Trippy. Beautiful. Enthralling. Anne Bengard’s work is difficult to describe. Her art experiments with images that are both pleasing and painful to behold. Merging the seductive and the grotesque, Bengard shocks viewers and encourages them to expand their perspectives.
Hi Anne! Tell us a little about yourself.
I’m a very English German who sometimes wished she was Japanese. In Germany, my generation grew up with anime like Sailor Moon and Dragon Ball Z which has heavily influenced my aesthetic and love of the super sparkly, super pastel kitsch and sickly cute ‘magical girl’ genre in anime and manga.
In London I worked in the events industry amongst other things. I did (and sometimes still do) club decor and install for clubs like Torture Garden and got involved in London’s colourful and crazy alternative nightlife scene. I met many incredible people there and was hugely inspired by the respect, tolerance, acceptance, open-mindedness and abundance of creativity in that scene.
Fuelled by those experiences, my work is now all about challenging social norms and preconceptions in a way that’s confrontational yet also beautiful with hints of humour and irony. So here I am, in Berlin…still frequently visiting London…carving out a career as an artist, learning lots along the way. It’s not easy but I love it!
What inspires you?
I can find inspiration in most things…even by staring at a blank wall…but right now I’m mainly inspired by all my incredible creative friends, their drive, dreams and goals, spirituality and altered state’s of consciousness and oh….dentistry and teeth as a mirror of one’s personality and status. Also…Japan…just all things Japan.
What appeals to you about selling with video?
Selling with video is awesome because, let’s face it, our attention spans are generally short and pretty rubbish. In the age of the internet we want maximum information in a minimum amount of time so we can resume our endless scrolling and have more time to watch more cat videos. Not many people want to read lengthy product descriptions and specs and view a few photos, leaving you to puzzle all this information together into something coherent. I am one of those people…no shame! So that’s why video is great, maximum information in minimal time. You can show what a product looks like from various angles, talk about it a little etc. The ways you can get creative with presenting your product are also endless! Fun!!!
They say ‘a picture paints a thousand words’… so just think what that means for video!
What’s your favourite piece at the moment?
It has to be ‘Eye Zen’ right now. It’s the largest painting I’ve done to date and really pushed my technical skills so that it’s somewhat of a milestone in my artistic development. It also features an incredible man in my life who inspires me endlessly and with whom I’ve shared some very interesting experiences and learnt a lot from in a short space of time. So that’s what makes it special too.
What’s on the horizon?
I just started a new series celebrating the real life magical girls in my life. I’ve also been invited to create work for a group show at Ink and Pistons Gallery in Florida and I’m just finishing some prototypes for a tooth inspired jewellery line that will hopefully be released before the end of summer! I’m also planning a move to Tokyo for a little while within the next two years…many things on the horizon!