Benjamin Duquenne currently lives in Roubaix, near Union town but has lived in Leers, Wattrelos, Le Quesnoy and many abroad such as Austria, Germany… He started to paint in Toulouse with Spazm, a master in the field. His sources of inspiration are very much linked to nature which he “observed a lot”. He studied business, far away from graffiti! But the artistic fibre existed in his family. His father produced wooden toys and the one who raised him is a musician. He also turned towards the profession of educator, passionate about pedagogy. Not really a coincidence with a mother who was a specialist teacher. “I wasn’t born into this family for nothing! “I like to encourage young people, to motivate them. “That’s also why he set up an association. “They need to express themselves. We can create together. »
Benjamin also had a rebellious side, that of a difficult youth. A rebellion that gave him a taste for freedom; a taste that he never lost, especially in his artistic work.
There is no school of graffiti, no Fine Arts of the bomb. Benjamin trained alone, with practice, but also through meetings with other visual artists. Since the age of 25 his work has evolved. He has been interested in organic letters, in Arabic calligraphy “without any particular attraction for the Arab culture” but for the gesture of writing. Today there is a quest for spirituality in his approach, an universal quest.
Ecological graffiti artist
He worked in an organic shop and this is probably not unrelated to the fact that his art has a strong link with the environment. And then, in Germany where he often works, the graffiti movement is very sensitive to the ecological cause. He uses paints without heavy metals and works on new products. These are low-pressure bombs with acrylic-based products. He has just realised a little by chance that most of his works have been painted along what is called the green corridor, with the canal.
His sources of inspiration can be found in nature, calligraphy, comics, cartoons but always with a quest for spirituality. The theme of space, spaceships and of course an overflowing imagination is also often found. More than anything else, he loves to share with people.
A great talker, he won’t let you go until he has finished his thought. Some elderly neighbours from the place where he works in Tourcoing came to see him, asking him to put more colours, that it was too dark. An intergenerational and cross-cultural dialogue as he likes it then took place. “It’s not by doing this that we’re going to change the world, but it contributes a little bit to it. (…) One look can change the other and make it grow up. »