Ben Vautier dit Ben
Ben, professionally known as Benjamin Vautier, is a French artist with Swiss origins, born in Naples on the 18th of July 1935 . Active member of the Fluxus group,Ben is a major artist of the French avant-garde, he owes his popularity to his performances, installations and paintings.
In the early 60s he begins to be noticed by the art amateurs mostly thanks to his writings.
He lives part of his childhood in Paris and moves to Nice at 15 . By the end of 1950s he opens a small secondhand shop whose entrance is characterised by accumulations of heterogeneous objects.
This small shop will be the meeting point of the School of Nice members: César, Arman, Martial Raysse, Sosno, etc.
Due to his friendship with Yves Klein and his interest in new realism, Ben embraced the idea that
art must be new and shocking
In the early 1980s, back from a trip to Berlin, Ben and other young artists as Robert Combas, Di Rosa, François Boisrond, and Rémi Blanchard join in a new artistic movement: Figuration Libre. Their production breaks the rules of classic representation, furthermore they employ a wide range of materials and clashing colors.
Ben was often unveiling the dark side of the contemporary art world and his actors, as well as showing up his own view of political and cultural events.
Ben is also author of a collection of poems inspired by the beat generation.
He defines his art as appropriation and declares:
I try to leave my signature on everything that hasn't been signed. I think art lives in the intention and there's nothing
more to do than leaving a signature. That's why I sign everything: holes, mistery boxe, kicks in the ass, God, chickens..
I'm going to be extremely jealous of Manzoni that signs his shit and he'll soon steal my idea of living sculptures.