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.
Benfield has a natural talent for depicting things as seen. His work is spontaneous and reflected by his drawn lines and dashes of color. The figures dissolve in and out of their backgrounds and move across the canvas. 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 are not correct.
His 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. The background of his paintings is soft, reminiscent of Leonardo de Vinci’s sketches and sepia tones, most of it defined only with pencil and a slight highlight of color.
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. Benfield is considered to be one of the most renowned contemporary artists in the art world today. His work is collected by art collectors worldwide.
1982-1984: Stourbridge College of Art