BIO - ARTIST STATEMENT
Photo by Nicola Carignani
Diane Best was born in Boston, Massachusetts, and studied in the San Francisco area (Stanford University, San Francisco Art Institute), before moving south to Los Angeles. There, she did commercial artwork for the entertainment industry and commissioned portraits, while pursuing and showing her original work.
The high desert wilderness was her home for 8 years, where she worked freelance for Los Angeles animation studios (background painting) , but over time shifted the focus of her talent to capturing the intense drama of the desert landscape that surrounded her. Now living in Joshua Tree, California, Diane has focused her talent exclusively on capturing the dramatic imagery of various desert landscapes. “Seeking more and more remote, uninhabited and overlooked corners of the desert, I am interested in preserving or recording a single incredible moment of converging light and landscape while enjoying the space, beauty and quietness of the desert,” describes Best.
“It also never ceases to amaze me that, as heavily populated and built up as Southern California is, that there still remain these vast areas of open wilderness and desert where you can drive miles and miles of dirt roads, and see no one for days, if you choose not to. The importance of keeping this kind of experience (of being alone, in a meditative state, in unpopulated oceans of desert, actually being able to see and ride ‘off into the distance’) protected and available to the public is an overriding motivation for me in my work - hoping to convey a sense of this to those not living in the middle of it.”
Working off of the tradition of the American conservationist artists of the 19th century, Best strives to update landscape painting utilizing contemporary theories of perception that have been influenced by deep ecology, photography, cinema, digital imaging, and animation. In the mid 19th century geological theories, scientific investigation and data collection influenced the perceptual set of many American landscape painters. Today we live in a world that must assess the fracturing of previous belief systems and must come to terms with the devastating impact on our eco-system stemming from our quest for material security.
Diane Best’s work has been presented in solo and group exhibitions in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Joshua Tree, 29 Palms, New Hampshire, New York, and Boston. She also teaches painting workshops in Joshua Tree National Park for the Desert Institute. Recently, her work has been profiled in the publication “Lifescapes; West Coast Art & Design”. She is represented in Los Angeles by Metro Gallery and has her studio in Joshua Tree.
Diane's Resume is available in PDF format. Click here to download.