Paul Behnke: Interview

Paul Behnke, Dark Form (for Alan Davie), 2014, acrylic on canvas, 48×50 inches (
Paul Behnke, Dark Form (for Alan Davie), 2014, acrylic on canvas, 48×50 inches (courtesy of the artist)

Brian Edmonds interviews painter Paul Behnke about his work.

Behnke comments: "I’m mostly interested in a sense of conflict in the work – clashes of opposites, strife and competition among the forms. I use the way the paint is applied, high key color, and off-kilter, tension filled compositions made up of precarious and compressed forms, to get this across. But harmony and discord themselves are opposites. I think the most interesting work is not all one or the other but expanses of harmony or calm punctuated by sharp discord or anxiety. A rupture in the surface or a distortion of what is figure and what is ground can keep me and the viewer interested and off balance. I don’t, consciously, work with any rules in place but of course I do have ideas and preferences about what I think good painting contains or is. At times this can lead to a dangerous sense of security. It’s important to be aware when that’s happening. And when you recognize it, to somehow shake things up in order to move the piece forward."