just my imagination

March 3, 2021

I came across the jubilant world of French artist, Alexandre Benjamin Navet today and I was drawn to his rich, primary colours, sketchy style, and playful compositions. “I’m someone who needs to understand the codes of a universe before freeing myself from them,” said Navet in a recent interview. I love this idea. It’s like following a recipe for a Waldorf Salad, and then improvising with pecans and pears. Some artists, spend their whole careers unlearning everything they’ve been taught at art school. This idea of paying homage to the past, observing the rules, understanding and respecting them, in order to break free of them resonates with me a great deal. It shows diligence, commitment, patience, courage and creativity. “You study, you learn, but you guard the original naivete,” said Matisse, whose sense of colour and pattern travels through Navet’s work. Have a look at his painted fresco on the facade of the Hotel Des Arts in Toulon. It’s such a happy sight. “When I create a fresco in a space, I always proceed in the same way: I research its history and seek inspiration in historical records, photos, and pictures.” And then his imagination leads the way.

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