Paul Benney

Paul Benney has worked both in the United States and United Kingdom. His paintings are represented in many notable public collections including the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, The National Gallery of Australia, The Brooklyn Museum of Art, NYC and The National Portrait Gallery in London, alongside many prominent private and corporate collections.

A member of the Neo-Expressionist group of the early 80’s in New York’s East Village, Benney became known for his depictions of stygian themes and dark nights of the soul and for his practice of weaving formal portraiture with a personal expression of an inner dialogue that explores art history, religious iconography and contemporary themes, continuing in the tradition of ‘British Mysticism’.

Benney is a self-taught artist whose oeuvre moves beyond clear and definitive categorisation. His primary mode of expression is paint, but to add to this he is also a digital artist, and a musician. Benney’s studio works are often viewed and described as ‘otherworldly’ or ‘visionary’, but these are not works that are placed somewhere else beyond our concern.

Leonora Carrington once stated “The task of the right eye is to peer into the telescope, while the left eye peers into the microscope.” These paintings reveal on multiple levels a diverse state of existence. One where life and death co-exist. The inner and the outer. Matter and spirit. The known and the unknown. The past and the Future. And at the heart of them the illusion of the fixed in between state – The Present.

Paul Benney Venice – Interview from Anima Mundi on Vimeo.


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