He has a background in illustration, where he, as a draftsman, pursued a vision of simplicity, limiting himself to certain dimensions and techniques. In 2012 he created a series of self-portraits over an extended period, where his face changes, because of the urge to see himself in different aspects. He called it: 'A personal study of the observing portrait through drawing', but you can say that, next to improving his skill, he was actually searching for his true face. Drawing is still a baseline from which he starts and in this series here, illusion is again a prominent aspect. The series started from bamboo, but soon after the few first drawings, he stepped away from trying to draw the plant, instead, he used what was in his hand and went from there.
The look of the other reveals that every appropriation of identity depends on the judgement of the other. Sartre states that "I" and my "consciousness" can never be the same, which means you will always be looking at yourself from the outside or through the other. Although, you can never completely know how you appear to others, so in fact the only thing you have as a representation of your self is your silhouette in the mirror. We're constantly recreating ourselves in an evolving manner and since the coming of the Internet, the idea of recreating who you are has manifested itself very superficially. You are forced to create an endless amount of accounts or profiles, splintering what's left of your already small definition of who you are. Jackie Chan asked it right: 'Who am I?'
"I have many faces and all but one; I am a Ninja, an actor, a spy, an illusionist, an empty vessel, in need of an other."
Benny Van den Meulengracht-Vrancx uses visual elements from Cosplay (Costume play), a subculture where people dress up as there favourite characters from games, Anime, Manga, movies and comics; as well as gaming culture, because of the fact that, in a lot of games, you are also asked to create a custom character, personalized to your liking (within the set boundaries of the game). Internet and Otaku culture feature similar elements.