Benjamin Vautier was born in Naples in 1935. A great traveller, he spent his life between Switzerland, Turkey, Egypt and France. The artist is based in Nice.
Ben's works pose questions to the viewer. In fact, the big question Ben asks is "What is art?". The artist is known worldwide for his written works that affirm or question.
In 1950, Ben opened a shop in Nice to organise exhibitions and sell records. This place quickly became a gathering place for artists, a place to reflect on art. It is in this place that a group in search of novelties for art was formed: the School of Nice, with Ben, César, Arman, Martial Raysse and many others... These artists want to prolong the work of Marcel Duchamp and to push art to its limits. John Cage and the Dada movement are also important sources of inspiration for them.
In 1953, Ben wrote: "Il faut manger, il faut dormir", his first "écriture". Ben uses writing as a visual art form. Next, Ben became interested in the importance of an artist's signature in art. In 1958, his very first "signature" was born. Ben tries to show that the signature has sometimes become more important than the artwork .
In his life, Ben has also made living sculptures, signing his loved ones or strangers. Ben Vautier is a member of Fluxus, an artistic group that questions the status of the artist and art in society.
Ben is also known for the reproductions of his works on derivative products: backpacks, kits, diaries. A way for him to put his art within everyone's reach.
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