We are pleased to present the second solo exhibition of artist Todd Bienvenu (1980, USA) at the gallery.
In this new series of paintings, we find the spontaneity, humor, and sincerity of his figurative compositions, this time entirely in acrylic.
The expression “Dad Bod” commonly refers to a male body type characterized by being softly round. It is based on the idea that once a man has reached a certain age, found a partner, and fathered a child, he no longer needs to care about maintaining an athletic physique. Much more than an aesthetic concern, the most recent work by Bienvenu, who is approaching forty himself, instead reflects a certain age-related awareness.
“(…) all my friends have kids and wives, I’ve sobered up. The paintings have always been autobiographical, so now that I’m pushing middle-age, they reflect that. It makes me think of my dad when he was my age, he was a doctor and had 3 kids, I’m still living and indulgent kind of life comparatively.”
Todd Bienvenu’s relationship with his father has given rise to a reflection on his past, which is a source of both nostalgia and solace. Many of the subjects of his paintings spring from the memory of this once-contentious relationship, as well as from the artist's awareness of his upcoming "dad age." The vulnerability of the body thus holds an important place in Bienvenu’s current work. In this respect, subjects such as snowboard and skateboard crashes and then, by extension, bike and car accidents, echo the physical changes related to age and the fragility of a body that is no longer 18 years old.
Formally, these accidents are also a way to deconstruct the image and make it cubist, because the subject itself requires it.
Todd Bienvenu tells us about masculine issues in general, impotence, and the absurdity of sexuality, all with humor and a good childlike spirit.
We also have the pleasure of discovering in this series some fragments of the artist's stays in Geneva; we can observe how his compositions have been inspired by reality while also altering it, like a memory he has reshaped to become a subjective view of a given event or a place.