French artist, Benjamin Plé, is a master of many mediums. Working with oil, watercolor, ink, and sculpture, Plé has crafted a sophisticated and unified body of work. Plé graduated from the renowned art school “Met de Penninghen” in 2002, after which he spent 5 years honing his craft and finding inspiration for his works. Today, that dedication shows. His work maintains a level of playful abstraction, inspired by architectural spaces and object design.
One medium that I find Plé excels in is creating bas-relief. These stunning sculptural pieces have almost an optical illusion quality to them. Most of the pieces in his collection from 2018 are cast in a stunning deep blue hue, adding rich colors to all areas of the works, regardless of where light hits. And as if studying one lighting scheme wasn’t enough, Plé provides images of four different lighting scenarios for each piece.
The earlier works in this series are pattern-like, holding a sense of symmetry across the form. But as you advance through the pieces, he begins to explore how a single shape can command the canvas. These bas-reliefs are very striking to regard. And I’m finding myself having a hard time deciding whether I like the more pattern-based or the simple relief better. Suffice it to say, they are both equal parts creative and masterful.
By the time we arrive at his bas-relief collection from 2019, Plé has shifted to use more natural tones and patterns. This series is nearly impossible to take your eyes off of, and my personal favorite of his work. The different angled shapes catch the light and lead you on a visual journey through each bas-relief. If you don’t get lost inspecting how the light hits each shape, then you surely will find yourself studying the beautiful textures throughout the pieces. Plé is a master of creating a stunning visual journey through his Bas Relief project. As far as architecturally inspired artwork goes, you simply can’t get much more inspiring than this.