Horses have always played a part in Bénédicte Gelé’s life. Born in 1975 and brought up in the Parisian suburbs, she had no prior history with horses. The animal remained a two-dimensional object in magazines or sometimes a figure in the background of a distant meadow when on holiday. However, an overwhelming fascination, an almost unexplainable attraction and a particular bewitchment encouraged her to strive and spend more and more time with these animals.
After obtaining a baccalaureate in Applied Arts and a further certificate in Visual Communication, she became a graphic designer and then artistic director. She then found a lively, clever little mare and started drawing horses with a quiet obsession. In 2004, her professional and equestrian lives seemed to merge with horses, of course, as the cornerstone.
The artist is just as drawn to the animal and to the act of drawing itself. The living form, with its curves and movement, reminds her of the nude studies during her school days. The body in its simplest form, as crude as the pencil stroke, the artist’s basic technique, grey or black, pure and powerful.
She does not paint for the myth or legend of the animal, or for its strength, even though she respects it all. Above all, she paints the physical, the sensual, a wave of primal emotion that the body provokes. She could have chosen a man or a woman, but horses have a cruder, more animalistic quality to their posture than humans do. Horses have a powerful, captivating presence, with their natural solidity.