Abdelkader Benchamma. Photo by Lugermad

Benchamana’s world is one where drawings are the basis of every though and every practice. We’ve been following his universe and work for some time now and are more than happy to hear that he has just received the highest recognition in illustration. DRAWING NOW PARIS, the most important fair in the world in this field, has awarded him with its prestigious annual prize.

The French artist, well-known for his delicacy using simple and precise lines to illustrate his thoughts, was presented at the fair this year by FL Gallery. In a recent interview, Benchamma exlained why drawing, and why black and white only, marks the narrative of his work.

“Drawing allows a total link between an idea and its realisation”. For Benchamma, the black and white drawings are the essence of drawing. As he explains: “The black and white is also a place in history and a tradition of drawing, I try to make it evolve in my own way. Black and white also allows me to put myself in the same field as that of writing.”

Abdelkader Benchamma the understanding

Drawing Now Winner

The Black Understanding, 2009, Abdelkader Benchamma. Photo: Antonio Maniscalco. FL Gallery

It’s interesting to learn that most of the time he does not prepare his drawings, even in the case of his massive mural paintings. “I mentally give shape to an idea, an image that I “reproduce”, that I almost copy certain times on a paper. Large wall drawings require action and involvement of the body, of the gesture, and consequently of the accident, which is quite different. Large wall drawings are addressed mainly to the body in its entirety, and small formats speak of this body, but in a more mental way.”

In his work, there is a constant going back and forth between abstraction and reality. This link with the figurative scenes is very important for him, although most of his drawings explore a totally abstract dimension. “I think the idea that a certain disturbance is related to the vision of drawn scene, or to the vision of things in general, is something that interests me a lot. Maybe this ambiguity between the figurative and the abstract is part of one of the constitutive elements of this ambiguous disorder.”

Abdelkader Benchamma by Lugermad

Drawing Now Winner 2015

Abdelkader Benchamma. Photo by Lugermad

His next project will be for the Drawing Center in New York. During several weeks of work, he will be creating a completely immersive space in which every inch of the walls is to be covered with a weaving drawing. “Like coming into a tunnel, a cellar, or vortex, the waving will cover all the walls creating a movement, a vibration. Above this weaving, another drawing will emerge featuring opposing fluxes, shadows of structures, details stories of the infinitely large and of cosmology,” explained the artist.

We’ll be looking out for it!