Born in Denpasar, of Flores, East Indonesian heritage Joel Benguigui is an artist, photographer and art director working between the worlds of fine arts, documentary, design and fashion. Joel has been recognised in leading publications and commissioned by internationally renowned clients.
Adopted at a young age Joel grew up in Paris and was deeply impacted by both the artistic aesthetic around him (painting alongside his mother since the age of 2) and the complexity of growing up dark skinned, raised by a liberal Jewish family in a white Parisian community. Since reconnecting with his roots and biological family in Indonesia Joel has moved away from commercial commissions and focused towards his own voice and projects. With searing aesthetics that speak of our relationship to both the built and natural world, his work is an invitation into stillness.
Reacting against trends and the pace of contemporary consumerism each body of work is born from deep research and an intimate relationship to environment; his personal biography runs parallel to all of his work. A deep respect for the natural world and our essential human relationship to it is fed through time in his homeland Flores. This sits in combination with his lived experience of growing up in Paris.
The black and white universe of Joel’s work is not a rejection of colour but a process of distilling essential experience. A tactile potency that offers a space to consider and perhaps seek to understand ourselves and our relationship to the world around us.