Tuesday, December 18, 2007

DAVE BESSELING - Itinerant Artist

DAVE BESSELING - Itinerant Artist
Written by Soui Sananikone
Wednesday, 15 August 2007
The most striking thing about Dave Besseling when you meet him is the magnificent display of intricate tattoos on his arms and legs disappearing deep into his clothes. We encountered by chance, at one of the innumerable quality guest houses within the Old Chiang Mai City limits. I could not help but approach him to inquire about the significance of the designs imprinted on parts of his body. Dave was most affable and open to my curiosity and as it turned out, the tattoos were just the tip of an iceberg lurking underneath.

Dave, in his twenties, aptly represents the current generation of young artists…..well educated, extremely independent, widely traveled and very versatile in their artistic outlooks and accomplishments.

Canadian by nationality and a graduate in Graphic Design from the Fanshawe College, London in Canada, Dave has, during the last few years, widely traveled through Europe and has held art exhibitions in the Hague Netherlands, Karamea New Zealand, Toronto Canada, Tokyo Japan, and Chiang Mai University Art Museum in Thailand, was awarded the honour of the First Artist as A.I.R for the Living Space Project in Karamea, New Zealand, during 2006, and most recently was shortlisted to the final two to obtain the highly coveted Fall-Winter Residency at the National Museum of Contemporary Art in Seoul, South Korea. While awaiting the outcome, Dave decided to come to Thailand to check out the reputable meditation retreats in Chiang Mai he had heard of.

Asked to describe his overall style, Dave muses briefly before answering: “Normally, I use the description of ‘viticonscious metafigurative’……what ?You say….well, viticulture, as you know, is when you splice a branch of one tree into the trunk of another as we used to do with apple tress when I was a kid. So viticonscious is the word I use to describe the process of lateralization of my thought processes to incorporate multiple points of view, whether they are moral, social, spiritual, etc. Metafigurative just means that there is always a human element in the work, meta is to denote that I don’t use models for any of them as all the shapes and poses arise from my imagination…which is to say that a lot of the time, I surprise myself with these images, they must come from somewhere very deep inside me or somewhere very vast above me. I really don’t know and I am not egotistical enough to start making admissions about collective unconsciousness or higher selves, so that meta seems general enough to convey the feeling without being in any way a kind of sectarian or new age weirdo.”

While in Chiang Mai, Dave has had the opportunity to participate in the Lanna Style Design International Workshop at the Faculty of Art, Chiang Mai University. The lamp which he designed following that experience, based on traditional Northern Thailand Lanna influences, was featured in the Thai edition of “Wallpaper Magazine.” Many of Dave’s artworks have been highlighted in several international publications.

Dave Besseling also writes prose and poetry. To date, his published writings include Nakayubi Two: the Barnstormer (poetry), Kusiriyubi One: Fun with Memes (prose) and Nakayubi One: the cynic, the critic, the masochistic anemic (poetry). Dave commented that “the difficulty with poetry is convincing people that it is a proper art form, replete with layered nuances and legitimate wormholes to the intangible, just like paintings or music.”

To quote some of his friends, “Dave Besseling’s poetry offers a musical fall, as well as rise, in cadence, and a touch of melancholy, dedicated as it is purely to the existential struggle, however bitter. Dave does not always reconcile absurdities but merely observes them, in fact exaggerates them. His aim seems not to set in order but simply to set down the disorder. An essential point of view.”

“Enfant terrible and ancient sage, custodian of rage and wonderment, he crams incantations, savage broadsides, almost love songs together with garlicky puns and wordplay to give us an alchemical work of modern jazz.”

Eclectic T-shirts he designed for the Yan De Hafuri Boutique in Tokyo, Japan, can be acquired online through his website.

Using Chiang Mai as his home base, Dave has traveled extensively throughout Thailand and the neighbouring countries. He has immersed himself in the renowned hospitality of the local Northern Thais, and thoroughly appreciates the richness of the Lanna culture and the proximity to the resident Art Community. As to how much longer he intends to stay here depends largely on how his fledging E-Commerce, which markets his artworks, writings, and t-shirts, progresses. Like most artists, Dave Besseling needs consistent funds to sustain his current lifestyle.

Contact: info@davebesseling.com
website: www.davebesseling.com

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