most arduous spiritual paths, from the rigors of monastic life to the ascetic practices of orthodox hesychasm. However, his extreme humility prevents him from admitting his singularity, because the work he has conceived is not only marked by an exacerbated, syncretic mysticism, but also by an exceptional modernity. His work was particularly noticed in 2016 during the exhibition Brut Now: l'art brut au temps des technologies at the Musées de Belfort and is part of major collections, both of art brut and contemporary art.
eric benetto: in excelsis, christian berst art brut gallery, paris, from january 26th to march 2nd, 2019.
brut now: l'art brut au temps des technologies, curator : christian berst, associated curators : brut pop, belfort museums, belfort, from october 29th to january 16th, 2017.
art brut : a story of individual mythologies, curator : christian berst, oliva creative factory, são joão da madeira, portugal, from june 18th to february 28th, 2017.
on the wire, curator : jean hubert martin, christian berst art brut gallery & jean brolly gallery, from april 9th to may 22th, 2016.
preTENse, christian berst art brut gallery, paris, from september 12th to october 21th, 2015.
drawing now 2015 - salon du dessin contemporain, carrousel du louvre, paris, from march 25th to 29th, 2015.
art brut : breaking the boundaries, treger-saint silvestre collection, curator : christian berst, oliva creative factory, sao joao da madeira, portugal, from june 1st to september 11th, 2014.
arte bruta, terra incognita, treger saint silvestre collection, curator : christian berst, arpad szenzes – viera da silva foundation, lisbon, portugal, from april 20th to septembre 13th, 2012.
drawing now 2012 - salon du dessin contemporain, carrousel du louvre, paris, from march 28th to april 1st, 2012.
beyond the boundaries, 2011, discoveries & new acquisitions, christian berst art brut gallery, paris, from september 10th to 18th, 2011.
beyond the boundaries, 2009: discoveries & new acquisitions, christian berst art brut gallery, paris, from september 11th to october 17th, 2009.
exhibition catalogue, eric benetto: in excelsis, christian berst art brut ed., paris, 2019.
revue multitudes, n°69, winter, 2017.
visions solidaires pour demain, "le numérique est-il compatible avec le solidaire", n°2, 2017/2018, cognacq-jay fondation, december 2017, pp. 102-103.
exhibition catalogue, brut now: l'art brut au temps des technologies, les presses du réel ed., belfort museums, belfort, 2017.
exhibition catalogue, on the wire by jean-hubert martin, christian berst art brut ed., paris, 2016.
thierry hay, "drawing now, 10 ans et en pleine forme", culturebox, paris, march 3rd, 2016.
exhibition catalogue, preTENse, christian berst art brut ed., paris, 2015.
exhibition catalogue, treger-saint silvestre collection, christian berst art brut ed., paris, 2014.
exhibition catalogue, arte bruta terra incognita, colecçao treger-saint silvestre, christian berst art brut ed., paris, 2012.
exhibition catalogue, rentrée hors-les-normes, découvertes & nouvelles acquisitions 2011, christian berst art brut ed., paris, 2011.
selective press review
- méditation sous rayons X authors inès boittiaux in beaux-arts, february 13, 2019.
- in pictures : exposition éric benetto authors la rédaction in the art newspaper daily, february 1st, 2019.
- éric benetto : radiographies mystiques authors françois salmeron et juliette soulez in le quotidien de l'art, january 29, 2019.
- les outsiders sortent du ghetto authors armelle malvoisin in beaux arts, october 2018.
- L'art brut sort de l'ombre authors Catherine Robet in vivre le territoire n°167, november 2016.
- Drawing Now : 10 ans et en pleine forme authors Thierry Hay in Culturebox, March 30, 2016.
- Drawing Now passe le cap des 10 ans authors Fanny Drugeon in L'Objet d'art, March 2016.
- retour du carrousel authors in animula vagula, April 8 2012.
- Radiographié authors in Arts Magazine, March 2012.
- galeries une rentrée authors lunettes rouges in amateur d'art par lunettes rouges, September 22 2011.
- Une rentrée hors les normes 2009 authors Bénédicte Philippe in Télérama sortir, September 30th.
- une rentrée hors les normes pour Christian Berst authors in Le poignard subtil, September 6th 2009.