Benjamin’s artistic journey started in mixing genres of porn and horror; as a script writer his ethos turned to society’s warped vision that war, violence and terror were more acceptable than the then very taboo topic of sex and sensuality in cinemas. He then turned to the lens, assisting fashion photographer Patrick Demarchelier in New York, however it would be his reacquaintance with another French expat in the USA that would provide a more defining impact on the direction of his career. At age 16, in his native France, Benjamin had become good friends with Thierry Guetta, a filmmaker and street artist who would later become known to the world as Mr. Brainwash, an artistic alias later immortalised in the Banksy directed film: “Exit Through the Gift Shop”. Benjamin soon embarked on a journey of his own into the art world. His exhibition Arthouse is heavily influenced by Warhol’s pop art of the 60’s, it reflects DJ culture and the icons of our time. 


Benjamin please can you tell us a little about your exhibition? At a glance it seems like a contemporary take on Warhol’s pop art of the 60’s, except you have substituted the icon’s of that era with DJ’s, the icons of our time. Is that a rough approximation?

The exhibition is about house music and the elements that surround this phenomenon. I screen print important objects or subjects, I started off with technics turntables and then I turned to dj portraits all sustaining an underground atmosphere or feeling. Yes, the technique used (Screen Printing) is one of my favourites, yet I like to mix it with spray paint, acrylic and oil. The meaning of Warhol’s art corresponds to this atmosphere for me. This is a good way to represent it, to put a bit of “retro” in a very futurist movement… Also showing a DJ face in a different colour: not so realistic…


Warhol has heavily criticised in his time for commercialising art, this ultimately defined him as an artist, is your exhibition a commentary on commercialism of our current society, our icons and our culture?

Warhol was fascinated by famous people, that’s why he put Marilyn’s hair on people’s faces, meaning: “everyone wants to be famous and respected for their art or their money”. I think DJs have the same spirit… All DJs dream to play in DC10 or Ushuaia. I see 10,000 people all facing the DJ, like believers in a church or kids at school or fans in a Rolling Stones concert… People need icons: now it’s the DJ’s turn. Everything goes so fast now that we don’t know how long this will last for. I make pieces so that we have a trace of the existence of what’s happening today. I just do it in a pop art way. I am a DJ fan too and I want to share in my own way, the fabulous time we are living in now, especially on this island with those fantastic, crazy rebel people living in Ibiza.


Your biog tells us you met and befriended Thierry Guetta in France when you were 16, (Who would later go on to be immortalised as Mr Brainwash in Banksy’s ‘Exit Through The Gift Shop‘) The film kind of leaves an open ended question as to which, if any part of the documentary was real, including even Thierry himself. Clearly you can verify that Thierry himself is in fact a real artist, as for the rest of the documentary, can you comment on the authenticity of the events that took place in the film?

I have been a friend of MBW for a long time and close to him in the arts world. What he did was remarkable. I am witness of the very tough moments that he went through and can testify that he took his energy straight from the sun. I wonder if he is not himself the art world, he is a very strong guy. The documentary is 90 minutes, but in fact, it’s a 20 year movie of a passionate and determined mind. Walk around with him one week in New York; you’ll need a month to recover! He is a real artist in his mind, and he is very good with colours. I am no one to judge an artist. Only the future will define what is good art or not. In the movie, strangely, the scene that touched me the most was when he broke his leg one week before the exhibition of his life. He never gave up and he did the best he could. That’s what it’s all about for me; determination.

About the movie, I remember that 90 percent came from MBW’s videos. I think it would have been a difficult decision for MBW to agree for Banksy to let this documentary get out. The meaning of this movie from Banksy is not about MBW… It’s about the art system. He wants to describe how the system leads our mind.  What Banksy did in New York a few months ago (selling painting of his for 50 dollars on a table on broadway) is the same meaning.


Much of the artwork Mr Brainwash created as a result of Banksy’s suggestion to create an art show (something he allegedly did to occupy Guetta’s time until he finished the editing of the thousands of hours of film Guetta had captured for the movie) was a contemporary take on Warhol’s pop art, in his case he substituted the subjects with prominent A-List cultural icons of our time such as Michael Jackson, Madonna, Kate Moss etc. Is there a running theme here? You have created an exhibition utilising a similar theme to the exhibition of your friend Mr Brainwash, an artist who came into existence by his association with Banksy. It all seems a little surreal. Does the art lie in the artwork or the execution of the exibition?

My first exhibition about house music is kind of the same techniques and the same influences as Warhol… But not just that. I am working on different techniques like video and plastic art. I am also influenced by Cattelan or Douglas Gordon for example. I wanted to do this Warhol spirit because people are familiar with it. It’s a way of highlighting the “princes” called DJs that a lot of people don’t know the names of yet: Ask your uncle “who is Marco Carola or Jamie Jones?”, they probably don’t know. Now we know that house music will be the next movement: it’s warm, it’s open-mindedness, totally social yet completely solitary..  Rock, Punk, were for rebels with a destroy attitude, Rap: “un sense de revendication” a sense of a claim for entitlement… This is how House has made it’s mark. What will be the image that house music creates? Will it be only electronic images or more human.. In my last exhibition last year, it was about the influence of the images in the music (MTV time start in 83 with thriller), video clip who change our way to listen to music.

Conclusion: In my opinion, about MBW and other artists, only time will say what’s good or what is not. The most important thing for me is people having an art piece in their home, and in 15 or 20 years say.”. I was there..”. There is something else behind these paintings. This is what we live for today, this is the future nostalgia!


The exhibition takes place at Ibiza Art Studios from the 13th – 24th of September. Expect some of the island’s hottest DJs, a sponsored bar and “Lime In The Coconut” catering and exquisite service. The whole event streamed live, showing off FilmPlus Ibiza’s broad access to state of the art production materials. Lime In The Coconut” will then host a week of cinema nights, of course showcasing Banksy directed film: “Exit Through the Gift Shop” in the space, with all-inclusive tickets available, encompassing your beanbags, drinks and nibbles. Email for more information.

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