Montreal-based artist-activist, Benjamin Charette, seeks to capture the tension between the physical built environment and the natural world within which it co-exists. His canvases are a reflection of the dynamism of the urban forest’s struggle for relevance within the ecosystem of society’s revered urban jungle.
Benjamin’s art entices a visceral consideration of what it means to hang within the balance of extinction and evolution. His inspiration comes from century old trees, honey bees as well as the flora and fauna found within a city’s public spaces.
With artwork described as raw, dynamic and explosive, Benjamin channels an arborist’s technique for painting his mixed-media creations by combining spray paint with the surrounding natural elements found in his open air studio. Perched high in a tree, his aerial work is mirrored on the painted canvases below. Using this technique, he is able to alter the perspective and landscape of each painting by tree species, age and location.
Benjamin’s deep appreciation for his subjects springs from seven years working in arboriculture prior to entering the art world. It was in caring for trees at all stages of their lifecycle, where he found his source of inspiration and desire for artistic expression.
With a loyal following in both Vancouver and Montreal, Benjamin believes that the relationship between artist and subject is one to be appreciated and respected. A portion of all proceeds from the sale of his work goes towards supporting local urban reforestation projects as well as other environmental initiatives.