benoit piéron

The bed
print on silk and mixed media
210 x 175 x 230 cm
produced within the Fondation Hermès residency programme
Photo : Marc Domage © Fondation d’entreprise Hermès
The bivouac
200 x 500 x 500 cm
Photo Marie-Sybille Lainé
The hut
250 x 303 x 250 cm
ten meters roll

« (…) Benoît Piéron’s work has been for a longtime focused on the question of habitat, a provisory, rudimentary habitat, but that reflects on a typically human need, and maybe more than a need, a necessity. His last works consist on a series of wallpapers that he designed himself. The artist assigns a quality of necessity to this material, which can seem strange as its original purpose is ornamental. We tend, indeed, to look on ornament as of secondary importance, compared to the need for shelter or simply having a « roof » above one’s head. In every work of Benoît Piéron, ornament is to the contrary as essential as the welcoming structure, as he explains himself through this commentary of the Editors’ House in Madrid* :
« Here, in the Iberian peninsula, I feel that ornament and structure are just one, it is the flesh that grows on the bones. »
Far form considering habitat and ornament as the fruits of « culture », the artists endows one and the other an organic characteristic.
The patterns from the different wallpaper models mimic the repetitive structure of the islamic decorations. In these patterns, anatomic drawings of feminine genital organs are blended with mostly vegetal elements. The work interlaces references to typically human characteristics – developing technics and the need for artistic expression – with the common characteristics from other lifeforms. Vagina is thus presented as the symbolic figure of life, of nature’s inherent creativity. It also represents, for any man or woman, our first habitat, a habitat that is nothing other than a body.
An other theme emerges, underlying the question of habitat and offering a new development to the vital necessity of ornament, it is the question of exile. A roll of wallpaper can be taken anywhere to reconstitute, wherever we are, the confined space of the native house. A place that has no geographical localisation but that rather dwells in between fantasy and reality. Ornament allows to revive that fantasy that is essential to our well-being. It also recalls that principle of life, fertility, as the vegetal representations convey their irrepressible quality. »

Théodora Domenech, 2012.
*Building created by José Grases Riera for the spanish writers and editors Society in Madrid.


Benoît Piéron was born 1983 in Ivry-sur-Seine, France. He makes objects in which poetry and ornaments are not as innocent as they seem.
He graduated in 2007 from the Beaux Art de Paris with honours, he now lives in Paris after several years between France, Spain and Canada.
In 2010, with the support of Richard Deacon, he takes part in the residency programme of the Hermès Foundation. The following year, he joins the Casa Velazquez in Madrid.
His work has been shown in France, Canada, Spain, Japan and Korea.
He is now in residency at the Galerie Fernand Léger in Ivry-sur-Seine, where he is preparing a new body of work for his first solo show.

To see more works of Benoit Piéron :