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In conversation with Ruben Benjamin

Capturing moments in time

Three-dimensional artist, Ruben Benjamin radiates luminosity in everything he does. Moulding colour through his voluminous style, Benjamin thrives within the intersection of texture, dynamism and light. Using bold arrangements to pull both himself and his audience away from the saturation of digital life, Benjamin is curating a space of reflection and thought. After finding the artists work recently, and sensing a cultural shift within his art we knew we had to know more, and in talking with the artist were able to dig into everything from inspiration to motivation.

Hey Ruben! As you know, here at Glamcult we are big fans. When did you do your first get into painting and what did you paint?
I really can’t remember the first, but as a kid, I always loved to draw funny and weird stuff. Weird creatures. Still do, but mostly just for fun. Afterwards, I got in touch with different acrylic spraying colours… this was 14, so 13 years ago now.

If you were to describe your work in 3 words, what words would you use?
Bold, yummy, and luminous.

It has been a wild couple of years, however, you are killing it! Looking back on 2021 what have been some of your milestones in your career?
Yes, as you say – 2021 was a wild ride (with many ups and downs). Before deciding to work as an artist full-time, I actually finished up my master’ in mechanical engineering and management. I worked on two startup projects which didn’t work out as planned. But in the end, these steps or failures luckily led to my decision in committing full-time to my art.

A scary yet immediately rewarding decision…
Exactly. Soon after, my first exhibition came and things went their way. So the biggest milestone was definitely the decision to laser-focus on the thing I love the most. And to drop all the other projects.

You recently have spoken about the information overflow of today’s landscape. Do you think digitalism has an effect on how people are preserving your work?
When talking about the information overflow, I try to relate to the industries I used to work in. Consulting, or tech-focused startups. Working in high performance-oriented industries during the daytime and spending the evening on buzzing social media made it hard for me (and many people around me) to really focus on the present moment. There is distraction everywhere. By capturing the dynamics of different heavy textures I work with, I, therefore, try to capture moments in time. Essentially, stop looking at your damn phone and enjoy life while it is happening around you right now.

The luminous colours and movement of the painting really reflected this, and another significant moment in which we are often fully present – nightlife. Is that something that has consciously influenced your paintings?
I often work with industrial ultra-high pigmented colours. You are right, neon pink has a nightclub vibe to it. But I never thought really of nightlife itself as a major inspiration to my work, however, I actually get a lot of inspiration from the light of different neon tubes clashing with each other on surfaces. I just find it super interesting. I love the clash of bright magenta with cyan. It can be highly confusing for the brain in the first second.

You often describe your paintings as sculptures, would you want to tap into sculptural work as well?
I am actually working on my first smaller, actually free-standing sculpture now. But the textures on that thing need months to dry. But I am really excited about how it will turn out. Maybe it will end up in the trashcan.

Let’s hope not! 2022 has just started, what are you manifesting for your artistic career?
A solo exhibition in spring when Covid hopefully slows down again. Also, the artworks have to get bigger. But mostly, I want to meet as many interesting and funny people in the art ecosystem. It is great fun to meet creative and curious people who push each other forward, support each other and think of great projects together. I have so many ideas which I want to go after.

Interview by Lisa Meier

Words by Grace Powell 

See more from Ruben Benjamin