"I would like to think that I have a more human psyche, as human being. Human is form, Being is formless. Being male is just a form of being human. One of them. And what I do is exactly that, behave more as a human psyche, a bit breaking the classic conservative rules and labels of what is being male or what is being woman. Some of my self portraits are not new if you search in female photography, but somehow are more unusual in male nudes. It’s the body and it’s the mind I have, so it’s what I use to express myself. But sometimes the need of creating something that can’t be done by me as model, takes me to find another one. Another male body like mine, which I feel much more comfortable to 'use' as if it was my own, the complement of my psyche to express the best way I can."
Gonzalo Bénard, born in Portugal in 1969, started his career writing, painting and drawing, but when this was no longer fulfilling to him as a creator, he moved his focus to photography. Bénard felt the need to be more expressive through his art, and to create a commentary on the "oneness" of the human race encompassing gender, ritual, sexuality and life.
Playing with light and shade in order to enhance the feelings, further emphasized by the absence of colours, backgrounds or clothing, Benard works with a variety of cultures and people, often including himself to create the “oneness” of his images. These, however, are not self-portraits, but representations of concepts, using the methods of acting to portray inner worries, wonders and his own inner world.
The powerful images emit an unmistakably mysterious aura which colours the way his works are perceived- a more pliable, sensual version of man, breaking from the traditional rigid and stiff depiction, as if Bénard’s conceptual photos and images exist in their own universe and in their own rights.
"I decided to stop. To listen. To feel. To live. To create new boundaries so I could feel and understand them—so I could break them. To feel nature and be a part of it."
© all images by Gonzalo Bénard