The first international auction of artworks by the acclaimed Thailand-based hotel designer Bill Bensley, held in conjunction with River City Bangkok, runs from June 5-30.
Bill Bensley is a busy man these days. Best known as an architect and a designer of landscapes and interiors, he has been responsible for the stunning aesthetics on display at over 200 acclaimed resorts, hotels, and even palaces in more than 30 countries. One of his latest projects is the new InterContinental property in Thailand’s Khao Yai district, set to open in Q4, in which a series of special luxury suites have been exquisitely crafted by repurposing discarded railway cars.
With such an instinctive and intuitive sense of what works when it comes to pleasing visuals, it’s really no surprise that Bill Bensley has also tried his hand at being a fine artist, even if he classifies himself as “untrained” and his artworks as belonging to the “Outsider Art” sphere.
In September of this year the first formal exhibition of his paintings, entitled ‘The Outsider Art of Bill Bensley’, goes on display at the RCB Galleria at River City Bangkok. These are works which have been created over the past three years both in the artist’s Bangkok studio, Baan Botanica, and on his many travels across Asia. The exhibition consists of 90 pieces, presented in five chapters: Environmentalism; Pestilence; Racism; Idiosyncratic Behaviours of the LGBTQ Community; and Dreams.
In advance of the autumn exhibition, which will run from September 30 to November 21, a total of ten paintings have been personally selected by Bill for auction on the international stage. As with the artworks sold at the upcoming RCB exhibition, a minimum of 80% of the auction sales proceeds will be donated towards Shinta Mani Foundation and Wildlife Alliance. The bidding begins on Saturday June 5, which just happens to be World Environment Day, and bids will be accepted until Wednesday June 30 (with the cutoff at midnight, Bangkok time).
“I have always loved art, and been envious of great artists, as they make it look so easy,” he explains. “I enjoy art that seems accessible, that I feel as though I could do myself. I suppose that is why I have always liked the genre of Outsider Art, as it welcomes one and all, while still holding a challenge for the artist. I paint, always, to raise funds for people in need, and to protect our Mother Earth, via the Wildlife Alliance and Shinta Mani Foundation.”
Linda Cheng, the Managing Director of Riverside Auction House, which operations RCB Auctions, definitely shares Bill’s enthusiasm. “We are thrilled to be introducing Bill Bensley as an artist to the world,” she remarked. “An international celebrity architect and designer, he now will join the ranks of some of the world’s best contemporary artists.”