I'm proud to showcase my works as a brown frenchman, as a human and as an artist. There are no limitations in arts neither boundaries that could hold you from being who you are....
Benjamin Riviere-Nazareno, or Ben Nazareno, is one of the youngest known and controversial artists of his generation of Filipino artists. Painting naked figures of women made him more popular because of his striking colors and style of creativity while painting on canvas in front of a nude model. Ben Nazareno had established for himself a name of international importance - exhibiting across the world, from Manila to Paris to London; and undeniable brilliance - manifested in his loyal and perennially expanding assemblage of admirers, and of course in his numerous awards. His works, mainly in nude figures is an emotional and personal depiction of cultural and social issues - especially those most relevant to Filipinos anywhere and everywhere in the world, is believed by many to be the foundation of his success. Ben Nazareno was born on 1978 in Bas-Rhin, Strasbourg, France. Son of a Filipino Mariner Monsieur Ruben Ilagan Nazareno Sr. of Alaminos, Laguna, Philippines and a French Pot Maker Madam Marie Chantal Riviere of Ile de Reunion (an overseas territory of France in Africa). They have moved to Copenhagen, Denmark in 1980. Due to his parent's separation, He left with his father, who later on took him back in the Philippines in 1983, and since that time, his father alone struggled to bring him up in the best way he can. He eventually lost in touch with his mother since then. Moreover, this is the striking point of why he chooses the female figure as his main subject on his paintings; for it is a resemblance of his deepest longing for a mother's care and love. In addition, he quoted "I know that thru my paintings, I am continuously building bridges to become closer in the never - ending search for my Mother". During and after his stint at the Philippine Women's University Institute of Fine Arts, Ben Nazareno worked for different Art Firms in Manila while exploring himself in many avenues of arts - photography, illustrations, cartooning, glass printmaking and graphics designing, while pursuing his craft as a painter. He decided to go back to his roots and seek peace of mind in France. Taking the chances of establishing himself in Europe which later on he was embraced by a rampage of admirers and collectors in which made him more controversial by critics in the Philippines. (Saatchi Gallery says, One of the best striking and vivid display of Western Nude Paintings by a Filipino Artist whom he shares his roots between his father's pride as a Malay and the artistic blood that runs as a French). "France in 2003 was the strangest thing I've ever done, it's like leaving my thoughts behind and facing the reality of being a stranger in your own country". Struggling to cope with the language in France it was not a barrier for him to display most of his works in different galleries from Paris to Toulouse. However, after a few months of coping with a new culture and environment, He finally had his break to display most of his works and had several invitations to some other exhibitions that displayed Nude Figurative Paintings around France. Although Ben Nazareno's first years as a painter in Paris were not particularly easy, his talents were immediately recognized and he went on to enjoy a successful career in Europe. Returning home 2003, it was the hardest part for him, his father passed away while suffering from cancer. However, Ben Nazareno returned to London with his wife and son, in part to continue his crafts in London. This marked the beginning of his passionate involvement with various solo art exhibitions, group exhibitions and different types of commissioned artworks. "For these years, I have created artworks in just about every conceivable medium from acrylic to oil, from pastel to inks. As an artist, I find the human body to be the most beautiful form of art. Without uttering a sound, it speaks volumes beyond the capabilities of the spoken word. The human form has always mesmerized me; my works concentrates on the nude. My interest focuses in the different aspects of the human relationship, the feelings, the emotions, love and pain. I work mainly in oil on canvas, considering this technique most sophisticated in terms of color and texture of paint. My canvases are explorations of colors and composition. My paintings are figurative nudes with elements of emotions and striking colors on it. My Artworks are displayed in galleries, corporate offices and the residences of private collectors from South East Asia to Europe".
16 Artworks in BEN NAZARENO's Art Portfolio
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Actual model on studio nude figurative drawing on pastel collections of artist ben nazareno. size: 12" x 16" on board (unframed)