Benoit Marie

Since 2012, Benoît Maire has placed the cloud at the heart of his work. He uses this motif in various formats by varying the compositions. At first glance, his paintings represent simple cloud paintings, but he integrates the motif into a pictorial dynamic which invokes the history of various painting techniques and styles: sometimes figurative, sometimes abstract. Maire uses a process that combines chance and mastery to make constellations of clouds of multiple shapes and colors. He paints on a white background as well as on raw canvas and the color is applied in solid colors or by impasto. The canvases also show variations in brush strokes; they are sometimes curved or flayed with a blade. The recurrence of the motif opened up a field of study in art history, theorized by Hubert Damisch. From the Middle Ages, and mainly in the 19th century, clouds were gradually given new functions in the world of western painting. Beno t Maire does not, however, seek to represent an abstract phenomenon attesting to a divine existence. His paintings simply reveal the process of their development. In the context of twentieth century globalization and virtualization, clouds have become representative models of the complexity of the conditions of the contemporary environment and even, today, incorporate the symbol of an information network (the Cloud).