Benoit Paillé has a talent for bringing out mystical qualities in everyday objects. He summons these hidden auras, energies, forces, dimensions via the tool of an external coloured flash. Paillé favours neon pinks and purples, colours most associated with mysticism and spirituality — the unfathomable and unknown. By highlighting mundane objects and figures Paille transforms our perception of parts of the daily terrain that we may otherwise neglect. The effect is that of an alien presence, or a parallel dimension seeping into our world. The photographer reveals the thin membrane between the physical, “rational” sphere, and our sensory perceptions. After all, it is the intangible aspects of our experiences that define much of our lives. As Paillé states on his website, “I often see myself like an hyper realist painter, my pictures documenting an altered state of mind.”
Benoit Paillé’s spontaneous energy has been nourished through a nomadic lifestyle. He has lived out of a van for the past five years, prioritising freedom from a fixed location to liberate his practice and meet unexpected characters. His rejection of ADHD placating medication is perhaps analogous to the explosive nature of his photographs. Benoit Paillé is aware of the trappings of internet-fame. He continues to resist being sucked into the click-bait vortex of extrinsic motivation, seeking out ruptures in the “hyper capitalism” that he simultaneously recognises has partly brought about his success.
Older projects, like UnderNight have taken on a Gregory Crewdson-esque sense of pre-orchestrated cinematic alienation, he has explored portraiture in series like Tourist Stranger Self-portrait and the Rainbow Gathering series. Benoit Paillé’s more recent work developed his unique, spontaneous take on painting with light. Take some time to browse his prolific portfolio site here.