Gary Benfield Biography
Gary Benfield is one of the most prolific & renowned contemporary artists in the world. The subtle femininity captured with his perfectionist brush appeals to a wide base of collectors & his work is in high demand worldwide. The background of Benfield’s paintings is soft, reminiscent of Leonardo de Vinci’s sketches & sepia tones, most of it defined only with pencil & a slight highlight of color.
Gary Benfield was born December 6th, 1965 in Birmingham, England. He studied art at Stourbridge College of Art (1982 – 1984) and at Wrexham College of Art (1984 – 1986). In 1986, Benfield became a professional freelance illustrator. After leaving the academic world he set up his own studio near London and concentrated on drawing and painting figures. Within a few years, his work was being collected throughout Europe and his reputation had become firmly established. Today, Benfield’s work enjoys mass global appeal and is collected by art collectors throughout the world.
Benfield has a natural talent for depicting things as seen. His work is spontaneous and is reflected by his drawn lines and dashes of colour. The figures dissolve in and out of their background and move across the paper. He paints rapidly and discards most of his paintings and drawings, keeping only those he feels are perfected in their conception rather than overwork those that he feels are not correct.
Benfield’s paintings represent a discrete world of objects which combine figures, mythology, nature, and still life. Despite the casual appearance of his compositions, all imagery is highly organized, and after long observations one finds the hidden symmetry and beauty beneath the layers of finery.
For Benfield, the world around him is a continuous sequence of fortuitous events. Objects and figures intertwine in his mind, they dance, they fuse and one adopts the color and life of another. We are drawn into an intimate world of his imagery, where sensuality and delight in life’s form are combined in a flight of frolic and fantasy.
Gary’s ability to draw and paint virtually all forms including figurative, architectural landscape, still life and equestrian, amazes us all. Gary has now found time to concentrate on building his career in the UK after much success overseas, particularly in America, where he is a well-known star of the art world on land and open seas.
"I cannot remember a time without drawing. It was natural for me as a child to use both my hands when painting and drawing and this ambidexterity has remained with me in my adult life as an artist. I love the beauty of the line and I use these skills to create and transform inert materials into images of beauty and romance.
There are aspects of our lives, our existence and experience which remain as a constant, not subject to historical variation. We fall in love, have children and experience a whole gamut of emotions as people always have. And we have always sought to express these fundamental experiences in an aesthetic manner, through painting and poetry. As an artist it is this imaginative role in transforming materials - paint, graphite, charcoal - to create this aesthetic dimension which I love."
“The purpose of painting is to surprise and delight the spectator. In doing so our prosaic view of the world is challenged and changed, for the better.
Gary Benfield’s work does this for us, in an apparently effortless way. His skill as a draughtsman compels us to look at the world differently. Multiple perspectives are subtley melded together, views are transformed and transfused with colours, textures and tones. We are manouvered into evocations of space and places which we would dearly like to inhabit, not as fantasy or dream but rather as a very real and beautiful part of this, our waking world.”
- Michael Dover Robinson BA(Hons) Dip(HD) Slade Scholar