2012 was a dynamic year after all.

I have a terrible chronological memory, which is good most of the times, but when I need to organize time past it becomes a hard task, specially when I have to answer journalists and their need to put everything per year and month.

But in my mind there’s always a “before that” or “after that”, special moments that created some roots in my mind, if that is possible. Happenings, that got a special folder in my subconscious, marked with fluorescent ink to be more visible or reachable.

2012 had few of those special moments; happenings that help me locate in time. “After the coma”, “after the sabbatical” year in the countryside and “after Lisbon”, came 2012: a dynamic year after all.

Summer Solstice, Paris, 2012 - by ©Gonzalo Bénard

Self Portrait at Summer Solstice, Paris, 2012 – by ©Gonzalo Bénard

But now any human being has 2 different lives: the cyber life and the real life, so let’s start with the cyber year in my life.

It was the year of my major Internet project of photography: the year of the “B Shot by a Stranger“, in which I “spied” through webcam the private lives of more than 30 loners and their own lonely rituals. “B Shot by a Stranger” had a spectacular response in art blogs and webzines, to which I gave several great interviews that made me understand even more the importance of these sociological and psychological projects. “B Shot by a Stranger” also due to the amazing participation by the volunteers that I have to thank, had and still has a major importance in my work with photography, new doors opened and I discovered new ways to express and got new skills on my work. It has been great the world response to this project. Thank you to all of you who participate and made this project being possible: friends, loners, editors, publishers, art-collectors, and clients.

MB18 for "B Shot by a Stranger" project, by ©Gonzalo Bénard

MB18 for “B Shot by a Stranger” project, by ©Gonzalo Bénard

YCP, the blog of photography I founded and curate reached today 90.000 followers, spotlighted by Tumblr.

It was also the year that I got hundreds of new cyber friends, in all it’s concept of cyber friendship, some of you with whom I got cyber deeper knowing and some others still to know. A new concept of friendship that made me start a new project: The Cyber Friend Portrait‘s project, also through webcam as it must be to understand the “cyber friend” relation one can have in these years. You can follow the gallery at my FB page.

It was the year in which I got more published interviews, articles, and mentions on internet about my work of photography, thanks to the crescent interest of a wider public, fans and followers my work is getting. Being interviewed and being written about always brought me new understanding of my own work, when an interview is good it makes me aware of details that I didn’t think before and how they influenced me through my learning and developing of my work. Artchipel, SFMoMA, My Modern Met, Atelier Balbec, Empty Kingdom, Top Photography filmes, MutantSpace and so many others. Thank you to the most kind, wise and professional cyber editors, publishers, friends and followers of my work.

The Crowned Wolves by ©GBénard

The Crowned Wolves by ©GBénard

But hey!, I couldn’t finish this with what has been a very important step: I came back to write, which I always did in more private life since I know myself, now turned public. I finally founded a written blog: 2HeadS, that is giving me a wonderful time, sharing knowledge, information, where I write essays, interviews I made to others and other ones that are made to me, notes on photography, tips to students of photography and colleagues, etc. “2HeadS” is a place of sharing, sharing thoughts. And it started great as it goes. By the statistics and responses I now start realising how important it’s becoming being followed and read by some “gurus” I most admire in this cyber world… all this in 3 months. Thank you to all my readers and keep responding to me in the best way: sharing thoughts, writing me emails and being there. “2HeadS” is of great importance for me, personally. It’s my coming back to writing. Of sharing with words. Of learning.

To finish this, it was a major pleasure to have cyber-known so many interesting people worldwide, to know more about all of you, your cultures your beings.

Oh, and at last, my webpage is finally the way I like, thanks to the amazing help of P.C. and F.B.!

But 2012 was also a very dynamic year in real life.

First of all 2 major things happened in real: the move to Paris before summer, putting an end to the year I spent in Lisbon where I could deepened roots with some wonderful new friends I’ve met the year before. And of course the death of my father in September: but this will remain private, or in silent, as the series of photographs I did called “WiredScapes” sketched the day he died.

In real life I was more than happy to have known in real some of great cyber friends. Some people with whom I had and I am having amazing times in real life now.

Self Portrait in France with a moustache, ©Gonzalo Bénard

Self Portrait in France with a moustache, ©Gonzalo Bénard

The move to Paris was indeed an old project of mine, as Paris was always the city where I felt home and where I always felt more emotionally and intellectually connected. This reminds me that I do have to start reviewing my French, as it’s still very rusty, after so many years in Barcelona only talking in English, Spanish and Portuguese, and of course also reading in Catalan. It was a great step for me this one, that I still didn’t enjoy fully as I’ve been so focused on work and projects since I arrived. I do have to thank this opportunity to few people, but that I do in private. My father gave me a great help on this too having the most amazing talks before coming.

As what concerns to work, it was also published in printed magazines and newspapers, such as the great article in EYEMAZING, this one also about “B Shot by a Stranger” project. I had solo and group exhibitions where I could show some of my work, and I published the book “B Shot by a Stranger” which is also having a magnificent response.
Had also some major commissioned portraits that is always a pleasant work! Really enjoy when my clients commissioned me their creative portraits, the best part is that they always end up happy with the result. 2012 was not an exception in this: great commissioned portraits for great clients! May 2013 brings me even more great clients to portray.

I can’t forget the series of photography inspired in the traditions in Portugal: “Conversations around the Table“, nor the series “A Bad Morning” inspired in the wonderful work by Francesca Woodman, that I did in the beginning of the year when still in Lisbon.

Conversations around the Table #8 by ©Gonzalo Bénard

Conversations around the Table #8 by ©Gonzalo Bénard

A Bad Morning #8 by ©Gonzalo Bénard

A Bad Morning #8 by ©Gonzalo Bénard

EYEMAZING Editions and La Petite Mort Gallery are now representing my work. One in Europe, the other in Canada. Thank you Susan and Guy. May 2013 be an excelent year for our art sales!

2012 was also the year in which some great art collectors have been acquiring and purchasing my limited editions of photography, most of them from Germany, England, France and United States. It’s always a great feeling when a special art collector, the most demanding clients reaches you and takes your work. So it is wonderful to have my work as part of the most important International Contemporary Art Photography Collections, such as the one of Sir Elton John to name just one.

BodyScape #1 by ©Gonzalo Bénard

BodyScape #1 by ©Gonzalo Bénard

It is the year in which I presented 2 major projects for 2013 and both being accepted. These 2 projects do have a deep importance for me personally, screened into creative work. Both will make me have even more responsibility into my creative work, this time connecting the best of literature with 2 exhibitions scheduled for 2 Cultural Centres where I’ll present new works of photography and video. Also a photography and video project involving dance in a great French Opera house, but these 2 I’ll have time to talk about in the next year. Both of them will be “the bomb”: stay tuned!

Right now I’m finishing another important project to be accepted in January of 2013 that will give me new energy to my creative work. So with all these 3, and most possible 4 projects in the best trails, 2012 will make 2013 even more dynamic in life and space. Being 2012 the base of all this.

In 2012 I wired my work from The Netherlands to Canada to Lisbon to California to Australia to England to New Zealand to Barcelona to South Africa to Germany to Ireland to France to Arab Emirates and Jordan. In 2012, I wired the world. 2013 will be the year to test most of these connections in real.

And finally, something that also gave me an immense pleasure, as rewarding of the work I’ve been doing, making me believe that I’m doing something important and well done, but also with so much to learn: being lectured in several Universities around the globe, from Iran to Ireland, from England to United States, there are students suffering trying to understand my photographic work to do their best essays. Good luck guys!

Self Portrait by the window contemplating the last grey day of 2012.

Self Portrait by the window contemplating the last grey day of 2012. Paris by©Gonzalo Bénard

(oh, and my first decision for the new year is… to cut my hair in real life)

May 2013 begins, develops and ends in the most magnificent and spectacular way, fulfilling ourselves: being healthy, wealthy, happy and creative.

I do believe that we, artists and creators, are the responsible for a change in the world, so lets make the 2013 world more dynamic in arts, in culture, in sharing knowledge and wisdom.

Thank you to all of you who made part of these 2012.

Be loved!

Gonzalo Bénard

Paris 2012