For several years now, Besner has devoted himself exclusively to painting in his search for an aesthetic to represent his vision of the world. His paintings, colorful and moving, are inspired by his studies in architecture, his teachers to think in painting and his meetings over the streets of Montreal. His paintings show an insistent and playful look at the world around us. Deeply marked by the ravage of the body, by what body imposes on the gaze and the reflection, Besner creates characters who keep the traces of the past, which sometimes seem shadows of themselves, and which face their destiny until the end. This fabulous fauna, inspired by certain characters of Otto Dix and Nicolas de Crécy, cartoonist, among others, is progressing little by little towards tomorrow, in the manner of the human being. Torn beings always gnawed by hope ...
Born in 1965 in North Lancaster, Ontario, Besner completed a degree in architecture at the Université de Montréal in 1992. His architectural training at Algonquin College in Ottawa a few years before the bachelor's degree allowed him to start a reflection on the city and its components: its eminently human character, the tradition that must take into account any articulation of an urban plan and the elements necessary for its survival in a cultural environment. Her academic involvement has instilled a critical eye on her vision of a human-centered living environment with a focus on the past, present and future. Above all, this training led him to discover his true passion, painting, and to consider his craft so as to transform his formal baggage into a pictorial aesthetic of figure and space, through the eyes of the artist either mid-realistic or half-fictional.
Besner uses, for the creation of his paintings, a mixed technique on canvases; it favors oil pastel and its palette rich in colors, as well as acrylic paint, structural mortar, china marker and aerosol paint. To these materials are added a technique of application with the fingers and scratching of the canvas.
In 1996, Besner met Michael Mensi, from the agency of painters Mensi & Rioux, who offered him to work in collaboration with him. Since 2000, Benoit Beauchamp has also joined the team of Mensi & Rioux, as well as Steve Hamel. Thanks to this commitment, several events have emerged, including the event-exhibition, The Excesses of the Covetous, on November 9, 2004, at the CDP Capital Center (1000 Jean-Paul-Riopelle Place in Montreal), and the publication of two books by the artist: The excessiveness of the coveted. Dominic Besner (2000-2004) and Dominic Besner (1993-2000).
It would be difficult to count all of their collaborations, but also Besner's participation in the Art of Giving art event, which brought together new talents for charity fundraising organized by Saatchi Gallery in New York. London (United Kingdom), in October 2010, his collaboration with a group exhibition at the Museo de Las Artes of the Universidad de Guadalajara (Mexico), presented from November 29, 2003 to January 30, 2004, as well as the production by Pierre Bündock and François Arsenault (with the participation of Cirque du Soleil in partnership with Mensi & Rioux) a short film - portrait of the artist Besner and unveiling of a 92 feet by 7 feet fresco, composed of Stained Glass, created specifically for the Cirque du Soleil headquarters - entitled "The Mechanics of Cities", presented at the International Festival of Films on Art (FIFA) in March 2008.
Thus, two perfectly "immeasurable" events will have their meeting.
The exhibition-event The Excess of the Coveted (2004), as the title suggests, featured larger-than-life objects - faces of men and animals, animals, women and even the city, mother Producer of these colorful characters - by the excessive form of the paintings, of course, but also by the metaphorical character of the treatment of the characters. Besner does not seek to reproduce a real world; his faces go beyond the figurative to suggest the juxtaposition of several imaginary planes, which are integral parts of the represented figure, even when he has only one face to speak.
And, Mora (both woman, mother and death) was created in 2010-2011 around the incantational urban story of the same title written by D. Besner. The exhibition included 36 monumental works by the artist-paintings-haunting paintings of an indefinite time-and the event brought together distinguished artists from several disciplines who, in their own unique way, embodied the different facets of the story. They represented singing and music, dance, gymnastics, martial arts and video. Artists and guests were invited to the dream world of Besner and participated in the enchantment that swept the crowd like a wave multiplied. Once upon a time ... on a beautiful autumn evening, a sovereign voice worn by Diane Dufresne, dressed by Minuit La Mère, who watched and hypnotized ...
In November 2010, the solo exhibition Hundred Words presented 30 cyclopean paintings, born from 100 words ("without words") chosen by the artist to explore the harmonies / dissonances of language and images. This also highlighted the privileged relationship between D. Besner and the two. He first participated in the Western China International Art Biennale collective exhibition in Yinchuan, China, in September 2010, and at the prestigious Shanghai World Expo from May 1 to October 31 of the same year. Besner will return to China in November 2013 to present an individual exhibition, Immortalis, at the Suzhou Museum. At the same time, the imposing Humani Ex Machina exhibition will be held on the North American continent at the Thompson Landry Gallery in Toronto, where 25 recent works by Besner will be unveiled.
For the past few years, Besner has also been interested in writing, stained glass, engraving and sculpture. Its tiny but warm Plateau-Mont-Royal workshop has recently been swapped for a beautiful, airy space in an industrial district of Montreal. Thus ends the face to face forced with the object of study due to a restricted surface of creation; his carnal and immaterial kitty tamed little by little the new landscape that will have to be marked out. Fortunately for D. Besner, renewal is part of his modus vivendi.
By Diane Brabant