Horses have always played a part in Bénédicte Gelé’s life, although they have not always been in the limelight. Born in 1975 and brought up in the Parisian suburbs, she had no prior history with horses. The animal remained a two-dimensional object in magazines or sometimes a figure in the background of a distant meadow when on holiday. However, an overwhelming fascination, an almost unexplainable attraction and a particular bewitchment encouraged her to strive and spend more and more time with these animals.

After obtaining a baccalaureate in Applied Arts and a further certificate in Visual Communication, she became a graphic designer and then artistic director before falling in love with a lively, clever little mare, she started drawing horses with quiet obsession. In 2004, her professional and equestrian lives seemed to merge with horses, of course, as the cornerstone.

Artist Statement

Bénédicte Gelé is drawn equally to the animal and to the act of drawing itself. The living form, with its curves and movement, reminds her of the nude studies of her school days. The body in its simplest form, as crude as the pencil stroke, the artist’s basic technique, grey or black, pure and powerful.

“I do not paint for the myth or legend of the animal, or for its strength, even though I respect all of that. Above all, I paint the physical, the sensual, a wave of primal emotion that the body provokes. I could have chosen a man or a woman, but horses have a cruder, more animal quality to their posture than human beings who tend to intellectualize too much. Horses have a powerful, captivating presence, with their natural solidity.

A little bit more about me? Read the SaatchiArt interview here.

Galleries & Exhibitions

• Porcellino Gallery – Florence (Italie)
• Du 19 au 28 février, L’Art O’Carré 40 artistes pour l’enfance (au profit de l’Ecole à l’Hôpital du Loiret) – Château de St Jean le Blanc (45)

Main Exhibitions
• 22e Salon International de Saumur | 2014 – Prix Bouvet Ladubay – Saumur (49)
• Horse Utopia | 2014 – Florence (Italie)
• Aranima à La Hip Galerie | 2012 – Paris
• Equine Art 2011 | 2011 – Auburn (US)
• International Equine Art Competition | 2010 – 3 Prix – Art Horse (US)
• Exposition “Equine art” à la Corner Gallery | 2009 – Surrey (Angleterre)
• 16e Salon International de Saumur | 2008 – Saumur (49)
• Exposition personnelle Haras de St-Lô | 2008 – Saint-Lô (50)
• 31e Salon National des Artistes Animaliers | 2007 – Bry-sur-Marne (94)
• 15e Salon International de Saumur | 2007 – 1er prix peinture – Saumur (49)
• Exposition Théatre Equestre Zingaro | 2006 – Aubervilliers (93)
• Salon de Dessin et de la Peinture à l’Eau | 2006 – Grand Palais – Paris
• 58e Salon de Moret | 2006 – Prix de la ville de Moret – Moret-sur-Loing (77)
• Émission “Des brides et vous” sur la chaine Équidia | 2005
Press Review

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