“Julien Beneyton dans les bacs, en version compacte! / compact version out now!”

Text written for the solo show catalogue edited in 2006, Galerie Alain Le Gaillard, Paris, FR

compact version out now!

At two in the morning,
the hit rolled in,
under snowfall,
lousy weather on acrylic island.

Paint on scraps of wood,
urban pan shot on various materials,
proposals as per inspiration,
Julien’s dispatches,
bar codes of the urban pulse.

Labor day,
work, eat… sleep,
respect for the worker,
regularization for everyone,
no conditions.

No raids in the hostels,
say No! No! No!
everyone together on May 1st,
trotting along in time,
in capital letter harmony with the group,
Life is a battle here below,
and death doesn’t wait for papers to kill,
fighting to eat absolutely here below,
like wild men.

Day breaks finally,
spitting out yesterday’s fed up feeling,
morning pooh and wee break,
click and double click on the nature of things,
telephonic painting in the metro retro style,
cut out Philippe’s features,
cut to Bologna,
Frutta e verdura versus fruit and vegetables,
zoom on Laumière preacher,
fade to quai Richard Lenoir,
Shopping for the masses on Avenue Jean Jaurès,
pretty boys laugh heading for Bobigny,
the cake thief is at bay,
surveillance screen,
the watchman watches,
the camera flashes and turns,
Smile, you’re on camera!

Urgent succession of images,
a thousand and one details in fine continuum,
painting as a means of expression,
painting like at the movies,
when the street runs in color mode,
art house films / poison films,
prison films / thrill films,
Beneyton locks us up,
we are his prey,
him the constant danger,
he watches us intently.

And we let him take us in,
simply and stupidly,
cakes in your pocket,
dynamite in your trousers,
You get carted away for peccadilloes,
You give in to the shame of it all,
You beg to eat,
You wind up at the supermarket parking lot,
in a private collection,
in the form of an artwork,
paintings on the boards of a master,
in new settings with picture railings.
Other places,
other mysteries,
Swimming and tanning on golden sands,
the Latin quarter is so near.

Random sounds, rap,
rhyme a gogo,
Julien likes Hip Hop from America, France or elsewhere,
this music has inspired him daily since forever,
a reference in his work as a whole.

Homage on paper,
life-size tributes to his idols,
homage to Marseille Hip Hop,
DJ Premier, Rakim, Flavor Flave, Redman, Easy E,
The Notorious Big, Ol’ Dirty Bastard, Nasir Jones,
Busta Rhymes, Krs One, Missy Elliott, Ice Cube,
Big Daddy Kane, Big L, Nine, Ghost Face Killah,
Mc Jean Gab’1,
Oxmo is in the courtyard,
a lot of blues to tell the whole story,
his last moments of dreams.

A little poetry,
A trip to Brahim’s for hair cut down to size non-stop,
in gestures,
where everything is ideal and actions are everywhere,
the sidewalk on top,
on a human level,
on a level with Booba and his buddies,
Interpol doesn’t scare anyone anymore,
agent Little Nyc sculpts emptiness,
Dennis has lost faith,
Crystal and Courtney keep hoping in a confused abyss,
when emergency mode calls for surprise.

And why not accept ignorance?
Celebrate stupidity,
let the gutter water stagnating inside us flow,
let the nasty gastric juice drain that gets the cerebral drunk and reeling,
convey the emotional by the rational,
reap the fragrance of the sewers,
leave nothing to chance,

Grow up,
grow up in the city’s mire,
embrace the island Earth and its multi-facetted marvels,
life is a cob of corn that is hard to pick apart,
it is the dressing room of open sores.

Stroll around like fleas at Clignancourt,
like a strange ritual,
in the Porte de Lescot labyrinth,
place for brand names,
anthology of masks,
jewel peddling,
hang out for cops.

55 rue Compans symbol of solidarity…
Rue de la Solidarité.
And if ever it’s too hard here, leave,
choose to leave at the right time,
for a while, somewhere else is fine,
Leave and push the door to beyond,
delicately ferret out the shabbiness that politely occupies us,
knock now at the stranger’s place and that’s it.

– Knock, knock?
– Yes … who’s there?
– …
– It’s Julien!
– Who?
– It’s Julien Beneyton!
The door opens and closes with an unusual creaking,
footsteps and sounds receding and then… nothing…

Direction New York City,
Time Square, the veteran hangs around,
cascading rhymes,
meeting with himself,
walking up the downhill is so complicated.

125th Street to Downtown,
meeting the sandwich-woman,
it’s so sad,
it’s so gray!
in a depressed phase,
J-Roc, Queensbridge clearly so dark,
Joanna from Queens can’t take it anymore,
Tiger freaks out with a cigar in his mouth,
on the verge of tears,
distraught Hank Regard,
alias Jonxmoke,
New York under construction,
New York unlimited on a glamorous cover,
it would fool anyone!

I have to admit,
it’s hard finding the right words for this work.
I don’t want to upset this wet paint and if ever
my words are not up to the task,
please be kind enough to delete as appropriate,
please cross out sentences that don’t go the distance,
find adequate words to speak my troubles,
and sharp images if my film is out of focus.
And if it’s bad,
I’ll go see Serge and Alban to make you happy.
And even if « Alban almost never opened his mouth,”
I’ll go see him again anyway,
I’ll go try to make him smile a real smile,
and alas, I was late going back (…) a few weeks later:
Alban wasn’t there anymore “but gone elsewhere,”
to Amsterdam maybe to find a little shade?
to Amsterdam where the old drunken ship still reels on the floods of alcohol,
to Amsterdam where Reguliersfreestraat is not Château Rouge,
to Amsterdam where the red light district has the Pigalle effect,
he quietly has a good time there, kept up on what happens here.
Serge and Alban, life refusing to die under a bridge,
Serge and Alban, painting, acrylic on wood, 2005, 170×135 cm,
Serge and Alban in luxury residence in a private collection,
in from the cold… at last?

Julien’s work is the weft of the street that he chooses freely,
it is the ambulance in daily diagnosis,
the for and against,
the heads and tails,
humor, joy, love of life.
The street is the path leading to his laboratory,
Observatory Street,
The street is his hard disk always taken apart and put back together.
The street to travel,
go to Venice to track down the old lady who’s into Reebok,
or have a drink in Poland with Uher and company,
Julien follows the itinerary of the globe of being,
knocks naturally at someone else’s place when need is at his door.
other people are the horizon of creation, his main theme,
his caviar and his shit,
other people are his best instrument panels,
the focal point of the Observer or the Scornful,
other his odor, his work, his stomach,
other his studio,
other the strange stranger that he strangely inhabits,
the other buddies from his beginnings,
the budding Artists,
other the Satisfied,
other the Get-ahead girl,
other the sinister guy with a missing eye,
and above all him under his Public Enemy jacket,
and further off, the other waiting,
Young Chicano, Rasta 7, José and Alex too,
Henri the joker or the reader who is always asleep,
Bes, David, Patricio and Antonio and the happy dog,
Marie, Zacharie, Aliou, Majoula, Munim, and the Golden bad boy,
all the others not to be forgotten,
the other from Warsaw, a fur salesman,
or snapshots of Newa Praga,
others on the eastern beaches,
Hoëdic JB and the whole team,

the other far from the New York disaster,
the other far from the junk closet and the stress,
the other visiting his wonderland,

Hell is not other people,
it is his inner paradise where the fire of desire grows,
desire for getting away, fields of inspiration and playgrounds,
meeting characters and no roles for clowns.
Famous characters that populate his Court.
Josiane, the Duchess of Odéon,
Yannick, the Swiss cook,
Nicolas & François, the famous sandwich testers,
Georges the Medium from Porte des Lilas…
the unknown Discrète from the corner of rue Doudeauville and rue Léon,
Pierre, Olivier, Isabelle, Alain, Alexis and Matthieu…
Julien Beneyton takes a simple and uncluttered look at his times,
at the people he loves or hates,
they are alive, sometimes exposed and all of them,
destined for earthly storms,
all of them hidden in the slight furrows of his paintings on wood.

Painting that unveils,
work that spits out our guts,
technique that encounters the raw,
that lights as best it can the darkness hidden by daylight,
giving weeds a little space,
opening the blind eye of our vision,
making us look at the soul of things for a world in color.

Simple works in a series of zooms on scenes avoided from daily life,
defining the impossible like a pictorial quest,
highlighting all the beauty of ugliness and vice versa,
enthrone the banal and allow prose painting to emerge.
All situations are so different and so close to us, to life.
From his first painting, Julien has kept the same subjects,
only the technique and manner have changed.
Please consult

Pascale Marthine TAYOU

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