Multidisciplinary artist Beni Bischof’s latest book Bambi is the result of him watching the 1942 Disney classic, Bambi for four weeks straight and painting hundreds of works while sitting in front of the screen. “I didn’t want to illustrate the movie. I just wanted to paint while watching and hearing the movie. The words, colours and shapes make up the paintings and I took everything I thought of and expressed it somehow on the paper,” explains the Swiss artist.
Inspired by his previous project Rambo which adopted a similar approach, Beni chose to do the same with Bambi because it’s “another American iconic movie in history”. “_Bambi_ contains lots of references that relate to today. If you read reviews on Rotten Tomatoes you understand how interesting it is for combining the subtleties with typical images and symbols.”
Many people cite Bambi as a “psycho thriller horror movie” despite the naive, Disney sheen it’s laced with and Beni has explored this perception through his watercolours, with a brave use of bloody red and ominous phrases in several of the works. “I wanted to be honest in what I painted. What I painted on the paper had to be real and instinctive. Disney was the show, I was the thunderstorm,” says Beni.
Published by Nieves, the book is simply designed to allow Beni’s paintings the room to take over the page and create a dialogue between each other. Those who know the plot of the film can see the narrative play out within the artist’s images, but the book also contains painted thought starters, musings and surreal interpretations of the action. “It’s just a collection of my thoughts while watching the movie, that’s enough for me,” says Beni. “Although I do want people to think about Disney interweaving splendid animation with vulgar Americana.”
Work from this series and his previous Rambo project is currently in a show titled, We Must Go Deep Into The Forest, on now at Plus-One in Antwerp.