The Best of KEVIN BEST
For an artist reinterpreting the still life paintings of the Dutch Golden Age, in a new medium, Kevin Best could not have been born in a more appropriately named country. New Zealand was named in 1645 after the Dutch province of Zeeland.
Kevin takes us back to that golden era, he has amassed an extensive collection of items which featured in the original paintings, giant glass Roemer’s, delicate “Kraak” porcelain, German Westerwald jugs, agate and silver knives, silver cups and 300 year old bronze candlesticks that have miraculously survived many attempts to be turned into cannon.
What he can’t find he makes, acquiring skills as a wood tuner, carpenter, set painter and jeweller.
He has an encyclopaedic knowledge of the significance of every item in each work and how they interact with each other to form a narrative that had a deep significance in a time of great wealth and fear. A narrative that resonates to this day.
Each work can take weeks or months to complete; his meticulous technique was learned at The Australian Centre for Photography.
Kevin Best’s practice has been recognised in Australia, his self portrait after David Bailey was shortlisted for The 2009 Australian National Photographic Portrait Prize which toured nationally.
American Photo named him one of the 12 Flickr Superstars and described his work in their May 2009 Issue as having “the intense realism and luscious light of a Dutch painting”
He was commissioned in 2008 by Graft architects to create enormous high resolution works for the Gingko Bacchus Restaurant in Chengdu China. This was a major feature of the design which was a finalist in the 2009 American Institute of Architects Restaurant Design Awards.
Editions of some of his work are available at Lumas Galleries in New York, Paris, Zurich, Berlin, Cologne, Dusseldorf, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Munich and Stuttgart. and at Sophie Maree Gallery Den Haag.
1960 Born in Blenheim New Zealand.
2007-2009 Photographic studies Australian Centre for Photography.
2008 Commission for Craft Architects to produce still life feature for Gingko Bacchus Restaurant in Chengdu China, which was a finalist in the 2009 American Institute of Architects Restaurant Design Awards.
2009 Shortlisted for Australian National Photographic Portrait Prize.
2009 featured in American Photo as one of 12 Flickr Superstars.
2011 Images used by Cartier to launch new Diamond range.
2011 Featured in Architectural Digest Spain.
2007-2009 group shows at The Australian Centre for Photography.
2009 Australian National Portrait Gallery Canberra.
2009 Lake Macquarie City Art Gallery.
2009 Redland Art Gallery.
2009 Noosa Regional Gallery.
2009 Gladstone Regional Gallery.
2010 QUT Art Museum.
2010 exhibited Lumas Galleries in New York, Paris, Zurich, Berlin, Cologne, Dusseldorf, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Munich and Stuttgart.
2011-2012 exhibited Sophie Marie Gallery Den Haag, The Netherlands