Artist Spotlight: Benjamin Mario Massa

In this editorial series Artsted is offering a dive into the stories of artists, taking them on a weekly discovery sprint: learn about the practice, process, philosophy and conceptual research behind the platform’s best contemporary creators.

Benjamin Mario Massa, courtesy of the artist.

Hello Benjamin, it is pleasure chatting with you. Where are you currently based — and how would you describe your practice in one sentence?

When did you first realise you wanted to pursue this career?

Did you just fart, oil on cotton, 90 x 70 cm, 2020, courtesy of the Artist.

What is your creative process like? Anything that inspires you particularly?

And walking helps me activate and organise my thoughts. This is why I do not have the studio in the same city where I live. So, I have a little time to start my brain and flow. I also love to go for a walk at night or in the rain (or both). Since then the surrounding environment sends just a little amount of stimuli, which softly embraces one’s body and mind; and I can concentrate myself on my own stuff.

The reason I create is that I get out of my head. And more important: to formulate my thoughts other than with words; to open a discourse and a discussion; to teach and learn; to interact with other subjects, to act, to evoke a reaction and to react to this reaction.

To explore and observe.

Quattro,cinque,sei, oil on cotton, 120 x 90 cm, 2020, courtesy of the artist.

How would you describe your identity as an artist?

I love surprises. And to observe.

My works interact with the senses.

The Paintings for example are usually with bright, overwhelming colours. On one hand it is to show how I perceive the world as a highly sensitive person and how I get overstimulated everyday in my life. On the other hand it is a challenge for myself. To use colours which generate a blurriness and fuzziness to my eyes and brain, so that it is difficult to paint a sharp edged line or area. And that I am overstimulated by my own artworks and even my own body can’t fully grasp what it perceives. At the moment motifs for my paintings are bodies, human beings or relationships / social encounters.

The acoustic sound installations aim in another direction. They are normally almost silent and are sending just a few stimuli. Which leads to situations, where the sound part at first is occasionally overheard. I concentrate the attention on those handful stimuli and explore how the audience reacts / changes their behaviour.

In this mainly extroverted art world (or also western world) I want to be a position of the introverted side of this society. As an opposition, as a voice.

Benjamin Mario Massa, courtesy of the artist.

Which artists have inspired your research the most?

What is a project of yours that you makes you really proud?

That was truly a strong and beautiful response, to which I didn’t know how to react.

I’ve had and still have some smaller difficulties being part of the art world. It’s because my social batteries may get empty faster than others. This is why I can’t get to every opening to socialise and connect. But hey, my art thematises that and plays with it.

Breathing deeply under tension, oil on cotton, 90 x 70, 2021, courtesy of the artist.

A question we ask everyone: how did you spend 2020? Was the quarantine productive for you in terms of artistic creation?

It was like the tables have turned: normally the introverted artist had to leave their comfort zone and go out to socialise, while the extroverted were in their natural and energy-bringing habit. During the lockdown, it was otherwise. Most extroverted persons had to deal with themselves and their own problems or thoughts.

Even though being isolated and being introverted is not the same, it was an fascinating switch.

In addition I could work almost full time for the art (though at home, but full time), which I am not able to at the moment. The pandemic made it crystal clear that I want to follow my art practise full time and I am ambitiously heading further this direction.

Any exciting future projects you want to share with the readers?

But.. there are two sound installations I am preparing too!

Sadly we have to be patient a little bit more, because they are supposed to be interactive and work with audience through touch and which is slightly problematic and difficult to realise due to the pandemic.

Until then stay updated on my Instagram account @benjamin.mario.massa or on :)

Artist Spotlight Series by Artsted: an online marketplace that empowers a new generation of art collectors to access the digital toolkit of an art expert, bringing a new transparency approach to the contemporary art market.

Technology enterprise operating in the online art market segment.