Catching up with Benjamin Gonthier
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.
Pictures by Pedro Alfacinha