Bestrizal Besta Solo at Art Porters

‘Mother Nature’ explores the relationship between man and nature
By A&M

Bestrizal Besta, 'Dream Is Waiting For You', 2019, charcoal acrylic on canvas, 150 x 150cm. Image courtesy of Art Porters Gallery.

Bestrizal Besta, 'Dream Is Waiting For You', 2019, charcoal acrylic on canvas, 150 x 150cm. Image courtesy of Art Porters Gallery.

Guillaume Lévy-Lambert and Sean Soh of Singapore-based Art Porters Gallery first came upon Bestrizal Besta’s work in Yogyakarta while on an art discovery tour. Guillaume recalls how they immediately recognised Besta’s potential. “His works display a mastery of charcoal as a medium, used in a remarkable scale on canvas, with a symbolic, haunting, joyful, mysterious subject matter that can lead to many years of discoveries for the collectors,” says the gallery founder.

Since then, the gallery has shown the artist’s works at several art fairs. ‘Mother Nature’ is Besta’s first solo exhibition with the gallery. Opening on 24 April 2019, it delves into the relationship between human beings and nature. The artworks are available from SGD6000 for the two works on paper, ‘Fearless Hope’ (2019) and ‘Happiness is Simple’ (2019).

Bestrizal Besta, 'Happiness is Simple', 2019, charcoal on paper, 80 x 60cm. Image courtesy of Art Porters Gallery.

Bestrizal Besta, 'Happiness is Simple', 2019, charcoal on paper, 80 x 60cm. Image courtesy of Art Porters Gallery.

Working with charcoal, the artist’s works in the solo show are achromatic, with the only splashes of colour coming from flora and fauna such as monarch butterflies and lotus flowers. “This is an applied metaphor in which I address our contrasting relationship with nature,” explains Besta. “We are all different, and with our differences, we co-exist interdependently in equilibrium.”

‘Mother Nature #1’ (2018) is a striking work depicting a woman with the corners of her mouth turned up into a slight smile. She carries a young child close to her bosom in one hand and holds on to a thin tree trunk with the other. She is almost completely engulfed in flowers, leaves, and animals like birds and deer.

Speaking to A&M, Besta describes ‘Mother Nature #1’ in more detail. “This work simply depicts a young woman who is enveloped in nature and merges with the surrounding environment to make a whole,” says Besta. “Our intelligence makes us more powerful than other living things and we must utilise this responsibly because we are very dependent on nature.”

Bestrizal Besta, 'Mother Nature #1', 2018, charcoal acrylic on canvas, 180 x180cm. Image courtesy of Art Porters Gallery.

Bestrizal Besta, 'Mother Nature #1', 2018, charcoal acrylic on canvas, 180 x180cm. Image courtesy of Art Porters Gallery.

Through the exhibition, Besta aims to send the message that human beings should judiciously harness their intelligence and live in harmony with all that surrounds us. “Nothing is perfect on this earth, but good deeds will always beget goodness,” says Besta. “If we can understand and respect each other’s differences, we can celebrate the good it brings.”

It has been a “happy” working arrangement between the artist and the gallery. Guillaume says, “Our mission is “sharing happiness with art”, and Besta’s practice has helped us to spread the magic of art, and contributed to our range of talented young and emerging artists from Southeast Asia.” Besta adds, “Preparing ‘Mother Nature’ with the Art Porters team has provided me with an opportunity to develop creative ideas through the boundless concept of nature, and pushed me to articulate my thoughts and further hone my skills in using charcoal as my chosen medium.”

‘Mother Nature’ by Bestrizal Besta will run from 24 April to 30 June 2019 at Art Porters Gallery, Singapore.