Benjamin Gonthier was born in Paris where he studied architecture, following a family tradition. It was his interest in the relationship between urban spaces and the people within them that led him, ten years ago, to a move to Lisbon in order to study the unique relationship between the city’s residents and the river. While pitching a project to solve the issue of a train line that obstructs Lisbon’s postcard-like riverfront views, Gonthier was engulfed by the local buzz and decided to stay for good.
Having settled his architecture practice in Lisbon — he decided to promote his recently opened studio by inviting local artists and designers for an exhibition, a decision which lead to a curious plot twist: the local arts scene found in Gonthier a perfect champion, and Galeria Foco was born.
The gallery has since established a robust programme of exhibitions showcasing up-and-coming talent, and Ben spends his days between its sleek showroom and his home refuge just up the hill, always with Johnny, his loyal golden retriever, at his side.