Story and images provided by Benjamin Freudenthal

In his childhood (Bordeaux, France), Benjamin Freudenthal was an aviation fanatic, stricken by the beautiful boxarts illustrated by Roy Huxley (Matchbox), Roy Cross (Airfix) or Paul Lengellé (Heller). He spent hours and hours building plastic kits in his room and kept the beautiful covers after the model kit was poorly assembled. Nevertheless he was more skilled in drawing than in building kits.

So he decided it is more interesting to draw and paint these beautiful aircraft. He trained by copying the boxarts with a pencil and later on by making paintings. After a few years the young boy was able to draw any kind of airplane from different angles without the help of documents.

Thompson Trophy 1936

Later as a teenager he discovers the Aviation Art of Michael Turner. "Damned ! what is this man good !" and that’s how he also discovered Turner’s fabulous skills for motorsport. After the Fine Art School studies in Bordeaux and many years working as Free Lance illustrator, he really thought it’s time to start an artistic career. At the end of the nineties, he started exhibiting in Classic car events and Airshows.

In his early artistic years, Benjamin is directly influenced by Michael Turner and is focused on catching his style.

Tower Bridge Chase

But a creator has to find his own style and after 2010 he starts developing characters, portraits in very narrative compositions. He freed himself more and more from historical reality. In his paintings, you can spot, of course, famous pilots and engineers around the cars, but also movie stars and anachronistic characters. He portrait himself quite often in his paintings like Hitchcock did in his movies.

Schneller meine liebe (Faster my love)

Benjamin makes paintings on commission for Aviation, motorcycle or classic car lovers but also for major Classic car events like the Essen Techno Classica or the Zoute Grand Prix. Every day he enjoys riding his old British bike on the way to his workshop in Merignac, near Bordeaux. You could think that it’s a kind of "nostalgia" but it’s not.

Le jour le plus long (The longest day)

At 54 years old, he never lived the decades illustrated in his paintings. In a way, painting old cars, airplanes and motorcycles is more an attempt to prolong childhood. And everybody should keep a part of childhood in him(her)self.

Benjamin Freudenthal Contact »

Spitfire versus Spitfire

motor>spirit - Rob Alen