Born in 1981 in Orléans, Benoit Havard began drawing and painting at the age of six. As a child, his mother used to take him to art galleries and museums where he was drawn to energetic works such as those of the French landscape painter Michel Jouenne.
In 1998, he enrolled at the École des beaux-arts de Cherbourg, where Lejeune and Valadié became his teachers. By age 19, he was painting full-time, first exploring watercolors on trips to Morocco and eventually settling into working with oils and a palette knife.
Today, Benoit Havard creates dreamy, luminescent urban landscapes that radiate warmth and energy. The artist draws his imagination from his travels. He first photographs realistic urban scenes and then draws out all their emotional power. “The idea is to bring the subject into my own world,” explains the artist.
His paintings are spontaneous works based on a study of light and contrasts more than on the minutiae of details. Under the sharp stroke of a palette knife, playing with transparency, streaks, and fades to create texture and movement, New York, London or Paris appear in their purest shape and are saturated with colours. The harmony he creates, from warm colours to blue greys, slowly pushes his creations towards abstraction.
Benoit Havard begins by working on his backgrounds before specifying characters, cars, and scenes of life. It is only at the very end of his process that he highlights details, allowing the shapes of an urban scene to emerge.
Benoit Havard has been exhibiting in several galleries in France and abroad since 2004 and has been the guest of honour at several exhibitions. His artworks can be found in notable private collections, including that of Louis Vuitton.